Everybody has a body! Even at a young age, kids notice bodies (their abilities and differences) and start asking questions about how bodies work. Here are some picks for cultivating a sense of awareness of our amazing, fascinating, and sometimes bizarre bodies to share with toddlers and preschoolers.
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The Human Body / by Carron Brown
From the air we breathe and the food we eat, to the muscles that help us move and the heart that pumps our blood, the hidden wonders of the human body are revealed.
Power Up / by Seth Fishman
An exploration of the relationship between the human body and all the energy that it takes to make it go.
Under Our Clothes: Our First Talk About Our Bodies / by Jillian Roberts
In this illustrated nonfiction picture book, child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts introduces young readers to the ideas of body safety and body image.
Who Has What? / by Robie Harris
Humorous illustrations, conversations between the siblings, and a clear text all reassure young kids that whether they have a girl’s body or a boy’s, their bodies are perfectly normal, healthy, and wonderful.
YOUR BODY IS AWESOME
Beautifully Me / by Nabela Noor
Zubi, a happy Bangladeshi girl, is excited about her first day of school, but at breakfast she is puzzled by her mother and older sister worrying about being “too big,” and even at school she hears other people criticizing each other’s bodies, and she starts to worry that maybe something is wrong with how she looks.
Bodies Are Cool / by Tyler Feder
Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text celebrate bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, with different kinds of hair, eyes, spots, scars, and more.
Eyes That Speak to the Stars / by Joanna Ho
A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers’ after seeing his friend’s drawing of them. After talking to his father, the boy realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before.
Beautiful photos of real-life families showcase all the wonderful forms of hair, while poetic text builds both vocabulary and family connection.
I Love Me! / by LaRonda Gardner Middlemiss
Through illustrations and simple, rhyming text a group of children celebrates their own bodies, pointing out how their diverse arms bend and fold, their teeth shine, and more.
Laxmi’s Mooch / Shelly Anand
After Laxmi’s friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance.
Magnificent Homespun Brown : a Celebration / by Samara Cole Doyon
Joyful young narrators celebrate feeling at home in one’s own skin.
Stellar Hair / Yesenia Moises
Stella travels planet to planet visiting her aunties looking for a stellar hairdo for the Big Star Little Gala, but she is not convinced by any of their suggestions.
Your Body is Awesome: Body Respect for Children / by Sigrún Daníelsdóttir
Shows how our bodies come in different sizes, shapes, and colors and suggests all the things bodies can do and how to take good care of them.
CONSENT: YOUR CHOICE
Don’t Touch My Hair / by Sharee Miller
Aria loves her soft and bouncy hair, but must go to extremes to avoid people who touch it without permission until, finally, she speaks up.
Don’t Hug Doug / by Carrie Finison
Doug prefers not to be hugged, but there are a variety of other ways his loved ones can show him affection.
A Girl’s Bill of Rights / by Amy Mucha
In a world where little girls must learn to stand tall, A Girl’s Bill of Rights boldly declares the rights of every woman and girl: power, confidence, freedom, and consent.
Rissy No Kissies / by Katey Howes
A love bird who doesn’t like kisses? Rissy’s friends and family wonder if she’s sick, confused, or rude. But kisses make Rissy uncomfortable. Can she show everyone there’s not one right way to share affection?
Will Ladybug Hug? / by Hilary Leung
Ladybug is a great hugger. But will her friends let her hug? Find out in this surprising book all about consent.
More Than Fluff / by Madeline Valentine
Daisy the chick is cute, fluffy, soft, and tired of others hugging and petting her, so her mother suggests she tell them what she would prefer, such as a wing bump or a pinkie shake.