I’ve read several children’s books about kids who express themselves in gender non-conforming ways or who are transgender. For example, My Princess Boy is written by a local author, Cheryl Kilodavis, who writes about her son who likes to wear pretty dresses and gets laughed at. Its theme really is about the importance of acceptance.
There really aren’t any books for K-2 elementary school children that show how a gender non-conforming child can handle challenges and how these can be resolved.
Then I learned about Sharon Mentyka’s soon-to-be published book, B in the World, which addresses this gap.
There are two things I really like about her book:
1. It is a realistic portrayal of what happens to B, a boy who likes to wear pink, wears his hair long, and wants to be a mermaid in the school play. It evokes emotions in the reader (I teared up several times) because it is so touching and so right on.
2. It is a great teaching tool for elementary-age children to introduce the concepts of compassion, acceptance, and practical strategies for dealing with bullies and unsupportive teachers.
Please take a look at my Parentmap article that explores this in greater depth and has an interview with the author.