Many of my friends and most likely some of my readers will know that I completely believe in gender neutrality. That is, I am completely okay with my boys doing things such as wanting to try on my shoes, or play with what are considered girl’s toys. They have a doll they regularly play with and dress up, for example, and I have photos of them wearing my shoes! All it is down to, is imagination. Just because boys do these things, or girls want to do want are considered boy things (like play football) doesn’t mean they will grow up being attracted to the same gender – not that I have a problem with that either! But it seems that is where the problem lies and in a modern society it shouldn’t be so.
I think anything that promotes gender neutrality is a great thing and Are You a Boy or are You a Girl? does just that. Written by Sarah Savage and illustrated by Fox Fisher, it tells a mini story of ‘Tiny’, who we don’t know the gender of. Throughout the book Tiny does activities sterotypical to either gender such as playing football (boys) and dressing up (girls). Tiny gets picked on, but also makes new friends who really don’t care. I like that Tiny’s gender is asked about but never revealed in the book, as it lets the reader decide yourself. Even after reading it multiple times, I am still undecided. J thought Tiny was a boy though, obviously just like him as he does all of these things too and I personally have never taught him any different.
It is a great book for parents & education providers to read with children if they are at a stage of being told by others that they can’t do such a thing, or if they are confused why boys do ‘girl’ things and vice versa. It has great illustrations and isn’t complex to read, prompting discussions between adult & child.
Age – preschool to 7 years
Our rating – 4.5/5
I was sent a copy of this book free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & my own.