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
Phoenix Goes to School (2018) is written by mother and daughter team Michelle and Phoenix Finch and illustrated by Sharon Davey. The story is based on the experiences of co-author Phoenix Finch, a gender non-conforming transgender girl, as she prepares for her first day of school.
Phoenix’s gender identity is affirmed at home but she is worried about wearing a dress to school. Her supportive mother helps her process her anxiety and find the confidence to be herself. Once at school, Phoenix is accepted by her peers and makes many new friends. Continue reading
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship (2016), written by Jessica Walton and illustrated by Dougal MacPherson, is a whimsical and accessible picture book about gender expression and the power of self-identification. The teddy bear protagonist does everything with a friend named Errol. They climb trees, play in their garden, and have tea parties. Continue reading
A Girl Named Adam (2019), written by Jordan Scavone and illustrated by C.N.J. Zing, tells the story of a young girl begrudgingly adjusting to her best friend’s transition at the start of fourth grade. Few stories that focus on transgender children are available, and Scavone’s story is the first I have read that focuses on the discomfort and jealousy of a young girl whose good friend is transitioning.
The story opens with the narrator, Annie, and her best friend, referred to through most of the narration as Adam, going back-to-school shopping with Annie’s mom. Annie didn’t want to go shopping with a “boy,” but her mom forces her to “be nice” and invite Adam along. Continue reading
Here’s a list of books I’ve reviewed about kids who reject gender norms. Check out the reviews and commit to adding one to your personal or school library!!
I’m reviewing LGBTQ# inclusive children’s picture books at RaiseThemRighteous.
If you are an author/publisher (traditional/indie/self-published) contact me for a review and to learn more about my book project!
This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!
Are You a Boy or a Girl? (2015), co-written by Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher, who is also the picture book’s illustrator, is the story of nonbinary Tiny. Tiny and their family, who are illustrated with various skin-tones, move to a new home where no one knows Tiny. They experience bullying at their new school, but that’s not the whole story. Continue reading
When Kayla was Kyle (2013), written by Amy Fabrikant and illustrated by Jennifer Levine, is a thoughtful book about an unhappy transgender child who bravely confides her gender identity to her parents and begins to transition.
At the start of the book, Kayla’s father polices her gender by pressuring her to play basketball with boys even though she is clearly uncomfortable with masculine gender expression. Although her mother is loving she does not understand what Kayla is experiencing and is unable to support her. Continue reading