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I'm a Girl!
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I'm a Girl!

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  78 reviews
I'm supposed to be made of sugar and spice
and all things nice.
But I'm sweet and sour
and not a little flower.

I am a girl! I am a girl! I am a girl!

The girl in this book likes to win, she likes to be spontaneous, fast and strong, and because she also likes to dress in t-shirt and shorts, she is forever getting mistaken for a boy. And when she meets a boy who likes wearing pr
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 13th 2015 by Bloomsbury (first published August 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  341 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories That Contradict Gender Stereotypes
The eponymous girl in this engaging picture-book has to constantly correct people who assume that she is a boy, or refer to her with masculine pronouns. Just because she makes a lot of noise and mess, likes to compete athletically, and is interested in boats, people assume that she is a he. Determined to be herself, she always speaks up to set them right, affirming her identity in the process. Eventually she meets a little boy who is interested in things like dolls and princess dresses, and a be ...more
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I can't tell whether this book is about a little transgender girl who loves what she loves and knows who she is, despite everyone else, or if it's about a little "tomboy" girl who loves what she loves and knows who she is, despite everyone else.

It could be either, and it could work for either, and I suppose that's the point, but it seems a bit confusing on purpose. I love books about little girls who can be into sports and loud noises and making messes, and I love books about little LGBTQIA kid
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
A little girl donkey keeps on getting mistaken for a boy. She knows that others think that she should be nice, but she’s “sweet and sour, not a little flower.” She rides really fast on her scooter too and people think she’s a boy as she zooms past them. She takes off her clothes down to her underwear to jump in the pool too. After each time she is mistaken for a boy, she insists over and over again that she is a girl! In the end she meets a boy who is mistaken for being a girl and the two of the ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the library thinking it would be a "girl power" book celebrating a strong, loud little girl who's proud of being exuberant. I want my kids to know that girls are not weak, but strong, bold leaders. My daughter picked the book up first and told me she didn't like it. "That girl is rude." As I read the story, I realized it's really about a boy donkey who's claiming to be a girl, and rudely yelling at everyone that he's a girl. It relies on male stereotypes like "boys are m ...more
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-2020
Better but still not doing a very good job of making a point when you only use 3 words for the entire book.

A good book to open up a discussion about misgendering and deadnaming that my kids appreciated, though. I had to do all the heavy lifting myself, which is why I've rated this only two stars.

Because it is so ambiguous though this could also be a good jumping off point for "tomboy" discussions or discussing how ludicrous and nonsensical societal gender norms and roles are.
Edit: changing my review that misread this as a trans girl character when it’s challenging gender binary stereotypes in general. I read this during a children’s story time years ago about gender fluidity and being oneself. Thx for the comment clarifying the original author intent j.snow!
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
When I first read this book, I was sort of confused. Is it about a cisgender girl who likes boyish things? Is it about a transgender girl? I think it's purposely ambiguous, and that's okay. The illustrations are super cute, and it's ultimately a lovely celebration of being yourself and enjoying the things you enjoy no matter what. ...more
The heart of this book is absolutely in the right place, and I love that the message it is giving to my little girl is that she can do whatever (be messy, be loud, want to learn and play with dolls) and being herself is brilliant, but I find this intensely irritating. She's very shouty and she does thoroughly unsafe things. ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Pushing the gender stereotypes is what we're aiming towards in 2017. I am a girl is a celebration of being who you are and not caring what others to think. Be true to yourself and you will see that others will be accepting. ...more
An energetic tomboy sets everyone straight. She's a girl! ...more
Alex Fisher
This is a pretty good book. It teaches kids to express who you want to be and not what people want you to be. It does this through a decent story but is portrayed through amazing are and pictures.
Sebastian Song
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perfect gift for all girls!
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I'm a Girl! by Yasmeen Ismail is brilliant! I knew I had to read it as soon as I heard about - a picture book for children that challenges gender roles and stereotypes!

This little girl likes to play however she wants, whether it's loud or fast, whether she makes a mess, whether she's a little rough and tumble. But because of the things she likes to do, people keep thinking she's a boy. Instead of not doing the things she enjoys because of what people thi
Vibrant watercolor illustrations fill the pages of this book which clearly challenges gender stereotypes that girls should be neat, sweet and malleable or "sugar and spice" (unpaged) as the book and an old nursery rhyme would have it. But this girl is none of those things; in fact, she is messy and courageous and takes risks. Throughout the picture book, she keeps proclaiming that she's a girl even while others see her as a boy because of her looks and behavior. I loved the book right until she ...more
Jennifer Zeven
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Being us is BRILLIANT!!...There's no one else we'd rather be!"

