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Grade 1 Books Overview

I Like Me - Nancy Carlson

The Little Engine That Could - Watty Piper

Giraffes Can't Dance - Giles Andreae

Wolf! - Becky Bloom

Grade 1 Discontinued Books

Doggie In The Window - Elaine Arsenault (Discontinued)

I Like Me – Nancy Carlson

I Like Me!

Written by Nancy Carlson


This book is about kindness and focuses on the uniqueness of each person. Its message is that it is okay to be unique and different and that it’s important to appreciate the differences we see in others. The main character is a piggy that wakes up each morning with a great attitude about herself. She really likes who she is, including what she looks like, what she likes to do each day, and what she’s good at.


  • positive self-talk
  • resilient
  • perseverance
  • kindness



Before Reading

Have a discussion about being unique.

  • It is important that we are aware that we are all different, which is perfectly okay.
  • It is important that we get up each day liking ourselves for who we are. “It’s okay to be me!”

Brainstorm qualities the students have that make them each unique or different.

Example: Brainstorm things that each student can do:

  • Run fast
  • Ride a bike
  • Ice skate
  • Kick a soccer a ball
  • Draw pictures
  • Eat good food

Explain that this story is about a character who is unique and who really likes herself.

During or After Reading: 

Discuss specific topics the main character touches on throughout the story:

Taking Care of Ourselves is important

  • Tell the students that when you take good care of yourself, you also feel better and this helps keep us positive and enjoying ourselves. For example, the character brushes her teeth, has regular baths, and eats good food. Talk about why it is important to do things like brush our teeth, keep clean, and eat well.

Be Your Own Best Friend

  • The book begins with the character stating that she likes who she is. The character says she is her own best friend. When you are your own best friend, you can do things on your own, not always with others and still be happy. In this case, the character draws beautiful pictures.

We all Have Unique Skills

  • This character can do things that many of the students can do as well, such as riding a bicycle and reading good books.

We all Have Unique Features

  • The character talks about her features: curly tail, round tummy, tiny little feet. Talk about how each one of us is different and it is okay to be different and we should like things about ourselves.

Introduce the Concept of Resilience

  • The character talks about days when she does not always feel good. Sometimes we can have a low day even though we are not really sick. We just feel a little low in energy and enthusiasm. It is important to try to cheer ourselves up. Ask the students if they have ever tried to cheer themselves up.
  • As well, talk about making mistakes in life and how it is also okay to make mistakes. We learn by our mistakes and that we should not feel badly when we make a mistake.

Introduce the Concept of Positive Self-Talk

  • When the character gets up in the morning and says, “Hi, good looking!,” tell the students that what she is doing is called ‘positive self-talk’.
  • Explain to the students that it is very important that the messages in our heads are positive all day long, but especially first thing in the morning. This helps us start the day being in a good mood and liking ourselves.

Introduce the Concept of Perseverance

  • Finally, when things don’t always work out the way we would like, sometimes we have to keep trying. Introduce the word, ‘perseverance’ to the students and discuss examples of ways that students have persevered.


Fin’s Tales:

I really like to play hockey and I’m quite good at it. The other day I was playing against a team that wasn’t being very nice to me. They were making fun of me because I am a whale, and they shouted “Whales can’t play hockey!” This made me feel sad.

What should I do?

  • Should I yell mean things back at the other team?
  • Should I believe them – that whales can’t really play hockey?
  • Or, should I be calm and speak kind words to them?
  • Should I try to be peaceful with them to solve the problem?


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