Being You: A First Conversation About Gender

Rise X. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593521878.
K-Gr 4–A sunny, straightforward book guiding children through what gender is, how it can fluctuate, and how it’s used throughout social structures. From using accurate genital names to discussing unfair male advantage, Being You raises important issues and the accompanying discomfort associated with their discussion. The authors’ note points out that “young children need support from trusted grown-ups in their lives to help them make sense of what they’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.” This book is an excellent way to generate conversation! Most pages have a question at the bottom to encourage discussion. Some are softballs, asking children about their favorite color or what they like about themselves. Later questions increase in complexity, asking about feminists in their family, or unfair systems they notice. A helpful glossary of terms at the end expands those points, letting readers and listeners dig deeper into gender vocabulary and theory. These messages are supported with bold illustrations. They’re simple, but inclusive and gorgeous in the range of skin tones, ages, dress, and abilities.
VERDICT A clear, well-constructed gender guide, to be used with supportive adults already immersed in the myriad talking points and deeper dives of this conversation.

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