A gem that promises to make these concepts accessible to teachers and immediately useful in their classroom contexts. It will certainly become a "go to" resource in teacher education.
Every book for kids talks about gender, whether intentionally or not. For a variety of reasons, there aren't a whole lot of teaching tools in books or elsewhere that address just what the heck gender is. Brook Pessin-Whedbee has been thinking about this a lot. She's written a book that looks directly at gender and celebrates its many manifestations. It's pretty straightforward actually. So straightforward that it's kind of shocking there aren't a pile of books like this at the local library. Who Are You? introduces young people and the folks who care about them to some vocabulary to describe our varied experiences by separating our understanding of gender into our bodies, our expression, and our identities. How do we feel? How do we express ourselves? These are the kinds of questions that help people grow.
Who Are You? doesn't have a hint of conflict in it. There's plenty of conflict in the world. Who Are You? is a celebration. When we read it, everything becomes instantly bigger, kinder, and more interesting.
A straightforward and long overdue book for kids about the gender spectrum. We can hope that, years from now, the existence of the gender spectrum is so well understood and appreciated that a book like this is not necessary. Until then, there is an urgent need, and Pessin-Whedbee fills it with compassion and clarity.
Brook Pessin-Whedbee brings us a delightfully creative and playful children's book on gender... accessible to children and teachers alike. It is what those of us thinking about social issues in the classrooms of young children have really been needing!
How do we give young children the opportunity to think in complex ways about gender? This is a question that many teachers and parents are asking and Who Are You? provides a wonderful response... In order to create truly welcoming schools and to address the social emotional needs of our children, classrooms need texts like Who Are You?.
Who Are You? will undoubtedly help numerous children and their communities learn about the diversity of gender experiences.
Through simple yet compelling writing, paired with the interactive gender wheel, our program's future elementary and middle school teachers will finally have an excellent resource for teaching about the gender spectrum... a touchstone resource for any school, teacher, or parent that strives to create a more inclusive world.
Children are teaching us that gender comes in all kinds of shapes and colors, rather than two boxes, and Brook Pessin-Whedbee has given us the wonderful gift of Who Are You? to help all little people learn just how this works and how they can know their own gender. And for the adults-Who Are You? ends with an inspiring discussion guide for parents, for teachers, for anyone who wants to support children in their gender creativity.
I really liked this little book. Information is presented in a simple yet engaging style which will enable parents/carers, or even teachers, to help children explore what gender identity or gender expression may mean to them in a way they will understand. It is a welcome addition to the growing range of books for children and young people.
PreS-Gr 2—This primer on sex, gender, and identity is an ideal title for caregivers and educators to share with children. An opening "Note for the Grown-Ups" instructs adult readers on how to use and discuss the book with kids. The text addresses young readers directly ("This is a story about you") and goes on to define sex (a guess based on body parts observed at birth) and gender identity ("who you feel like inside, who you know yourself to be"). A middle section features a number of illustrated clothes, toys, and accessories accompanied by the question, "What do you like?" A removable "Gender Wheel" that students can turn to complete three sentences ("I have," "I am," and "I like") using a range of terms/expressions (gender neutral, trans, not sure, etc.) is also included. Bardoff's illustrations are colorful and bright and depict a diverse group of carefree children playing together in a variety of settings. VERDICT A solid package for families and educators interested in an introduction to gender identity.—Elaine Fultz, Madison Jr. Sr. High School, Middletown, OH