Jack (Not Jackie)

illus. by Holly Hatam. 40p. little bee. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499807318.
K-Gr 3—Susan thinks that her new little sister, Jackie, has the best giggle and such big, beautiful eyes! She can't wait until Jackie grows up and they can wear frilly dresses and play princesses together. As Jackie gets older, Susan notices that Jackie hates all things "girly" and wants to play in mud, wear boy clothes, and be called "Jack." As Susan struggles to accept these traits in her sister, she is afraid and upset—natural reactions to what she doesn't understand. Susan's mom reminds her that Jackie—now Jack's—preferences are not wrong but "different," and whether Jack is a sister or brother, boy or girl, Susan sees that Jack still has the best giggle and big, beautiful eyes. Told in clear prose with no hint of sentimentality, this timely picture book addresses gender identity in a way that allows children to understand the differences on the outside while remembering what is on the inside is what counts. Vividly illustrated pages with astute details will capture the audience's attention and invite closer appreciation of their wordless support of the narration. The author includes a note in the back as well as an appendix of further resources, including books, articles, online resources, and picture books on the subject of children's gender identity.
VERDICT A can't-miss addition to any collection that is looking to offer more inclusive resources.

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