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.
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)
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,
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.
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)
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
"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."