The Day You Begin

By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (illustrator),

Book cover of The Day You Begin

Book description

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked The Day You Begin as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Day You Begin is a lovely, lyrical reminder that we all have unique experiences and moments of not belonging, but we find connections through sharing our stories. Jacqueline Woodson’s repetitive phrase, “There will be times,” paired with the use of a 2nd person narrator, instantly draws us into the story. As a result, we feel part of the story as we think of times when we didn’t fit in or people didn’t understand our experience. So powerful!! I am a huge proponent of the power of sharing personal stories, and I often speak to groups about how sharing…

This book really spoke to me because of this line: “You walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” It’s not only about class or race or gender, it’s about everyone being special in their own way and about learning to appreciate the uniqueness of ourselves and that of others. I wish I could’ve read this book as a child.

From Brigita's list on new beginnings.

I am a big fan of Jacqueline Woodson’s books—and this one is my favorite of her picture books. I love the way the language flows from page to page, the way the text moves from one scene to another, always reminding the reader of how classmates can feel left out or out of place in everyday settings, and ending with a reminder that everyone has similarities, but also differences. The art is perfect—bright, vivid colors with just the right expressions on the children’s faces.

I love how the “untraveled” child sees the positive in staying home caring for her sister…

This beautiful picture book gently reassures the reader that the world will ‘make some space,’ for them if they dare to share their stories – even if their story is different. There is always a commonality in our diversity and we should seek to find both – what makes us alike, and different – because both are important pieces of who we are in the world.

From Tanya's list on diversity & inclusion.

We’ve all been that kid at school – the one who doesn’t quite fit in, the one who didn’t have the same summer vacation as the rest of the class, the one who’s eating something that the kids say “smells funny.” But how do you react when kids are being made to feel different because of fundamental characteristics – race, ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic levels, and how do you teach your kids to react? This book is beautifully told and illustrated, and each page provides another opportunity to have open conversations about difference, being upstanders, and true diversity and inclusion.…

This colorful book makes a wonderful back-to-school read to help all students feel welcome and important, regardless of how they spent their summer. Discussions of vacations, camp, and other excitement can leave some kids feeling left out. Woodson weaves emotion and joy into the experience that many children share: a summer spent at home with siblings. The words dance off the page thanks to the vivid illustrations. Great for first through third grade.

From Jessica's list on back to school.

This stunning picture book is for all of us who have ever felt like outsiders, ever felt scared to be in a group, to walk into a new place, a new situation. Woodson speaks right into your heart when she opens the book with “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” And the emotion in López’s characters will have you holding your breath.

I could gaze at Rafael López's artwork for hours and repeat the lyrical text over and over to let the wonder wash over me. Woodson…

From Whitney's list on mindfulness for young children.

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