Written by Jason Martinez and illustrated by Karen Winchester the self-published My Mommy is a Boy (2013) is a short picture book told from the point-of-view of a little girl named Amaya whose parent is transitioning. The amateurish illustrations and use of the “she” pronoun throughout detract from the story and confused the four-year-old I shared it with. He didn’t understand why Amaya kept referring to her parent as “mommy” and using she/her/hers pronouns, since he was a man.
It is a bit jarring.
Although the author notes on the back cover that he wrote the book for his daughter to “show her that I care about how she feels and to show her how much I love her” the confusion his daughter may have experienced, confusion he tried to convey, doesn’t translate well to helping other children understand the gender transition of a parent. Continue reading
Sam!, Penny Candy Books’ upcoming release about a transgender boy’s decision to share his gender identity with his family, is thoughtfully written by Dani Gabriel and warmly illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo. The story centers on a racially ambiguous family, all with thick dark hair and tan skin warmed by yellow undertones. This makes it one of only a handful of queer children’s books to engage both racial and gender diversity through major characters. Continue reading
What Riley Wore (2019), written by Elana K. Arnold, explores the creativity and sensitivity of a nonbinary/gender creative child as they navigate everyday life from the dentist’s office to the playground. This accessible children’s picture book is colorfully and cartoonishly illustrated by Linda Davick with a touch of whimsy that doesn’t detract from the text’s realism. Continue reading
Like most children’s picture books that feature transgender children, Sophie Labelle’s 2013 publication, A Girl Like Any Other, was self-published with the help of crowdfunding. Readers are introduced to a quirky young girl who shares what it is like being transgender in this first-person-narrative which is sure to reflect many young children’s experiences. Continue reading
All I Want To Be Is Me (2011), written and illustrated by Phyllis Rothblatt, MFT, is a sweet book that affirms the value of gender diversity. Rothblatt uses brief vignettes with text taken from song lyrics as well as emotionally evocative images to communicate her celebratory message. Some of the racially diverse gender creative children depicted identify as transgender while others take a more ambivalent approach to gender identification. Continue reading
A Princess of Great Daring (2015), written by Tobi Hill-Meyer and illustrated by Elenore Toczynski, is about a transgender girl named Jamie and her friends.
Jamie has not seen her friends all summer and plans on telling them about her gender identity. Her two moms drop her off at her friend’s house as all of her buddies are starting to play a game. They will be princes and will save a princess form distress. Jamie says she would like to be a princess and the boys are excited to have someone to rescue, but she interrupts the traditional narrative declaring that she will be “a princess of great daring.” Concerned that they will have no one to rescue, one of the boys, Liam, volunteers to be captured by a dragon. Continue reading