It's Okay to Be Different

( 29 )

Overview

Featuring Todd Parr's trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book embraces difference in a unique way. Deceptively simple in appearance, It's OK to Be Different cleverly delivers its important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in a child-friendly package.

Author Biography: Todd Parr's previous books have been praised by critics and his designs appear on clothing, furniture, toys, and other products for ...

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Overview

Featuring Todd Parr's trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book embraces difference in a unique way. Deceptively simple in appearance, It's OK to Be Different cleverly delivers its important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in a child-friendly package.

Author Biography: Todd Parr's previous books have been praised by critics and his designs appear on clothing, furniture, toys, and other products for children. He lives in San Francisco.

Illustrations and brief text describe all kinds of differences that are "okay," such as "It's Okay to be a different color," "It's Okay to need some help," "It's Okay to be adopted," and "It's Okay to have a Different nose."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Celebrate individuality with the king of color, Todd Parr. Well known for his use of bold and primary colors and funky, freewheeling style, Parr offers kids a lesson in being happy with who you are. To all those kids who are self-conscious about missing teeth, or being small, or feeling embarrassed -- it's okay. Supportive messages like "It's okay to come from a different place" and "It's okay to have an invisible friend" fill the pages of this awesome book. Each page fosters personality and the unique traits of everyone around us. Writing in simple language, Parr informs young readers that understanding and accepting our differences is what makes everybody great. An intense message that is conveyed with ease and carefree fun. The praiseworthy message "It's okay to talk about your feelings" is matched with a picture of a very talkative lion purring and raoring. And "It's okay to say no to bad things" features two fish staring head-on at a fishhook. Ah, the creative and hilarious genius of Todd Parr.
Myshelf.com
"Reading this book aloud to little ones, and discussing the pictures and concepts is a great way to start kids on a lifetime of openly discussing feelings and problems. This book has wonderful, feel good, positive messages of acceptance and confidence that promote understanding and are fun to read for kids and the adults who love them."
From the Publisher
"Reading this book aloud to little ones, and discussing the pictures and concepts is a great way to start kids on a lifetime of openly discussing feelings and problems. This book has wonderful, feel good, positive messages of acceptance and confidence that promote understanding and are fun to read for kids and the adults who love them."—Myshelf.com

"The book unites the concept of tolerance of differences with simple images for easy understanding and comprehension. It's Okay to be Different encourages readers to accept themselves and others."—Children's Literature

