Updated: Jul 27, 2021
It Feels Good to be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
Written by Theresa Thorn
Illustrated by Noah Gringni
Ages 4-8 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company | ISBN 978-1250302953
Both children and adults will learn something from this beautifully illustrated book, which introduces some of the most common terms related to one’s gender identity.
The narrative of this children’s story, while imparting the important lesson of being one’s self and accepting others for who they are, also seamlessly incorporates definitions of terms such as transgender, cisgender, non-binary, and others. The reader is first introduced to Ruthie, a transgender girl, and is provided a definition for what this means. Then the reader meets Ruthie’s brother, a cisgender boy named Xavier, before meeting two of Ruthie’s friends who both identify as non-binary--though this means something different to each of them, as the reader will find out. This is because, as the narrator informs us, “Just like there are many different ways to be a boy or a girl, there are many different ways to be non-binary--too many to fit in a book!”
After the reader is introduced to Ruthie, Xavier, Alex, and JJ, they get to learn more about gender identity and gender expression. The narrator does an excellent job at explaining how one’s gender identity might match what people thought when a person was born, but it doesn’t necessarily have to; a baby’s looks can act as a clue to what someone’s gender will be, but this is not always the case. And if it is the case that people guess one’s gender identity correctly at birth, it’s okay to share this with the world, too! People thought Xavier was a boy when he was born, and that turned out to be right, so he told his family when he was ready. By having everyone in the story share their gender identity, this book is inclusive of all readers.
Once finished reading this great story, there is an excellent resource section in the final pages of the book. There is a glossary of important terms, a note about pronouns, and an additional list of other resources including books for kids, books for adults, and a list of organizations and helplines. With a beautifully written story, wonderful illustrations, and amazing additional resources, IT FEELS GOOD TO BE YOURSELF is the perfect book for an elementary school classroom. Request your copy here. Find classroom activities for this book here.
By: Derek Wiebke Jul 22, 2021