Bernal Author Publishing Gender-Fluid Book for Children

In June Bernal Neighbor Beth Reichmuth will release a gender-fluid children’s book she wrote, called I’m Jay, Let’s Play. Neighbor Beth tells Bernalwood:

The story itself is sweet, playful, and engaging to young children. The narrator, Jay, loves playing in the kitchen, driving dump trucks, twirling in skirts, and crashing tall towers. When a friend, Casey, notices Jay’s sparkly skirt with excitement, Jay surprises Casey by pulling an identical skirt out of their backpack to share. All of the children are then inspired to visit the dress up corner and have a party together.

I originally began writing I’m Jay, Let’s Play two years ago, when there were a couple of boys in my class that really liked wearing skirts and dresses, and the only books I could find that reflected them also addressed the teasing and bullying that, unfortunately, often happens in response. I wanted a book in my preschool classroom that simply showed that we should all get to wear the clothes that help us feel good– and one that modeled to all children a kinder (and more fun!) way to respond. Illustrator Nomy Lamm painted dynamic and energetic characters of varying skin tones and abilities playing together.

On June 3rd, I’ll be hosting a Book Launch and LGBT Family Pride Party at local San Francisco preschool, The Little School. Come hear a reading and celebrate with us! All are welcome and it would be great to see my Bernal neighbors there. Find more event info and reserve your free ticket here.

I’m Jay, Let’s Play will be available in June through local bookstores and on Amazon. To learn more, please visit .

PHOTO: Neighbor Beth Reichmuth

8 thoughts on “Bernal Author Publishing Gender-Fluid Book for Children

  1. Lol – I love children’s books, too! And I have no excuse; kids are grown and no grandkids…yet.

    I love the idea of this book; just wondering if there are any girls in the book who like dressing in traditional “male” ways, like cowboys or pirates. That would make it absolutely perfect.

    • HI Val, the short answer is yes! The long answer is :The characters in the book are actually not assigned gendered pronoun in the story so that their gender expressions can be interpreted in the way that is most meaningful to the reader. For example, the main character, could be assumed to be a boy in a sparkly skirt, or a girl with short hair, or pretty much any other gender expression or identity that feels important for the child to see reflected. But also, yes, we did make sure that each of the children have gender expressions that are not stereotypical and that the representation is as balanced as possible — including a child with a ponytail wearing a construction worker vest. 🙂

  2. As a parent whose son insisted on some pink, sparkly dress-up clothes from Chloe’s when he was young, this book sounds lovely. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Thursday: Bernal Author Beth Reichmuth Reads at Pinhole | Bernalwood

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