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Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity
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Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  100 reviews
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How do you feel?
Who are you?

This brightly illustrated children's book provides a straightforward introduction to gender for anyone aged 4+. It presents clear and direct language for understanding and talking about how we experience gender: our bodies, our expression and our identity. An interactive three-layered wheel included in the book is a simple, ye
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published December 21st 2016 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  354 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love the gender wheel at the back. I think this is a great intro and overview to the basics of gender identity and expression for kids and grown-ups (and lord knows there are plenty who need it). I do wish people (both the authors of this book and many other educators) would specify that two-spirit is a term specific to indigenous peoples and not available to just anyone to casually identify with, as rattling it off in a list of other western gender terms can make it seem.

ETA 12.14.17 my offic
Stephen N.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
I picked this book up when killing time with my children in a museum library.

I have to say, I found the content troubling. There is a division to be made between the 0.005% of people born with some form of gender identity disorder, due to hormonal or biological anomalies and the wider group of people who are broadly non-sex conformist and whose identity is more often 'chosen'.

This book through its ultra diverse colourful imagery is clearly aimed at young children. Puberty is a confusing enough
Danika at The Lesbrary
This seems like a great book for starting a conversation about gender with young kids! There's not a lot of text per page, and it's very general ('gender is how you feel inside'), but this looks like an awesome way to start that discussion. I loved the illustrations (lots of kids of colour are also represented) and the interactive wheel. There's also more information in the back about what questions you might ask when you read the book, and resources for what to read as a parent/educator and mov ...more
Pamela Wool
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a WONDERFUL resource to teach kids (and adults) about gender. There are many story books about gender, but this is the first non-fiction book for young kids that I've found that is the perfect balance of great illustrations and simple and accurate explanations of the dimensions of gender. The book, which includes an awesome interactive Gender Wheel, is a great tool to help kids to think about gender and to spark conversations about gender with kids. I love this book! ...more
Ah, this is one of those books that I want so much to like, but am more like "eh", about it.

I love the premise, a picture book for children about gender identity. And yes, this is an important book to have out there, and yes, it needs to be discussed, and it is well discussed, and the pictures are bright an colorful.

So what is to "eh" about it? Despite all that, I find it very preachy. I don't think this is a book that children will read over and over again, and look at the pictures. I think thi
Dill Werner
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a DRC copy of this book from Edelweiss for review. I feel like this book should be marketed more as a discussion guide than a kid's guide because most of it is geared toward the adults having a conversation with the children. There are topics to go over, questions to ask, and answers given. But there are also open-ended questions no one has the answers to. It's a great resource for someone who is looking to open up a discussion with children about the gender spectrum, finding themselv ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)
(Review Not on Blog)

I have been reading more children's books on gender identity, because I feel like in this world of technology you have to talk with kids at a younger age. You want a book that is simple yet explains the main concept to young children. I liked this book for its message, knowledge and story.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic picture book that explains the difference between sex, gender, identity, and expression.
Maggie Ignasiak
This is a wonderful resource for both children and adults learning about gender identity. The interactive wheel is lovely: easy to use with both interesting and amusing options. The wheel is also openly worded in a way that ignites conversation and provokes thought. The illustrations, though at first glance seem simplistic, are quite striking, including many different races and gender representations. The only reason that I didn't give the book a 5 out of 5 is there there isn't a glossary of ter ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great introduction to gender diversity and gender expression for primary school aged children. Comes with a really handing wheel to that clearly shows the difference between body, identity, and expression.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A great way to open up discussion on gender and self-identity with kids. Very excited to have this as part of my home and public library collections
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The actual picture book portion of this left a little to be desired, however, the guide in the back is extremely helpful! This book would be better used as a discussion guide for adults talking to kids about gender/sex/expression, while the pictures and parts to read aloud to kids would just be a teeny stepping stone that couldn’t be used alone. Additionally, intersex individuals weren’t mentioned in the picture book portion unfortunately, though they were included in the guided discussion.
Mary Lee
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
"There are lots of ways to be a boy. There are lots of ways to be a girl. There are lots of ways to be a kid."

