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.
PHOTO: Neighbor Beth Reichmuth