You are welcome here.

You are welcome here…exactly as you are.

You are welcome here. In fact, absolutely everyone is welcome here!

Isn’t this the message that we want all students to hear/see/feel the first time they walk into our classrooms? A feeling that they are welcome, that they are safe, that they are accepted.

I have compiled a list of some picture book titles that you might consider using at the beginning of the school year, to help foster a feeling of inclusion and acceptance for all students.

Book cover of All Are Welcome.

All Are Welcome

Written by Alexandra Penfold, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

This book follows a group of children through a school day. A school day where it doesn’t matter what you wear, what you eat or where you come from. A beautiful story that celebrates all children, their families, and their traditions.

Book cover image.

Where Oliver Fits

Written and Illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Oliver is a puzzle piece who is trying desperately to fit in, even to the point of losing sight of who he is. It takes some time, but Oliver eventually learns that if he stays true to who he is, he will eventually find where he belongs.

book cover image.

Albie Newton

Written by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Ester Garay

Albie Newton is an energetic, inventing genius who takes his preschool by storm. Oblivious to the fact that he is upsetting his classmates and creating chaos in the classroom, Albie sets out to create a new invention. Albie’s classmates soon realize that Albie is not meaning to cause harm, and they accept Albie (and his amazing invention).

Book cover image.

Strictly No Elephants

Written by Lisa Mantchev, Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

When the Pet Club won’t allow elephants to come in, a boy must show his pet elephant that true friends are accepting and that together they can find others who will accept them for exactly who they are.

book cover image

One of a Kind

Written and Illustrated by Chris Gorman

Though often misunderstood, the main character of this book likes to express himself in his own unique way. From the clothes he wears to his music choices, his selections are often difficult for others to understand. Though lonely at times, he stays true to himself and finds others who share a similar style and interests.

So, as a new school year begins, we must make sure that our message is loud and clear to ALL students:

You are welcome here.

You are welcome here…exactly as you are.

You are welcome here.