Storytime & Artmaking: Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

Take inspiration from Sonia Sotomayor's book Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You to create an accordion book garden. (While this activity is inspired by a book, you do not need to read the book to do the activity.)

About the Book

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful. In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges, and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Getting Started

  • Sonia and her friends are building a garden. Just like the plants, fruits, and vegetables in a garden are different, Sonia’s friends are different too!
  • Everyone is unique. What are some unique things about you?
  • What are some words that you use to describe yourself?


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers, color pencils, or crayons

Artmaking Activity

1. Fold paper in half lengthwise and cut down the center.

2. Fold paper in half widthwise.

3. Fold the top flap in half again, aligning the bottom edge to the top crease.

4. Flip the paper over and do the same to the other side. Your paper should look like a W when finished.

5. Draw your garden! How many different plants can we fit into our book?

6. Add in words that make you special!

Optional: Share your creations on social media with #AlbrightKnox and #MuseumFromHome!


Accordion book: a book that uses a single sheet of paper to create folds that look like a zig-zag line