Birthday Picture Books
Wednesday, May 10, 2023 Mr. Everett








Birthdays are a personal holiday of sorts. A time when we can get to celebrate ourselves. How do you celebrate you?Because there’s a lot to celebrate! In this article I feature books about celebrating you in different ways because there’s only one you. Maybe you’d like to celebrate your creativity, kind heart, imagination, self-compassion, or something else that is uniquely you. Whatever it is and whether it’s your birthday or not, I encourage you to take a little time and celebrate YOU.


“Run, Little Chaski! An Inka Trail Adventure” written by Mariana Llanos, illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
A story about how taking the time to be kind isn’t an inconvenience, but rather an admirable quality that adds to all we do. The main character is training to be a Chaski, “a royal messenger during Inka times”. He is instructed to be strong, swift, sharp, and to not disappoint. That’s a lot of pressure for Little Chaski. Along the way to deliver the message he displays how he is strong, swift, and sharp through his kind actions and it is those kind acts that help him deliver the message in the end. How do you demonstrate your kind heart? 


“I Talk Like a River” written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith
Based on the author’s experience as a child, we walk a day in the shoes of a child who has “bad speech days” because of their stutter. At school they experience isolation and embarrassment of being different from everyone else. With the help of their dad they realize that they are not alone and don’t need to feel embarrassed. In fact, they feel pride in how they “talk like a river” and in the end that gives them the confidence to express themselves without shame in front of their classmates. What’s something you’re proud of?


“Herizon” written by Daniel W. Vandever, illustrated by Corey Begay
In this award-winning wordless picture book we discover just how powerful our imagination can be. Daniel W. Vandever (Diné) tells the story of a Diné girl who uses a magical scarf to rescue a flock of sheep from hungry wolves. But how can one person do all of this? What she finds is that she is not alone. With the help of her grandmother, butterflies, horses, a river, local kids, and of course her magic scarf she braves the journey and realizes this is just the beginning of imagining a better future for everyone. With the power of your imagination, what future would you like to see and how might you bravely champion for that future?


“I Can Help” written by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Mikela Prevost
Celebrating you isn’t about thinking of all the times you were perfect or did everything right. In part, it’s about accepting yourself even when you don’t do everything right, just like Zahra learns in this story. Zahra loves helping one of her classmates, Kyle, until some kids in her class make her doubt herself and one day she teases Kyle instead of helping. She isn’t proud of herself for teasing him. Did she let this one mistake define her? No, instead she practices self-compassion and realizes that she has the agency to use her voice to help others, regardless of outside influence. And that’s something she can be proud of. How do you use your voice to help others?


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