Book Reviews

Review: What Are Your Words? by Katherine Locke

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 comes to visit, Ari has different words to describe themself.

Image is the cover of What Are Your Words, a book about pronouns by Katherine Locke.
Photo Credit: Little Brown Books

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).

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 goes on to show that you can have lots of 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 who are struggling to understand how they/them pronouns work. While it’s 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 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 the proceeds of all sales are donated to accelerating LGBTQ acceptance.

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