Children's Literature Theme Study
5 Books About Acceptance and Friendship
Bear Feels Sick by: Karma Wilson
This book would be read to a student audience in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade. This book is about main character, Bear, that starts to get very sick. He gets so sick that all his animal friends like Mouse, Hare, and Badger decide to take care of him. All his animal friends take great care of Bear and eventually he starts to fell good! However, because all of his friends were spending so much time taking care of Bear, they all become sick. Bear realizes that his friends took such great care of him that the least he can do is be a good friend back and take care of them until they feel better too. I like this book because it shows the importance of valuing your friendship and accepting your friends no matter what state they are in. This is a great book to read to teach students the importance of true friendship.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by: Phillip Stead
This book would be read to a student audience most likely in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade. The book is a story about Amos McGee, a man who wakes up every morning to go to the zoo to help out and spend time with the animals. One day Amos wakes up very sick and cannot make it out to the zoo, so his animals wait patiently for him to come visit them. When Amos never shows, the animals go visit him in bed and spend time with him and take care of him. I would read this book to my students if they were having a hard week or having difficulties getting along because this book teaches the importance of friendship and care.
It's Okay to be Different by: Todd Parr
This book would be read to children in a Kindergarten or 1st grade classroom. This book is a very cute story that talks about multiple differences people can sometimes be insecure about like having few teeth, no hair, or wearing glasses, but how it is okay to be different in all these ways. This book is perfect to read to a class when students are having a difficulty with appreciating who they are and the differences they bring to the classroom. It teaches a great moral of how important it is to love yourself and never be ashamed of who you are.
Amazing Grace by: Mary Hoffman
This book would be read to a student audience and is on a Kindergarten to 3rd grade reading level. This is a story about a girl named Grace who loved to read stories and act out the characters in the books. So when Grace's classroom decides to put on a Peter Pan play, Grace knows that she wants to play the role of Peter. However, some of the students in her class tell her she can't be Peter Pan because she's not a boy and because she's black. Grace is very saddened by these comments, but with the help of her family realizes that she can be whatever she wishes if she works hard enough. The book concludes with Grace landing the lead role as Peter Pan, and the play is a great success. This book is a great read for students because it touches on how words can be hurtful and really effect someones feelings, but the stories main theme is that you can be whatever you want to be in life regardless of what people tell you. Whether people accept you or not should not have an impact on your own successes because you are capable of anything you really put your mind to.
Hey, Little Ant
Hey Little Ant by: Phillip Hoose
This book would be read to a student audience of Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd graders. This book is about a young kid who sees an ant on the sidewalk and immediately wants to squish it. The ant pleads with the boy to not squish him because it's the right thing to do, but the boy is mean to the ant and wants to squish him because he does not understand and accept the ant. The ant explains to the boy why he deserves to live and not be squished by the boy. I like this book for many reasons. First, I like how the book ends with an open ended question that allows students to answer after listening to the book and really consider what is the right thing for the boy to do. Second, I like how this book teaches the importance of acceptance and understanding of others that may be very different from you. Lastly, I also think this would be a great book to read to your class if it is having a bullying issue. The young boy is very much like a bully that is picking on and criticizing the small ant, but the ant explains to him why he doesn't deserve the bad treatment.