"Call Me Max" was written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Luciano Lozano, and published in 2019, is about a young transgender boy named Max. Max was born a girl, identifies as a boy, and we follow Max as he goes through his first few days of elementary school. Max gives the reader clear, concise, and accurate definitions on what it means to be transgender, and how people might identify differently than how they were born.
What was so wonderful about this book was how inclusive and welcoming every single person in Max's life was. His parents accepted him for him, his teacher called him by his chosen name and not his birth name, and his classmates accepted him for who he is. There was one part of the book where Max's friend, a little girl, was questioning why he wanted to be a boy, and Max gave some stereotypical answers, "I like climbing tress and catching bugs," but when he was pressed he just simply said, "Because I feel like one." No one questioned him, no one made him feel "different" or "weird". This is a great book to show how necessary, and honestly, how easy, it is to be accepting of people regardless of who they are.
I found a read-aloud version of this book on YouTube. I used the Rainbow Books List to pick this title. What is nice about the online video, is that the reader is also a transgender male, so that adds a level of vulnerability and authenticity to the read-aloud, and it validates the book more. The pictures are adorable, so I would suggest reading a physical copy if you wanted to bring this into your classroom. Amazon's recommended age is 4-8, or 2nd-4th grade, and I would agree with that. I do think it's important for these books to be read at the elementary school level. I have three students who are transgender, and I am curious if they've ever read a picture book with a transgender main character.