Jack (Not Jackie) (2018), written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Holly Hatam, adds an important perspective to the existing archive of children’s picture books about transgender and gender creative kids. This thoughtfully told and cheerfully illustrated tale is narrated from the point-of-view of a girl experiencing her transgender younger brother come into his identity. In an article for Watermark Online, Ryan Williams-Jent, writes: “It’s the second picture book in a partnership between GLAAD—the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization—and Bonnier Publishing USA, which publishes over 150 books annually. The collaboration aims to integrate and elevate positive LGBTQ representation throughout children’s literature by releasing at least four titles annually.” Continue reading
They She He Me: Free to Be (2017), by Maya and Matthew Smith-Gonzalez, is a celebration of diversity in its many forms. People with different boy-types, skin-tones, and gender expressions are thoughtfully illustrated above a variety of pronouns that are repeated across the two-page spread. The text suggests that gender is not written on the body but is instead a personal identity that can change over time. It seeks to uncouple gender from the body while simultaneously troubling a gender binary. The creators provide lots of useful backmatter that explains gender, pronouns, and the importance of inclusivity. I think this is a lovely teaching aid that will encourage discussions about the social and personal dimensions of gender for all ages. Continue reading
Jamie is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way (2018), written by Afsaneh Moradian and illustrated by Maria Bogade, is the story of a non-binary child named Jamie’s first day at a new school.
Jamie has a gender ambiguous name, appearance, and choice in play. When they arrive at their new school wearing a red and white striped top with purple pants and red shoes, their brown hair cut short, their new peers end up reading their gender through their play preferences. Continue reading
Jessie’s Hat Collection (2018) was written, illustrated, and self-published by Nick Barnes. Jessie, the protagonist, is depicted with peach-skin, brown hair, and appears to be between eight and ten. Jessie’s Hat Collection is a story about Jessie’s gender transition. As such, it is one of very few existing books that explore the experience of transitioning from the point-of-view of a transgender boy. Continue reading