It’s Okay to Be Different

by Todd Parr
Grade PreK-1


This book delivers a feel-good, positive message about acceptance and understanding. The brightly colored simple pictures and repetitive text work together to call attention to superficial differences and encourage readers to focus on acceptance and individuality. The child-friendly format feature’s Todd Parr’s trademark bold, bright colors and silly illustrations. This book is a great way to start the conversation about diversity with young students.

Discussion questions from SOMN

  • Before reading the book with the class, introduce the idea of differences/similarities by asking the group to respond to several of the following statements: Stand up if you have freckles/red hair/have lost a tooth/are wearing sneakers, etc. Then ask the children to think of other ways we are different from each other and ways are we alike.
  • Read the book, stopping to ask if anyone knows someone who is like a given character. Which, if any, characters are like you?
  • Look at the last page of the book. It reads: “It’s OK to be different. You are special and important just because of being who you are.” Share one thing about yourself that you think makes you special and important.

Classroom activities from SOMN

  • Print out and color these coloring sheets as a class.
  • Make a T chart: What makes us different/What makes us the same. Brainstorm until there are several examples on each side of the chart. Save this for the next activity.
  • Review the book and the chart. Write the sentence model “It’s okay to ____” on the board. Tell the class that each student will use that model to create at least 1 page of a class It’s Okay book. Encourage students to illustrate their pages using the bright, bold colors of the book. Allow all to share their work, then compile the pages into a class book.