Just The Way You Are
by Marcus Pfister 

Themes: Celebrating Diversity, Self-Worth Just_The_Way_You_Are.jpg

Grade: pre-K - 3

Story Synopsis: There is a party tonight in the jungle, and all the animals are abuzz talking about it. Each dreams of being a little more like another animal, but is reassured by a friend that “I like you just the way you are.” Ultimately, the animals realize the folly of their silly wishes for transformation, and learn to take pride in just being themselves. Clever use of die-cut pages and textured illustrations lets the reader see comical images of each animal’s dreams: a lion with a toucan’s beak, an elephant hopping like a kangaroo, a hedgehog colorful as a chameleon, and more.

Why We Love This Book: A key feature of all Peaceful People lessons is giving students opportunities to practice positive social skills. We love the light-hearted tone of this book and the repetition of the affirmation “I like you just the way you are.” Young students laugh at the illustrations, and love calling out the refrain. The message that each individual can be proud of who s/he is, and has the power to help others appreciate their own special qualities, makes this a great selection for lessons on Self-Worth and Celebrating Diversity in our communities.

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