I AM: Children's Books That Affirm and Encourage Self Love
Updated: Jan 13
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Books help reinforce the positive messages we want children to embrace. That’s why it’s so important that children have access to books that affirm who they are and encourage them to believe in themselves. While self-love and self-acceptance develops as children grow, books like these can help us nurture those skills along the way.
Helping Kids Rise believes all children deserve access to books that educate, empower and inspire and all of these books fit that mission!
I Am Enough by Grace Byers, Illustrated by Keturah A Bobo
This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another — from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.
We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it. (Ages 4–8)
Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Patricia Barton
New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality in her remarkable picture book about the beauty of being yourself.
Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things — little or small, loud or quiet — that make us who we are.
With encouraging text by Pat Zietlow Miller and exuberant illustrations by Patrice Barton, readers will delight in all the ways they can be their remarkable selves. (Ages 4–8)
You might go unnoticed, or shine like a star, but wherever you go and whoever you are… don’t change how you act to be just like the rest. Believe in yourself and the things you do best.
Being You by Alex Pate, Illustrated by Soud
Award-winning author and professor Alexs Pate delivers a message of hope and self-discovery in a time of uncertainty in our world. BEING YOU is a beautiful picture book celebrating every readers’ individuality and talents. With an authentic voice, BEING YOU’s poetic message of love and optimism for the future speaks directly to today’s children. BEING YOU helps us to see the wonder and light within each of us. (Ages 3–9)
Riley Can Be Anything by Davina Hamilton, Illustrated by Elena Reinoso
The inspiring rhyming story follows Riley as he discovers some of the wonderful things he can do when he grows up. With the help of his big cousin Joe, Riley is taken on a series of imaginative journeys that allow him to realise he can be anything he wants to be. (Ages 2–5)
I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni, Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newbery honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved — themselves! (Ages 4–8)
Why Am I Me by Paige Britt, Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Aiko
Presented as a thoughtful, poetic exchange between two characters — who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions — this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.
If the first step toward healing the world is to build bridges of empathy and celebrate rather than discriminate, Why Am I Me? helps foster a much-needed sense of connection, compassion, and love. (Ages 5–8)
We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers by Julie Flett: We All Count a Book of Cree Numbers provides insight into contemporary Cree life. It teaches Cree numbers 0 -10 and provides pronunciation. This board book is wonderfully illustrated by Canadian based Cree/Metis artist Julie Flett. This book is important in enhancing learning of Cree numbers and making Cree culture accessible to young readers. A bilingual book with a great message. (Ages 0-6)
Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color by Monique Fields, Illustrated by Yesenia Moises
A young biracial girl looks around her world for her color. She finally chooses her own, and creates a new word for herself―honeysmoke.
Simone wants a color.
She asks Mama, “Am I black or white?”
“Boo,” Mama says, just like mamas do, “a color is just a word.”
She asks Daddy, “Am I black or white?”
“Well,” Daddy says, just like daddies do, “you’re a little bit of both.”
For multiracial children, and all children everywhere, this picture book offers a universal message that empowers young people to create their own self-identity.
Simone knows her color―she is honeysmoke.(Ages 3–6)