Katherine Locke’s What Are Your Words is a colorful and easy-to-understand book about pronouns. This preschool/early elementary grade picture book features Ari and their Uncle Lior. Every time Uncle Lior visits, Ari has different words to describe themself.
Sometimes their words are he/him, and sometimes they are she/hers.
“My pronouns are like the weather. They change depending on how I feel. And that’s okay, because they’re my words” (p.8).
During this visit, though, Ari finds that they can’t come up with words that fit. Uncle Lior tells Air it’s okay. Sometimes it takes a while to find your words. As the day goes on, Ari and Uncle Lior meet all sorts of people, and Ari reflects on what their words are. Not just their pronouns but words that describe who they are as a person too.
“Mechanic! Polite! Vegetarian! She/Her” (p. 14).
The story shows that you can have many different words to describe yourself. Sometimes those words can change depending on the day. And sometimes, if certain words make you feel unlike yourself, it’s okay to change them. It’s the perfect book to introduce your child to pronouns. It’s also perfect for adults struggling to understand how they/them pronouns work. While written for preschool/early elementary-aged children, it works for any age.
At 40 pages, What Are Your Words is perfect to read aloud or read along with and would make a charming addition to your at-home or classroom library. Katherine Locke, the author, uses they/them pronouns, and Anne Passchier, the illustrator, is nonbinary and also uses they/them pronouns. The publisher, Little Bee Books, is an imprint of Bonnier Publishing USA. Through a partnership with GLAAD, a portion of all sales proceeds are donated to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance.
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