Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress (2014), thoughtfully written by Christine Baldacchino and warmly illustrated in deep swirling oranges by Isabelle Malenfant, is my favorite of the many books about gender creative children published since Cheryl Kilodavis’s 2009 My Princess Boy.
Written and illustrated by Daniel W. Vandever, “Fall in Line, Holden!” (2017), subtly references the American government’s forceful separation of indigenous children from their families, community, and culture. Sent to boarding schools, indigenous children were required to adopt Western names, hairstyles, language, and culture in a violent effort at assimilation. […]
I love Zetta Elliott’s 2016 picture book Milo’s Museum. This book is clever, original, relatable, politically relevant, and sweet; in other words, everything I could want in a children’s book and a few things I need. Purple Wong’s detailed and deeply meaningful illustrations complement Elliott’s story brilliantly. Wong adds multiple […]
¡Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can! (2005), a bilingual text written by Diana Cohn and illustrated by Francisco Delgado, explores the Los Angeles Janitor Strike of 2010 from the perspective of a family participating in it. The text opens with the mother of a young boy, Carlitos, tucking him […]
I was initially attracted to Gwendolyn Brooks’ collection of poems, Bronzeville Boys and Girls, because I enjoy the author’s work for adult audiences. I was not disappointed. Originally published in 1956, when depictions of African Americans in children’s literature were even more dismal than they are now, Brooks managed to […]
With the help of a Kickstarter Campaign, Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist was published in 2012. As the title suggests, it is the obvious alphabet book choice for any budding social justice warrior’s collection.
Cheryl Kilodavis’s My Princess Boy (2009) is a non-fiction picture book based on her experiences raising her gender creative son. The illustrations are sweetly drawn by Suzanne DeSimone who depicts the cast of brown-skinned family members frolicking on rambling green hills over a cotton candy pink background. It is a […]
Marcus Ewert’s 10,000 Dresses is the story of Bailey, a transgender girl whose family members insist she is a boy even though she knows she’s a girl. Rex Ray illustrates the text, providing the reader access to Bailey’s psychic life by depicting her dreams and thoughts. The only disappointing part […]
In Thomas Scotto’s Jerome by Heart words are paired with Olivier Tallec‘s sweet illustrations to tell a story of prepubescent love. The first person narrative opens with an image of two boys holding hands while riding bikes. Oblivious to the world around them, the boys’ activity literally stops traffic, disrupting […]
Jessica Love’s Julian is a Mermaid celebrates gender expansive youth, femininity, and Brooklyn’s Mermaid Parade, which was founded by the non-profit arts organization, Coney Island USA, in 1983. The text opens with an image of Julián in a pool with five women; one of the women is his abuela. Julián […]