Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son's experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance.
Penelope knows that he's a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it.
In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson's adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope's frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope's experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.
This picture book companion to activist Patterson's adult memoir The Bold World centers her transgender son Penelope's coming-out journey, shortly before he turned five. Told in the first-person, the narrative follows Penelope, who knows that he's a ninja, and knows what he likes "Skateboards and high-tops, baggy blue jeans." Initially, he acts out to get his busy family to pay attention, before he confides something else he knows to his mother: "No, Mama, I don't feel like a boy. I AM a boy." Without missing a beat, his mother affirms his identity: "We will make a plan to tell everyone we love what we know.... You are a boy." Barlow's illustrations, created digitally with handmade watercolor textures, emphasize the Black family's expressions and movement, allowing young readers to take in the family's emotions (and Penelope's karate moves). A heartening true story for children that offers guidance to caretakers. Ages 4 8.