Hoffman, Sarah & Ian (writers) & Chris Case (illustrator). 2014. Jacob’s New Dress. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company.
The back cover of this charming picture book reads, “There are lots of different ways to be a boy.” Gender-creative children will love seeing themselves in this book about a little boy who enjoys playing dress-up. Jacob is fond of using his imagination. He pretends to be a pirate, a bird, and a princess! But he also likes wearing dresses just because.
Jacob’s parents are supportive and generous, letting him make up his mind on what he wants to wear. When he asks his mother to help him make a dress he can wear to school, she thinks about it for a minute and then gets out her sewing machine.
When Jacob wears his new purple and white dress to school, some of the other boys laugh at him, but he imagines that his dress is like armor—“Soft, cottony, magic armor.” He speaks up for himself and tells them that he’s proud of his dress, then continues playing with his friend.
The authors of Jacob’s New Dress have a gender-nonconforming son and wrote this book to support other gender-nonconforming children and the adults in their lives. The text is age-appropriate and engaging, and the art is colorful and interesting.