A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

illus. by J.R Zuckerberg. 96p. Oni. Apr. 2019. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781620105863.
Gr 9 Up—The latest in the "Quick & Easy" series of educational comics (A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns) explains queer and trans identities. A rout of snails observe a group of queer, racially diverse humans gathered around a campfire. Iggy, a snail who belongs to one of the humans, takes a cue from their queer educator "dad" and schools the other snails on queerness, gender expression, dysphoria, asexuality, coming out, and even relationship basics. Iggy defines terms, offers helpful historical context, and dispels misconceptions. A discussion of the word queer follows the term's origins as an insult to its present-day reclamation as an umbrella term for LGBTQIA+ identities. The bubble gum palette matches perfectly the light, infectiously enthusiastic tone. The choice to use snails as narrators is whimsical and oddly appropriate (some snails are hermaphrodites). However, it also distances the human characters from readers. Those who do occasionally appear function almost as exhibits to add context to a point. Scenes involving fantastical creatures called Sproutlings feel random and unnecessary—but certainly on-brand. Though the book is slim, it effectively covers a broad swath of identities and topics. Activity pages and a resource guide are appended.
VERDICT Accessible to readers at all levels of familiarity with LGBTQIA+ topics, this is a first purchase for libraries serving teens and adults.

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