Yasmeen Ismail's brightly illustrated picture book 'I'm a Girl!' is a celebration of individuality, as well as an objection to gendered stereotypes in play, physical activity and competitiveness, as well as reading and learning. Ismail tells girls and boys it's ok for girls to be messy and loud, fast and resilient, competitive and clever. It encourages girls and boys to be accepting of their own likes and dislikes, as well as others,
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, what's going on here? Is this a character AFAB who is into stereotypically 'male' pursuits who is correcting everyone? Is this a character AMAB who identifies as a girl who is correcting everyone so they know they're a girl but is still into stereotypically 'male' pursuits? Either one of these seems like something I'd be all for... except it's so unclear what the actual message is here. The book says it's about celebrating who we are, but really it just seems like some SUPER aggressive gende ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, childrens
Definitely weird. Loved the idea behind it, but the book not so much. Not a fan of the graphics. "I'm a girl" was literally about 80% of the dialogue. The "different" boy isn't introduced until the last couple of pages, so you don't learn much about his character at all. Overall, the intro blurb was better than the actual book. ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This book is weird. I don't think I get it. Message: Embrace who you are and be the best you that you can be. Got it. Actually, I got it the first ten times you said I'm a girl. The boy wasn't introduced until the last second so I feel like I might have missed something unless there is another book called I'm a boy that I don't know about yet. ...more
Sarah Blodgett
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in the National Portrait Gallery while waiting to go into the Audrey Hepburn Exhibit. It was so cute and gave SUCH a positive message for girls and boys. Tearing down gender roles one book at a time.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful picture book all about challenging stereotypes and being who and what we want to be. It's a shame that not all stereotypes are disputed however - not all librarians have buns and say shhhh. ...more
Fun, colorful, and sweet with an important message; makes for a vibrant counterpart to 1972's quieter but ahead-of-its-time "William's Doll." ...more
I found this very relatable. When I was eleven, I cut my hair very short and wore a lot of gender-neutral clothing. I spent a lot of time ex(c/p)laiming to overbearing adults that I'm a girl. ...more
Laura West
Im a Girl! is about a little girl donkey who keeps on getting mistaken for a boy because she likes doing less girly and more boy like things, which is a huge stereotype. I think the book from a child's perspective will come across really simply. Its about accepting who you are, being proud of it and not succumbing to stereotypes even though children can sometimes be mean. However, I feel like as an adult I maybe looked too much into it, or maybe thats what the author wanted? I couldn't decide if ...more
Jordan Wheeler
I'm a bit confused whether this book is about a cisgender girl who enjoys 'boy things' or a transgender girl asserting her right to define her own gender. I think the author is making this purposefully ambiguous, but I think it would have been more powerful to pick one. I think it's a good message either way, although it's a little uncomfortable that 'reading' and 'being good at things' are described as masculine traits. I guess some people do think of them that way though so it's important to c ...more
Jennifer B.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed both the illustrations and the story. A little girl who isn't afraid of being a girl and not always doing what people think girls SHOULD do, although she does do girly things when it suits her. Basically, she's not afraid to be herself. When people mistake her for a boy because she's wearing blue, or running "too fast for a girl", or whatever else girls don't do, she doesn't mind correcting people by yelling "I'M A GIRL!!"

I always had long hair as a girl and my mother dressed me in gir
Jennifer Strong
The idea that girls are "nice, all sugar and spice" is incomplete. This book explores the wonderful nature of being a girl! Girls can also be "sweet and sour", messy, like to go fast, be spontaneous, learn all sorts of things, be noisy and musical, play with or without dolls, and win competitions. At the end there is also a tribute to boys- they are more complex then the "rough and tumble" stereotype.

I love that this book celebrates being who you are and doing what you like to do, whether or no
Elaine Fultz
Main character, small donkey in basic shirt and shorts, plays in messy and active ways that onlookers comment on with phrases like, "Ugh, boys are so messy," and "I've got just the book for a little boy like you." To which she replies, "I'm a girl!" At one point, she and some others, including goat and elephant boys, are playing with dolls and a bear boy says, "Dolls are for girls." The boy animals are frowning and donkey repeats her phrase with AM in italics for emphasis. Simple and effective s ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
An energetic child who keeps getting mistaken for a boy announces to all she meets, "I'm a girl!" This is a lively celebration of being yourself for young children. It has vibrant watercolor illustrations to compliment the text. My only qualm is that it promotes the stereotype of the bun-and-glasses-wearing librarian who says, "shh!" For a book trying to slash gender stereotyping, is was a disappointment to see it promoting another. ...more
Emily Shaw
This book is very inspirational. It defines stereotypes. Its about a girl who loves doing "manly" things. Also, I love the part in the book when a child says "dolls are for girls" and another child responds by saying "no they're not." Also, the ending is perfect. It says, "There's no one else we'd rather be." The book teaches about being yourself and loving yourself, no matter what people say or think. ...more
This was on the 2017 Rainbow Book List, and it's a great book for very young readers about being yourself regardless of gender expectations. Throughout the book, the main character is repetitively mistaken for a boy because she is messy, fast, brave, spontaneous, smart, noisy, and competitive, so she is constantly shouting, "I'm a girl!" at people. It explicitly sends the message that being yourself, boy or girl, is super because there's no one like you. ...more
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Irish-born, Bristol-based Yasmeen Ismail is an award-winning author, illustrator and animator. Yasmeen studied at art school in her hometown, Dublin and graduated in 2002. After Yasmeen moved to London she lent her talents to many different projects ranging from advertising to children's publishing.

After moving to London and running a successful animation production company and having worked in v

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