"[Parr] wisely doesn't zero in on specifics, which would force him to establish what's 'normal.' Instead, he focuses on acceptance and individuality and encourages readers to do the same."—Publisher's Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Parr (The Okay Book) combines rainbow colors, simple drawings and reassuring statements in this optimistic book. His repetitive captions offer variations on the title and appear in a typeface that looks handcrafted and personalized. A fuschia elephant stands against a zingy blue background ("It's okay to have a different nose") and a lone green turtle crosses a finish line ("It's okay to come in last"). A girl blushes at the toilet paper stuck to her shoe ("It's okay to be embarrassed") and a lion says "Grr," "ROAR" and "purrr" ("It's okay to talk about your feelings"). Parr cautiously calls attention to superficial distinctions. By picturing a smiling girl with a guide dog ("It's okay to need some help"), he comments on disability and he accounts for race by posing a multicolored zebra with a black-and-white one. An illustration of two women ("It's okay to have different Moms") and two men ("It's okay to have different Dads") handles diverse families sensitively this could cover either same-sex families or stepfamilies and also on the opposite page, a kangaroo with a dog in its pouch ("It's okay to be adopted"). He wisely doesn't zero in on specifics, which would force him to establish what's "normal." Instead, he focuses on acceptance and individuality and encourages readers to do the same. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
A very colorful and fun book about appreciating diversity. The characters in the stories are amusing, yet respectful. I especially loved, "It's okay to be adopted with a puppy in a kangaroo's pouch." Some other examples are: "It's okay to have wheels," "It's okay to have big ears," "It's okay to be a different color," and "It's okay to do something nice for your friends." Young children will love the illustrations, and all readers will enjoy the message and humor. 2001, Little, Brown and Company, $14.95. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: S. Latson SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
In It's Okay to Be Different, Todd Parr shows that it is all right to accept differences in ourselves and others. Parr uses loud, colorful illustrations to keep the attention of the reader and the repetition of the phrase "It's okay" to make a substantial point about various differences, including physical differences, ideas, and concepts. Parr utilizes vibrant colors and simple drawings to keep the reader's attention. Almost every page has it's own "It's okay" statement. Since the backdrop of each statement is a different color than the previous one, each "It's okay" statement becomes the focal point. Parr completes the "It's okay" statements with a lesson in feeling special and important while using the contrast of differences. The book unites the concept of tolerance of differences with simple images for easy understanding and comprehension. It's Okay to be Different encourages readers to accept themselves and others. 2001, Little Brown & Company,
— Alex Engle
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Parr preaches the message of self-acceptance and tolerance of others. Readers are encouraged to accept differences in physical characteristics, abilities, and family situations. "It's okay to be adopted." "It's okay to wear glasses." "It's okay to have a different nose" and "It's okay to come in last [in a race]." Some differences are of a less serious nature. "It's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub," and "It's okay to have a pet worm." The accompanying illustrations feature both animals and children. "It's okay to need some help" shows a girl with a seeing-eye dog. The illustration for "It's okay to be a different color" shows a black-and-white zebra with one whose stripes are multicolored. The pictures are as simple as the message. A childlike mood is established with crudely drawn figures outlined with thick black lines and colored with solid, flat, bright colors. The text is printed in a font that mimics hand printing. The simplicity of presentation masks some of the difficult and complex issues connected with acceptance that children face. However, assurances that differences are okay do not tell children how to deal with being teased or excluded because of differences, and there are no suggestions for adapting play to include those with disabilities. However, the book could serve as a vehicle for beginning a discussion on mutual respect.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Parr (Big and Little) teaches an important social lesson that all children need early in their development. Differences are observed and encouraged in this wonderful celebration of the vast distinctions that make each of us individuals. Every page displays a person or animal with characteristics or feelings that are unique, making each one extra special. The describing text for each drawing begins with, "It's okay to . . ." and can act as a springboard for an exercise in which children think of and name additional differences. Solid primary colors create the background, and kid-friendly hand drawings help children relate on their own level. Of course, the exaggeration of some of the drawings is just plain fun. The theme encourages acceptance of oneself and others, and boosts self-esteem. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316043472
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 34,430
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Parr

Todd Parr is the author of more than thirty books for children, including the New York Times bestselling The I Love You Book, The Earth Book, and The Thankful Book. He lives in Berkeley, California. For a complete list of Todd's books and more information, visit www.toddparr.com.

Biography

Author/illustrator Todd Parr is the poster child for perseverance. Growing up in Wyoming, he knew he wanted to be an artist, but he met with rejection at almost every turn. In school, his drawings and paintings were considered childish and simplistic. He even failed his high school art course for not meeting class standards. As a result, for many years he lacked the self-confidence to pursue his dreams. Then, when he finally mustered the resolve to begin painting in earnest, his work was turned down by dozens of galleries.

Yet, in spite of these roadblocks, Parr persisted. He arranged a small showing of his paintings at Wolfgang Puck's San Francisco restaurant Postrio. A buyer for Macy's West saw his canvases and encouraged him to design a line of merchandise for the store. Then, in 1998, Parr's bold, colorful style caught the eye of Little Brown agent Megan Tingley, who approached him to write children's books. The rest, as they say, is publishing history.

Unlike other children's authors, Parr is not a traditional storyteller; yet his books—with their positive, reassuring messages about acceptance, self-confidence, and diversity—have become enormously popular. In bestsellers like The Family Book, We Belong Together and It's Okay to Be Different, he encourage preschoolers to be themselves, to express their feelings, and to celebrate what makes each of them unique.

But it is his artwork—cheerful stick figures rendered in bright, neon colors and outlined boldly in black—that makes Parr one of the most recognized names in the world of children's literature. The same simplicity of technique that once drew criticism has proved to be his most bankable commodity. His work has been displayed in the windows of FAO Schwartz, his products are sold worldwide, and he has won awards for his books and for his preschool television show ToddWorld. Pretty good for a kid who was thrown out of high school art class!

Good To Know

Not all of Parr's fans are eight and under—teens in Japan reportedly swamped the author on his book tour, bringing rice cookers and surfboards for signing.

Before he began his career as a children's author, Parr was a flight attendant for United Airlines.

Parr's first job was working at Taco Time for $1 an hour at age 11. "I was going to own my own someday," he said in an interview with Barnes & Noble.com. "I still love tacos. :)"

Parr gives special credit to his family for their support: "I have a very special family," he told Barnes & Noble.com. "They never really understood me, but encouraged me to go after everything I wanted even when we did not agree. As I now realize—this takes a lot of love to do."

