When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt
by Molly Bang
The Blue Sky Press, 2015
A story for those who see the world differently and are sensitive to others who don’t.
Sophie loves her tree and when her teacher asks her to paint its picture, she is ever so excited to do so. She visits the tree and studies its every feature. The next day she paints the trunk of her tree gray, the color it is, but the color makes her sad. That’s not how she feels about her tree. She paints the trunk blue and she feels happy. She paints the sky orange and makes her own color for the leaves. One classmate declares she did it wrong—a tree isn’t blue, and the sky isn’t orange. Sophie feels hurt. The teacher asks Sophie to talk about her picture. Sophie says the color blue makes her feel good and strong. Her teacher agrees, the color makes her feel good and strong, too. Each classmates looks at their classmate’s picture to find the special parts of each. Feeling about her picture and her day, she affirms, “…she loves just being Sophie.”
An affirming book, reinforcing each child’s uniqueness and acceptance of others different from ourselves.
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Red, A Crayon’s Story
by Michael Hall
Greenwillow Books, 2015
Mislabeled, a red crayon cannot perform as others expect him to. When he draws a fire engine and it is not red, his teacher says he needs more practice. Yellow suggests they make an orange, but it turns an unexpected green. “He’s got to press harder,” says Army Green. But, alas, Red just can’t make the color red.
Then one day, Berry sees Red for who he really is and asks him to make an ocean for his boat. Red says he cannot, but Berry encourages him to do so. Red finally does and he makes a wonderful blue ocean. Accepted for who he is and able to express himself freely, Red makes a bluebird, a blue whale, blueberries and even a glorious blue sky! He is free to be himself, at last!
Living my life as an extrovert instead of the quiet child I am, I understood this story on an intuitive level. I loved it! It speaks to anyone who is trying to be someone they are not.
Read the many reviews on Amazon from teachers and librarians who have had great success using the story as a teaching point on differences.
If you like this review, check out Exclamation Mark, which follows a similar theme of fitting in when you’re different.
Read reviews on Amazon.