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Jacob's New Dress Hardcover – March 1, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Jacob likes to play dress up with his friend Emily, but he prefers to pretend that he is a princess rather than a knight, firefighter, or policeman. The boys in his class tease him and wonder why he wears dresses. His teacher explains that "Jacob wears what he's comfortable in. Just like you do. Not very long ago little girls couldn't wear pants. Can you imagine that?" Jacob returns home from school to tell his mother that one of his classmates says that boys can't wear dresses. His parents support him as he makes his own dress with his mother's help, and she shares with him that "there are all sorts of ways to be a boy." An author's note explains how parents, educators, and counselors can make a difference in the lives of gender-nonconforming children. The warm cartoon illustrations convey the mood well and offer readers visual clues to the cruelty, teasing, and struggle with self-acceptance that can occur when children are different from their peers. Purchase this one to encourage discussions of gender, identity, and self-confidence.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI
Jacob wants to wear a dress to school, so he fashions one from a towel—a “dress-thing.” His mother tells him to add some shorts and a shirt, and off he goes to school, where he is teased by a fellow student, Christopher, who pulls the towel off and waves it “like a captured flag.” That evening, a tearful Jacob asks his mother to help him make a real dress, and after some thought, she agrees. Jacob’s father adds, “Well, it’s not what I would wear, but you look great.” At school, there’s more teasing, but Jacob finally tells Christopher, “I made this dress, I’m proud of it, and I’m going to wear it!” And so he does. In an afterword, the coauthors explain that Jacob is a “gender nonconforming” boy and that gender expression is inborn—not something we choose. The authors’ gentle but necessarily didactic story succeeds in dramatizing this concept. Case’s softly colored cartoonlike illustrations nicely expand the spirit of this important book, which—one hopes—will provide reassurance to children like Jacob and inspire thoughtful discussion. Grades K-3. --Michael Cart
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There’s a really great line in that book that my son used to ask me to repeat when I read the book to him: “There are a lot of different ways to be a boy.” There are, and thanks to the authors of this book for making that point.
What I loved about the story was that Jacob's quest to wear a dress was successful. His mom and dad supported and his friends accepted him. Hopeful and loving - a message that we should all be teaching!!
Most recent customer reviews
His parents help him.
He gets bullied, but he stands up for his choices