FICTION

Sparkle Boy

illus. by Maria Mola. 32p. Lee & Low. May 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781620142851.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—When older sister Jessie shows off her shimmery accessories, little brother Casey wants them, too, even if Jessie disapproves of sparkles on boys. In three repetitive vignettes featuring the siblings, Jessie appeals in turn to their mom, dad, and Abuelita to back up her claim that boys can't have what she has. In each case, the adult hesitates but ultimately affirms that Casey may wear a skirt, nail polish, and a bracelet if he likes. This delights Casey while making his sister increasingly grumpy. In the fourth and final tale, other children at the library misgender Casey and say that "everyone will laugh at" his clothes. Of course, in the grand tradition of older siblings everywhere, Jessie decides that no one else is permitted to tease or judge her younger brother, and she paints Casey's nails herself when they return home. Mola's winsome pencil and digital illustrations have a style that combines John Parra and Mary Blair. Though somewhat on the wordy side, this slice-of-life story will appeal to families, whether or not they include gender-creative members.
VERDICT A cheerful addition for libraries that need more titles like Cheryl Kilodavis's My Princess Boy and Sarah Hoffman's Jacob's New Dress.

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