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It’s Okay To Be Different – Todd Parr 


It’s okay to need some help.
It’s okay to be a different color.
It’s okay to talk about your feelings.

From the bestselling author Todd Parr comes a reassuring book about being who you are. 

Cultural notes

Told with Todd Parr’s signature wit and wisdom, It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format. The book features the bold, bright colors and silly scenes that made Todd a premiere voice for emotional discussions in children’s literature. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence–and it’s never to early to develop a healthy self-esteem.

It’s Okay to be Different is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, and promote character growth.

Suggested activities

Books/ Story time:

Group/ Circle Time:

  • Hair, hair everywhere helps children learn about different hair types related to ethnic groups. 
    Print and laminate photographs of different hairstyles, types, and hair care products
    Ask children to identify the different types of hair by talking about hair texture and curl. For example, some people have fine, thin hair while others have thick, coarse hair. Some people have straight hair and some people have curly hair. Talk about how people have different hair colors, lengths, and styles. Discuss how to care for different types of hair and which types of hair care products children use. Take photos of each child’s hair and make a collage of different hairstyles.

Art & Craft: 

  • After reading ‘It’s Okay To Be Different’ encourage children to draw their own self portraits. Provide a variety of materials, colours and mirrors for children to use. Ask children to pick one thing that makes them special and include this below their self portraits. Display the portraits around the centre.

Dramatic Play:

  • Ensure your dramatic play section includes clothing from a range of different cultures, in particular those that are represented within your organisation. Have children try on the various items of clothing and discuss the culture that wears each one and why/how that style of clothing was created. Place the items in the dramatic play area so that children can wear the clothing as part of their play scenarios.
  • Introduce felt boards, finger puppets and magnet boards representing people from different cultures and with different abilities

Puzzles/ Games:

  • Provide simple puzzles that represent diversity – including diversity of culture, gender and abilities

Community Engagement

  • Invite community organisations to visit your service – Guide Dogs Australia offer free sessions where they come out and teach children all about people with vision impairments, including what other people can do to help. They bring along a Guide Dog, as well as letting children put on clouded glasses to see what it is like to have low vision
  • Invite emergency services to attend your service, challenging children’s perceptions through inviting female police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to share their profession with the children.

External Links

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.