My Own Way: Celebrating Gender Freedom for Kids

Wide Eyed Editions. Feb. 2022. 40p. adapted by adapted by Jay Hulme. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780711265868.
PreS-Gr 1–Estrela’s first book aims to dismantle stereotypical pat answers to the question, “What is gender?” Many of the sentiments here can be universally endorsed (“It’s your heart that matters most”), while others (“Boy or girl doesn’t cover everyone. You might be both...You might be none!”) may feel too easy or facile for proper discussion. Simple digital and wax crayon illustrations resemble a child’s drawings, with settings that are familiar—beach, stage, playing field—and colorful, as the emphasis on pink and blue gives way to yellow, green, and purple. Hulme, who is transgender, translated the very short text in rhyme; it focuses on enthusiastic assurances like, “You’ll find your way.” Although the admonition to “Be yourself, free and brave,” might not be so easy in some circumstances, this book will be embraced by those who find support in its views.
VERDICT Purchase where more titles are needed to expand collections about gender. An encouraging, cheerful introduction for younger children.

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