What Boys Do

Magination Pr. Nov. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781433836794.
K-Gr 2–Rhyming text in question format (not all of which scans well) suggests the varied ways to be a boy: “Do you share a story or something to eat? Notice your feelings when you gather and meet?” While some of the ideas are concrete, such as making rockets or art, most are abstract. “Do you nurture others by helping them grow?” is paired with an illustration of a brown-skinned boy marking the height of a friend on a wall. The line and wash illustrations with a diverse and differently abled crew of wonderfully expressive boys and girls does not save the one-note, repetitive tone of the text. A reader’s note provides suggestions for supporting boys to grow beyond traditionally gendered roles.
VERDICT The tone and intent of this title aimed at boys may be useful in a counseling environment, with the questions stimulating discussion, but for general use it is an additional purchase.

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