Parr has no formal art training.

He was flabbergasted when he was approached to write children's books. "I can't even spell," he told us, "so the idea of being an 'author' never entered my mind!" Once he realized this would not be an obstacle, it cleared the way for him to focus on his artwork and the messages behind it.

When asked what kind of advice he would give to kids who want to be artists, here's what Parr told us:
Believe in yourself. Art is art even if no one else likes what you do. If it makes you happy, stay with it. Don't give up. And surround yourself with your work to remind yourself of what makes you feel good.

The message behind my work stemmed somewhat from my childhood because it was not okay for me to be who I was. I did not conform to the "norm" or want to be like everyone else. Things have not changed that much for kids today either; it seems harder for them. So in the process of doing what I'm doing in my work—enjoying my life and being happy—if I can help someone, especially kids, learn to believe in themselves, accept others, and learn not to hate, then maybe someone's life will be a little easier and maybe their dreams a little closer to coming true."

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    1. Hometown:
      Berkeley, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Rock Springs, Wyoming
    1. Education:
      High school diploma
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    Great for Kindergarten!

    I am in college majoring in early childhood education. I had to teach a lesson on diversity to kindergartners this quarter. I found this book and I really love it! The colors are so vibrant, the text is simple and relative, and the kindergartners and their teacher loved it! It would be good for preschoolers thru early primary grades.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book on diversity for the young crowd!

    This is one of the best picture books on diversity I have ever encountered. From height and looks to varying abilities, Todd Parr covers many ways to be "different". My favorite page is "It's okay to have wheels"---what a marvelous way to look at life in a wheelchair! My only reservation is that some folks may find the vibrant colors of this title to be a little jarring--it does take a bit of adjustment. For teachers, this book is simple enough for any age group and should be good in a classroom storytime setting as it is a fair size and very brightly illustrated. If you need a diversity title for older children, try my recommendation below, Everybody Cooks Rice.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

    If you haven't yet discovered the magic that is TODD'S WORLD, I recommend that you do so today! This series is great fun for both children and adults alike, whether it be in the form of a book or a video. Todd Parr knows what appeals to kids -- bold, bright, colorful illustrations and characters that are all unique in their own special way. <BR/><BR/>With IT'S OKAY TO BE DIFFERENT, children of all ages learn that no matter what your difference -- being in a wheelchair, being embarrassed, having different moms or dads, having an invisible friend -- it's perfectly A-OK. From the fanciful to the truthful to the whimsical, all kinds of differences are explored in ways that are easy to understand for the youngest reader, but that will also send home a message to those who are older. <BR/><BR/>This is one book you need in your personal collection!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

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    Hffbgndndnhjdjanfjhhwjdhnxjfjjhfhfjhjhfjvnbvjnfbnjvchvj j j jvjhmfjtjhnbj j j mnv mrjgjgjcjfbjjvjbjgjsgjnghsjbjfnsnngjfjskdhgjbhnjsjvbjndngncncjbjvjvhfuxjbjbmdmmshvbndjd

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    It's Okay to Be Different

    Great guide to explain and teach young kids and teenagers. I highly recommend this book.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2006

    Says nothing really

    This book just says its okay to be this, its okay to be that. The message that children should accept their differences does not sink in because the book does not address any aspect of being different. It must have taken 15 minutes to write the whole book. The illustrations are not very good. They may have taken 20 minutes to do.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2006

    re: says nothing really

    This book isn't for adults. It's for kids. The drawings and text are meant to grab the attention of small children. Simple text and drawings with bright colors draw kids in. This book is meant to initiate conversations between children and parents about all the wonderful differences in people. It's up to YOU, the parent to elaborate on the pictures and text, not the author.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2005

    Book for all ages

    My mother purchased this book for my nephew at Christmas. She enjoyed it so much that she had to purchase another one for herself. Now all of her grandchildren ask her to read it whenever they visit her! Which is a couple of times a week. It's wonderful!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2003

    Wonderful book shows children it's ok to be different!

    Our family loves this book because in a funny way it shows children that everyone is different and it's ok to be different. Whether is a different hair, nose or coming from a different place it's ok to be different. My daughter loves this book and asks to read it at least once per hour everyday!!!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2001

    Encourages self acceptance and acceptance of others

    Bold colors and great illustrations. It was nice to see a book that celebrates our differences and encourages children to be accepting of themselves and others.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Dugvhn

    Rrhithj

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    good

    bad

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

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    Posted May 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

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