Tall bodies, short. Blue eyes, brown. Dark skin, light. Curly hair, straight. Big families, small.

We are all unique and special.

This month for our a Read a Day Challenge, we are going to be reading books that celebrate and discuss these many things than make each of us ME. As you read these, and others, make sure to tag #aReadaDay to share your favorites!

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September Challenge: All about ME

1. Read a Book about Our Bodies: The Great Big Body Book by Mary Hoffman

A thorough look at bodies from birth to death and everything in between. Spend time with a preschooler and you know that they are bursting with questions about themselves and everything around them. The Great Big Body Book does an excellent job at answering many of these questions. What’s the difference between a boy and a girl? Why are some people big and some are small? Why do we get sick sometimes? This book is full of interesting information, quirky facts, humorous illustrations, and a wealth of new vocabulary for your little inquisitive learner. This is one of those books that your child will pour over for hours.

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2. Read a Book about Faces: What I Like About Me by Allia Zobel Nolan

Cute book about being proud of who you are and celebrating what makes us unique. Full disclosure it is not just about faces, although things like braces and glasses are mentioned, but that cover bursting with faces and the mirror at the end to peek at your child’s made it fit enough for me.

Read that and then make these super fun play dough faces!

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3. Author Spotlight: by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is one of the biggest names in children’s book right now. His books are the kind that make kids laugh so hard they fall off their chairs. What started with a pigeon is now a collection of incredible books from board book to easy readers to picture books. Something for every little one.

The first book by Mo Willems that I read, like most people, was Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. However, the first one I absolutely fell in love with and still probably my favorite is Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleI love how photographs and drawings are combined for the illustrations. I also love the simple childhood moment that is captured with perfect emotions.

Visit Mo’s Site: www.mowillems.com

4. Read a Book about Fingers or Toes: Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

This was one of our favorite books to read at bedtime when my littles were babies. It is a simple story by the amazing Fox that embraces the universality on babies combined with soft illustrations by the also great Oxenbury.

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5. Read the First Book You Pull off the Library Shelf

Don’t look, just grab one – or better yet – have your child pick one.

6. Read a Book about Hair: The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is a laugh out loud silly book about a girl and her incredible hair. I mean, with a name like Fleefenbacher how can it not be awesome. It is a book about uniqueness and finding where you fit.

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7. Read a Book about Muscles or Bones: The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole

We love the Magic School Bus books in general but this one is a real favorite. The class and the delightful Ms. Frizzle go on an adventure inside Arnold’s body.

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More Learning Ideas –> How Bodies Move Mini-Unit

8. Read a Book about Skin Color: Shades of People by Shelley Rotner

Illustrated with beautiful photos of children, this is a great book for discussing skin color. It gracefully broaches the topic of similarities and differences in a child friendly way that encourages conversation.

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Read + Sing –> 10 Fun Preschool Songs about Body Parts

9. Read a Book about Being Different: The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca

For any child who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in, Temple Grandin is a name to know. Temple was diagnosed with Autism when she was young and this book shares her story from birth to present. I love the straightforward honesty with which her story is presented. The rhyming text adds a bounce and poetry to her story, but her childhood is not glossed over and her difficulties never ignored. The balance of struggles and successes helps to emphasize her strength and perseverance. Now a bestselling author, scientist and advocate, Temple shows little kids everywhere that they are “Different, not less.”

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10. Author Spotlight: Helen Oxenbury

Helen Oxenbury is one of the most lovely illustrators in children’s books. You can see her impressive list of books on GoodReads. She’s on my list of Go-Buy-Now whenever a new book with her name is released.

I love everything Oxenbury signs her name to. When my twins were babies they adored these mini-board books. She also illustrated Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes listed above by Mem Fox and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt among many other amazing picture books.

Watch her in action: YouTube Video

11. Write and Read Names

Writing your name is one of those skills to check off before you enter kindergarten. Practice writing your child’s today and reading it aloud. Get creative – write it with markers, dabbers, stickers, out of playdough or in the sandbox.

12. Read a Caldecott Honor Book: Owen by Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes has a lot of delightful books but this is one of the best. Owen has a blanket. His parents and his nosy neighbor has all sort of strategies but he doesn’t want to let it go.

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13. Read a Book about a Boy: Oliver by Birgitta Sif

It was harder than I was expecting to find a good book with a non-animal male lead character on our shelves so I would love some recommendations. This is a sweet story about a little boy named Oliver who is a little different.

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14. Read a Book about a Girl: Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Oh I love this one. There are few characters as feisty and delightful as Molly Lou Melon. She is certainly unique but she channels her grandma’s wisdom into stand tall in school.

