Neither by Airlie Anderson
A special animal learns that it is good to be different!
When I moved to New York, I was a little worried about fitting in at my new school and making friends. As I walked into school for the first time, I was surprised at how welcoming and friendly everyone was. I was finally able to find a community that accepted me for who I was and encouraged me to be myself which I struggled to find at my old school. The book Neither explores this common struggle and emphasizes how important it is to be yourself and embrace your differences in a way that is easy for children to understand.
Neither is a delightful story that takes place in the Land of This and That where there are only blue rabbits and yellow birds. When a green character is born, who is not quite a bird but not quite a rabbit either, the creature doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. Feeling excluded, Neither leaves the Land of This and That and stumbles upon the Land of All - where everyone is accepted. In the Land of All, Neither is able to play with all sorts of creatures including a striped half dog half fish, an orange fox pig, and even a blue rhino with a unicorn horn!
Neither is a simple story that tackles difficult topics such as inclusivity, forgiveness, and embracing differences. Social-emotional learning opportunities, like those presented in Neither, are so important in raising confident, strong children who aren’t afraid to be themselves. You can find Neither at your local library here. If you like Neither, you might also be interested in checking out our app Me: A Kid's Diary which encourages kids to process and reflect on their emotions and feelings.