Friday, November 20, 2015

Jacob's New Dress - A picture book about a gender non-conforming little boy that I wish had been read to me when I was a little kid!

Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case

Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. And the story starts out with him wearing the pink dress in the dress-up corner, pretending to be a princess.

Some kids at school say he can't wear "girl" clothes, but Jacob really wants to wear a dress to school. He asks his parents, and then asks again, and eventually, he and his mom make him a dress.

He's confronted by the boy who says he shouldn't wear dresses, and stands up for himself.

All in all, it's a really sweet story (with charming illustrations) about being authentic, even if that makes other people uncomfortable. I really like how Jacob doesn't waver – he knows what he wants, and he's consistent. It's really Jacob's parents who have the journey of coming around from hesitantly supportive to encouragingly supportive, enabling Jacob to have his moment (and, we expect, future) of authenticity. He's a boy in a dress, a gender non-conforming kid, and that's just fine...

I do wish this had been read to me when I was a little kid. That message of authenticity would have resonated then, as it does now.

Add your review of "Jacob's New Dress" in comments!

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