Very direct explanation with lots of support for parents/adults. Nice interactive wheel really SHOWS the above quote tells. No matter what guesses adults make about your body, not matter what you identify as, there are lots of ways to express yourself.
Ivy Moser
A wonderful picture book that helps kids learn about gender. Very affirming and inclusive and helpful for all ages to understand gender identity. I liked the pages of pictures that let kids point out things they like, and it also comes with an "identity wheel"--an interactive, colorful paper wheel that shows some of the many ways kids can identify. ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, approachable book about gender identity that emphasizes that each of us knows ourselves best and that there’s no wrong way to be a kid. Kids of all ages were captivated when I read it aloud. It spoke to some of the kids in ways that other books about gender don’t.
Marissa Elera
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A marvelously done book about gender identity that is open, clear, and respectful.
Finally a straightforward take.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, diversity
When babies are born, grown-ups make a guess by looking at their bodies: who is this child going to be? Sometimes, that guess is right. Sometimes it isn't. Using straightforward, kid-appropriate language, Pessin-Whedbee explains the basic ideas of gender identity in language even an adult can understand. "There are lots of ways to be a boy. There are lots of ways to be a girl. There are lots of ways to be a kid. Be who you are!" An interactive wheel in the back provides a useful way to explore t ...more
A Allen
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book starts off by assuring the audience that they know themselves best. The book addresses adults assigning babies male or female at birth, but notes that gender is "more than the body you are born with". However, the book doesn't ever go on to explain what gender is at all. The book asks what the audience likes, while showing pictures of toys and then pictures of clothes too. I liked all the details on the toy page and that the audience is being asked to reflect on their own interests! Ho ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an information nonfiction book published in 2017. It is meant for grades Pk-3. I paired this book with “Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship” by Jess Walton. I paired these two books together because both deal with gender identity. “Introducing Teddy” is about a teddy who wants to be Tilly the teddy, not Thomas the teddy. Not only does the book tell the story of Thomas becoming Tilly, it also shows how Errol, Tilly’s best friend, accepts their new identity. ...more
Danni Green
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: genderawesome
Lovely illustrations. Overall, it was good, but could have done better. It centered binary genders more than I would have expected. It also avoided naming "intersex" and did a pretty incomplete job of addressing intersex children by reducing that experience to “adults say ‘we don’t know'. A good attempt, but I think there are better books out there (and if not, there should be). ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Even aside from my philosophical disagreement with how this book defines “gender,” I found this a lackluster read. It’s just not engaging.

Books like I Am Jazz and It Feels Good To Be Yourself promote the same postmodern, woke concept of “gender identity” but at least they have an interesting storyline and good illustrations...
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent conversation starter about gender identity! It uses language that is accessible to kindergarten and up. Includes a discussion help for parents and teachers, additional resources, and a gender wheel.
Cassandra Gelvin
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
As The Caterpillar said, "Explain yourself."

I feel like there's not enough here. What's here is good, but it's just so sparse. There's a lot of additional text for "grown-ups," but maybe that information should be part of the main text. It's not like the text is incredibly poetic and the meter would be ruined by more information. Just put it where everyone can see it. I can't imagine that the author was worried a large amount of text would be a turn-off for potential readers. And it's not like a
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A picture book that students, teachers, and adults can learn from. This is the type of book to turn to, in order to understand or explain the basics about gender identity. Who Are You?: the kid's guide to gender identity presents the who, what, when, why, and how of being an individual. The theme is clear, BE WHO YOU ARE!

A letter to the adult is found within the beginning pages of this book. It explains how to pair this resource alongside the plethora of other resources (like www.kidsguidetogen
Tori Kalberer
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: h-information
Awards the book has received (if any): n/a
Appropriate grade level(s): 1st to 2nd
Original 3-line summary: This children's book provides information about gender and different ways to define one's identity. It does so in a concise way that appeals to children, especially its interactive page. It also includes a "Who Am I" wheel in the back for children to play around with.
Original 3-line review: This book is both informative and interactive; my favorite part of the book is the page with toys and
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an okay introduction to talk about gender generally with young people, that directly addresses difference between sex assigned at birth and one's own sense of gendered self. There are looming gaps, as other reviewers have mentioned, especially in the areas of intersex and the concept of being two spirit as unique to indigenous people. It also disappointingly centers gender on the binary, merely throwing our words as "genderqueer", "genderfluid", and other non-binary genders without much ...more
I'm not sure why I expected to this to be wordier, but it would be a very good read-aloud or lap read. I like that parts of the book are designed to be a conversation, specifically the pages that are chock full of stuff that just ask "what do you like?" I like dogs, teacups, rabbits, nesting dolls, pinwheels, mini furniture, and the rocket ship (among other things). At first I bristled at some of the more complex terminology that is included, but that's silly because the more words kids hear the ...more
Annie DeLuco
I think this is a very influential book. This is all about how children have the right to decide who they are and what they like. It discusses some words that children are probably unaware of. I think this is a very important lesson to teach children, but I am not sure if reading it in a classroom would be the correct place. If and when parents decide to discuss this information with their kids, I believe it should be confidential and private, with their family. It has a very good message but I ...more
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Brook Pessin-Whedbee is a public school teacher and mama to three little ones who joyfully bend and break the gender boxes. She is an active member of the Gender Spectrum community and founder of the Gender Inclusive Schools Alliance in Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California.

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