Jacob’s New Dress

9780807563731_Jacob-e1394164297234You probably think this book is about a boy that identifies more as a “girl” than a boy, right? Well, it’s not that cut and dry. And if you’re a mom of a boy (like I am), you’ll get it.

I LOVE THIS BOOK. Here’s why…

Girls can be “tomboys” and run around in superhero gear and people think it’s cute and completely socially acceptable. But when your boy wants to wear pink? Or carry a doll around?  People (and, maybe, the kid’s Dad) start to get uncomfortable.

In Jacob’s New Dress, the author has perfectly captured the conundrum that parents of boys feel when their son wants to do something outside of the stereotypical gender roles. There’s a little jerk named Christopher in this book that makes fun of Jacob because he dresses up as a princess in the dress-up corner. When Jacob wants to wear a dress to school, his wonderful mother helps him make one. Christopher makes fun of him again. But Jacob’s a lucky kid. His Mom is smart. She reminds him, over and over:

“There are all kinds of ways to be a boy”

My son brings a doll from the Frozen movie (Elsa) to school with him. If a kid like Christopher made fun of him for this, I’d be tempted to slap him. But instead, I can read this book to my son, and remind him, that no matter what he wants to do in this world, I will always be here to support him. Because, after all, there are all kinds of ways to be a boy!