School Library Journal's review of Jacob's New Dress

Hoffman, Sarah & Ian Hoffman. Jacob’s New Dress. illus. by Chris Case. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807563731. LC 2013028443
PreS-Gr 2–Jacob likes to play dress up with his friend Emily, but he prefers to pretend that he is a princess rather than a knight, firefighter, or policeman. The boys in his class tease him and wonder why he wears dresses. His teacher explains that “Jacob wears what he’s comfortable in. Just like you do. Not very long ago little girls couldn’t wear pants. Can you imagine that?” Jacob returns home from school to tell his mother that one of his classmates says that boys can’t wear dresses. His parents support him as he makes his own dress with his mother’s help, and she shares with him that “there are all sorts of ways to be a boy.” An author’s note explains how parents, educators, and counselors can make a difference in the lives of gender-nonconforming children. The warm cartoon illustrations convey the mood well and offer readers visual clues to the cruelty, teasing, and struggle with self-acceptance that can occur when children are different from their peers. Purchase this one to encourage discussions of gender, identity, and self-confidence.–Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI

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Forwords Magazine's review of Jacob's New Dress

Jacob loves dinosaurs, trucks, pirates, play- ing tag—and wearing dresses. When the other boys at school begin teasing him, Jacob decides to take a stand. Cute illustra- tions and realistic dialogue convey the strug- gles of this proud, determined young boy. Perfect for encouraging gender nonconform- ing children from succumbing to bullying, this is a gentle introduction to societal norms and rebellion. Ages four to seven. 

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Jacob's New Dress: Publishers Weekly review

Here's a review for Jacob's New Dress from Publisher's weekly:

“Jacob, why do you always wear the girl clothes?” a schoolmate asks the gender nonconforming hero in the classroom dress-up corner. It’s a question that Jacob’s parents struggle with, as well. When the boy asks his mother to help make a “real dress” after bullies tear off a togalike outfit he’s improvised from a bath towel, Mom takes a long time to answer. “The longer she didn’t answer, the less Jacob could breathe.” But Mom and Dad believe that “There are all sorts of ways to be a boy,” and they offer support that’s low-key, emotionally authentic, and unwavering (“Well, it’s not what I would wear, but you look great,” says Dad, who has to take his own long pause before answering). The Hoffmans, whose experience as parents inspired the story, and Case (Sophie and the Next-Door Monsters)—who contributes thoughtful, down-to-earth cartoons of home and school—have created an ideal companion for families and educators: upbeat yet realistic, astute about peer dynamics, and blessedly lacking in a sermonizing Big Moment. Ages 4–7. Illustrator’s agent: the Herman Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on 01/17/2014 | Release date: 03/01/2014 | 

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