Educating About Gender Expression Through Children’s Books

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.

Ilustrated by Stephen Schlott

Ilustrated by Stephen Schlott

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.

This entry was posted in Book Review, Important Issues, Inspiring People, What you can Do and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Educating About Gender Expression Through Children’s Books

  1. Sharon Muza says:

    You may want to connect with my friend and colleague, Mary Jo Podgurski. She has written a great book about transgendered children and is an expert in sexuality and teens/kids. is the book and she has several others on talking to children about their bodies, etc. Here is a piece that i wrote on her recently – she just won an award.

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