I'm a Girl CoverI read this book and thought it was a little boy who identifies as a girl. Then I read what the publisher said about the book: it is, in fact, a little girl who is always mistaken for a boy because she does “boy things” like wear shorts and make a mess.

  • Title: I’m a Girl!
  • Author: Yasmeen Ismail
  • Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail
  • Reading level: 3-6 years
  • Date published: 2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Country: UK
  • Country printed in: Details not currently available
  • Eco-friendly Printing: Details not currently available

2 things I like:

1. SMASHING GENDER STEREOTYPES

The representation of the main character challenged my notions of gender stereotypes. I saw a character that doesn’t look “feminine”, painted in blue, and I immediately thought: boy!

I didn’t mind that “he” identifies as a girl BUT the fact that the character is actually a she put me in my place.

This book has reminded me to approach all future readings with a much more unbiased frame. There are, of course, other sides to it – not to take things at face value, addressing the liberal spectrum AND that there can be multiple interpretations other than the publisher’s. But that’s all for a much longer post!

2. EMPOWERING

I love that the little blue girl met a little red boy dressed in what looks like a grass skirt, and they conclude: “We’re us!” and “There’s no one else we’d rather be.” This isn’t an easy conclusion to arrive at, even for many adults (or maybe especially for many adults?).

The real world isn’t a pretty picture book like this one but it’s probably best to keep on feeding our kids positive and empowering messages with the hope that they’ll stick!

Note: This review has been edited after its first publication on Jul 19, 2018 on the Instagram @emmyloveschildrensbooks