Benny's True Colors

Benny's True Colors

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Overview

Discover the joy of being your true self in this uplifting and empowering picture book about Benny, who looks like a bat but knows that he really is a butterfly.

Benny may look like a bat, but Benny doesn’t like flying at night, or eating bugs, or hanging upside down. Benny does like sunshine and fluttering and colorful wings. On the inside, Benny knows he is a butterfly!

“I want my outside to match who I am inside!” With the help of some butterfly friends in the garden, Benny makes a happy change. And his friends and his Momma all love him just the same.

Writer Norene Paulson and illustrator Anne Passchier's Benny’s True Colors is a transformative story about knowing your true self, and the joy of letting the world know you, too.

An Imprint Book

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An incredibly powerful, compassionate book—a must read for anyone who wants to encourage kids to be true to themselves.”—Dr. Donna Cangelosi, Child Psychologist

“Passchier’s digital art style of bold shapes and colors with balanced compositions will appeal to a young readership who will delight in seeing Benny get his antennas and beautiful butterfly wings....Though this could be read just as a story of a bat wanting to be a butterfly, it’s also a gender-affirming conversation starter" –School Library Journal

School Library Journal

12/01/2020

K-Gr 2—Benny, with his furry brown body, wings, and pointy ears, looks like the other brown bats but doesn't feel like them. He doesn't like to eat bugs, and he prefers lying in the warm sunshine by day and sleeping at night while his mother goes out to do bat things. Benny knows he really is a butterfly and is meant to have colorful wings. Frustrated with how he can't get his wings to flutter instead of flap, how he can't land upright, and how his inside does not match his outside, he has an idea. Of course, this is a metaphor for gender transition, as Benny gets some caterpillars to help make him a cocoon that will allow him to transform. Passchier's digital art style of bold shapes and colors with balanced compositions will appeal to a young readership who will delight in seeing Benny get his antennas and beautiful butterfly wings. VERDICT Though this could be read just as a story of a bat wanting to be a butterfly, it's also a gender-affirming conversation starter that should be supported by books with human characters such as Kyle Lukoff's When Aidan Became a Brother or Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings's I Am Jazz.Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Lib., OR

Kirkus Reviews

2020-08-18
A winged friend experiences cross-species transition.

Benny, a pug-nosed, ruffed, flying creature, “looks like all the other little brown bats in the park—he has a brown, furry body, webbed wings, and pointed ears.” But “Benny isn’t a bat”: he’s diurnal, hates eating bugs, and “dreams about a silky, soft body; fluttering, patterned, colorful wings; and long, curling antennae.” You see, Benny is “really…a BUTTERFLY.” His butterfly friends are all extremely supportive of his identity, and his mother’s only lines are variations on “I love you.” Even though the butterflies don’t think Benny needs to change his body, some caterpillars wrap him in a cocoon (instead of extruding a chrysalis for him) and he emerges more typically butterfly-assigned. While it’s nice that this story, dedicated by Passchier to “all the trans and gender-nonconforming kids out there,” departs from the traditional bullying narrative, it’s still an uncomfortable stand-in for transgender identities, implying that gender differences are akin to those between insects and mammals rather than fluid social constructions. Even without the strained metaphor the story is positively treacly; in penning a supportive tale, the author deprives the plot of conflict to fuel it. The bright, chipper art, matching the tone, is unsubtle but appealing. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 18.1% of actual size.)

Choose stories about real trans children over this clumsy attempt. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250207715
Publisher: Imprint
Publication date: 11/17/2020
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 543,013
Product dimensions: 10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 3 - 6 Years

Customer Reviews