5 body inclusive books for kids to boost self-love and confidence
These body inclusive kids books will help every child feel seen and accepted
Children might not be able to articulate that sinking feeling of seeing yet another book or show where their body isn’t represented, but they will internalize it.
In fact, research shows kids need both “windows” and “mirrors” in the media they are exposed to. Books serve as mirrors that can reflect our culture and identity. Books are also windows into someone else’s experience and offer an introduction to the outside world.
These body inclusive books for kids will be a mirror for the kids that need to see themselves represented, and a window for kids that already see themselves reflected everywhere and need to broaden their worldview.
1) Bodies are Cool by Tyler Feder
Not only is this book a beautiful celebration of bodies of all shapes, colors and sizes, it also shows that there is no one “right” way to have a body. The book celebrates bodies with limb differences, tattoos, scars, body hair, freckles and more. Medical devices, like breathing tubes and insulin pumps, also make an appearance. Thanks to the many and varied illustrations, you and your child will enjoy poring over this book for hours and finding yourselves, and people you know and love, represented. “Big bodies, small bodies, Dancing, playing, happy bodies! Look at all these different bodies! Bodies are cool!”
2) Her Body Can by Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw
In this sweet rhyming story, we learn all the things the main character can do with her body—like dance, run and eat delicious foods—and that her worth is not determined by what people think of her, or the size and shape of her body. Girls get the message from a very young age that their worth is measured by how they look, and this book teaches the opposite: That girls’ values are not linked to their appearance. Rather, their bodies will propel them through life with strength and joy. “Her body is beautiful–strong, kind and wise. All bodies are lovely no matter their size.”
3) I am Enough by Grace Byers
With simple poetic language, this book explores our differences, our similarities and that we all have value. The main character in this book knows that she’s here on Earth to shine, to sing, to fly, to grow and rise above whatever hardships come her way. This book sends the message that whatever you want to be, you CAN be that. “I know that we don’t look the same—our skin, our eyes, our hair, our frame—but that does not dictate our worth, we both have places here on earth.”
4) Lovely by Jess Hong
Using simple, short sentences, this book captures what it means to be “lovely.” The story defines “lovely” as all the differences that make us each unique. Using opposites—short and tall, fluffy and sleek, black and white—the story shows that each of us is beautiful, unique, and makes the world a better place just by being ourselves. “Lovely is different, weird and wonderful.”
5) I like Myself By Karen Beaumont
This story takes a silly and unique approach to self-love, and it’s message is a powerful one. A little girl loves being herself—and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about that: She likes herself—because she’s her! She imagines all the scenarios that might be judged harshly by others, like people thinking she’s silly or looks messy. But she knows that even if she had purple polka dot lips, or spikes all down her spine, that she would still be proud to be herself. And that’s what matters most. “No matter if they stop and stare, no person ever, anywhere, can make me feel that what they see, is all there really is to me.”
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