Caroline Carter's Every Body is a Rainbow is a vibrant celebration of bodies and identities across multiple identities and abilities. It illustrates the point that everyone's body is unique and has value, no matter how the parts work.
photo credit: Caroline Carter
"Every rainbow body is unique. Not every kid has each of these parts, the same size parts, or the same use of parts. Sometimes these differences are called disabilities" (p.9).
The book discusses how our parts don't determine our gender, but how we feel about if we are a boy or girl (or neither) does. This is important for children to learn.
"What you feel in your heart about your gender is called your gender identity" (p.13).
The story goes on to share about different gender identities and introduces the reader to the kinds of pronouns a person might use. In addition, it covers gender expression in a way children can understand, along with ways to take care of your body.
It would make a nice addition to any home library. It may or may not work for a classroom library, as there are age-appropriate illustrations of private parts, along with the appropriate anatomical names. As a survivor of child abuse, I believe that all children should have access to tools that enable them to be able to accurately describe their bodies and their parts and that we shouldn't foster a culture of shame around bodies.
At 32 pages, Every Body is a Rainbow is a quick and easy way to introduce your child to gender identity, gender expression, pronouns, and the many ways a body is unique. Additionally, there are pages in the back to help children begin to express their gender and expression using simple fill-in-the-blank phrases, and there's also a guide for parents to be able to talk to their children about gender identity, gender expression, and their bodies. Caroline Carter believes in "the power of all kids seeing their lived and embodied experiences mirrored back at them." She also co-developed and helps run Gender Camps, a summer program for transgender and nonbinary children aged 6-12 in Pasadena, CA.
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