How to Be a Real Man

Little Hare. Jan. 2022. 24p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781760507848.
Gr 2-4–Stuart attempts to redefine masculinity for the elementary school set—and maybe their parents. By referencing Spartans and Vikings, the text puts masculine ideals such as brute strength and physical violence into a fairly zany historical context. The book cautions readers not to idolize brutality, but instead to foster empathy, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Boys and their fathers are shown changing diapers, protesting in support of climate change action, and building robots. They wear pink swimsuits and take dance lessons. Dad even wears a pink tutu. The text has a pleasing rhyme, but the rhythm is clumsy at times, making it a bumpy read-aloud. Illustrations are colorful. Pinks, teals, and creamy yellows make every page pop. Characters are depicted with white and brown skin tones in this title, previously published in Australia.
VERDICT A solid secondary purchase.

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