Even though Just the Way You Are by Marcus Pfister (creator of The Rainbow Fish) is a simple story and certainly not a new one it landed itself on my list of inspiring children’s book finds.
The message it holds is important enough for children to learn that we can never reinforce it too often.
All of you former children out there (yes, I’m talking to you) know that as we grow up we can always find plenty of opportunities to feel unworthy.
In Just the Way You Are, Lion believes he’s somehow not good enough to attend his friends’ party. If only Lion had a beak and wings just like Toucan…
As we turn the page, colorful, giggle invoking illustrations show us just how silly that would look. Thank goodness Lion’s good friend Hedgehog likes him just the way he is.
Does Toucan want to be more impressive somehow with the qualities of someone else? Yep, but see how funny he looks with the strength and trunk of an elephant. Thank goodness Toucan’s good friend Chameleon likes him just the way he is.
Yes, we’re all guilty of it at some point, thinking we’d be better than we are if only we were stronger, faster, smarter, taller, shorter, skinnier, funnier, braver, anything -er. Since thoughts of inadequacy can easily plague us early in life there’s no time like the present; let’s keep contradicting children’s unfounded notion that they aren’t already enough.
Just the Way You Are is a quick read and a great book to add to your arsenal of secret empowerment tools for kids. By the way, moms, dads, and grandparents, we happen to like YOU just the way you are.