Jacob’s Room to Choose

May 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781433830730.
PreS-Gr 2–In this follow-up to Jacob’s New Dress, Jacob and Sophie try to use the bathroom at school but do not feel safe. Jacob, a boy who wears dresses, is threatened by several kids in the boy’s restroom, while Sophie, a girl who dresses in a plaid button down and khakis, is chased out of the girl’s restroom. When they explain what happened to their teacher, the woman gathers their class for a lesson: not everyone looks like the bathroom signs for girls and boys, but everyone has to pee! The class takes a little time to consider, but are ultimately inspired. As a group, they make signs affirming everyone’s right to use the bathroom without fear. There is no opposition from the school or parents—everyone is completely supportive. An author’s note explains the importance of making bathrooms safe for gender nonconforming youth. Case’s bright watercolor illustrations show a diverse and engaged classroom, and reinforce the emotional journey of the text. The text, though simple, clearly makes the case for making bathrooms safe for everyone, modeling a simple discussion on the topic for teachers or parents.
VERDICT A solid picture book that addresses identity, gender expression, and how to be a good ally. Recommended for purchase

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