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15. Read a Book about Feelings: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

There are a ton of great books about feelings, but this is one of my absolute favorites for toddlers and younger preschoolers. I love the way the feelings are compared to colors and I love the gorgeous paintings. This is a fabulous one to read aloud with lots of emotion.

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Get More Ideas –> All About Me Story Time + Unit Pinterest Board

16. Read a Book with the Letter Y: Yawn by Nick Sharratt

I love the bold, die cut illustrations by Sally Symes. When they are paired with Sharratt’s playful story about the infectious nature of yawns you really can’t beat this story time favorite.

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17. Author Spotlight: Margaret Wild

Margaret Wild is an Australian children’s book author with a huge range. Her writing has been paired with some incredible illustrators and we have yet to see one that we didn’t love. She has tackled some difficult topics from the lose of a dog to internment camps in her 30+ year career with impressive grace.

I enjoyed this interview with Margaret Wild for learning a bit more.

Puffling 

When I asked my kids to vote, Puffling was the unanimous favorite. It’s a sweet story about the first life of a little puffling. Beautiful art and gentle story about growing up and letting go.

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18. Read a Book about Family: A Chair for My Mama by Vera B, Williams

This childhood favorite and Caldecott Honor Book is like a big hug. It is the story of a daughter, her mom and her grandma. It is about the simple things that make a house a home. It is about community. And mostly it is about the love of a family.

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19. Read a Book about Missing Someone: Don’t Want to Go! By Shirley Hughes

Ever drop off your child and leave them less than happy? And then pick them up later and they aren’t ready to leave? If that sounds familiar then you’ll understand this sweet, childhood story perfectly.

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20. Read at Dinner

Mealtimes are one of our favorite times to read. Breakfast is the biggest reading time in our house. I love to attempt slightly longer books with my kids while they are busy eating. This worked especially well when they were toddlers.

21. Read a Book about Brothers and Sisters: Annie Rose is My Little Sister by Shirley Hughes

Alfie and Annie Rose are definitely the favorite siblings in our house, but I’m looking forward to other books you find to fit this one. This is a sweet collection of stories and poems about Annie Rose and her brother Alfie. Typical childhood captured with Hughes’ magical touch.

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22. Read a Book about Long Ago: Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

This is the true story of Winnie the Pooh and a quite remarkable one at that. In 1914, a veterinarian named Harry Colebourn was headed to World War I when he came across a bear cub and rescued her. It turns the beloved British Winnie the Pooh was a girl bear named Winnepeg who was born in Canada. Harry’s great-granddaughter tells this fascinating story that spans from Canada across the ocean to England where Winnie ultimately meets the real Christopher Robin at the London Zoo. The Caldecott Winner is filled with heart and friendship and the most incredible journey to the stories that have won the hearts of millions of children.

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23. Facetime a Relative to Share a Story

Have a friend or relative that lives far away? See if they’ll share a picture book with your child via Facetime or other video chatting.

24. Author Spotlight: Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett is a British author with a whole shelf worth of beautiful books. She is an author / illustrator which always wows me. I think it is the gentleness of her illustrations and the playful imagination of her stories that we love the most.

Visit Emily Gravett’s Online: www.emilygravett.com

Monkey and Me

This is a great book for animal lovers. A little girl and her monkey imitate different animals and bounce across the page. Great one to read with toddlers and up.

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25. Read a Book that is Your Child’s Favorite Color

Blue, red, pink and purple are the favorites in our house right now. See if your kid can find a book that is their favorite color.

26. Read a Book of Poems: Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian

This one has my six year old twins giggling non-stop right now. Silly, short poems that are perfect for a brief read aloud or for hunkering down and reading page after page.

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27. Read a Book about a Favorite Dessert: Wemberly’s Ice-Cream Star by Kevin Henkes

Oh so many treats to choose from. We love this sweet collection of board books, but this one is our favorite.

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28. Read a Book That Fits in Your Hand

Itty books that fit in their hands were some of their favorites when they were little.

29. Read a Lift the Flap Book: Where is Baby’s Yummy Tummy? by Karen Katz

This sweet little baby board book is perfect for older babies and toddlers, but my kids liked it well into their preschool years as well. Katz’s bouncy, colorful illustrations are delightful.

Find the Set Online

30. Make a Book about Your Child

Print out some photos and make your child a simple book about themselves.

When my twins were little these were their favorite books. I made theirs with Pinhole Press because it was super fast and easy. I did however make a couple using these super simple ideas.

Your kid will love finding their face, remembering events, and spotting family members in your homemade book, however you make it.

All about Me Bookstack for our September Reading Challenge for families on My Storytime Corner

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