One of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo is a bilingual children’s book (ages 4-7) based on a true story about a child named Danny who wants to be a princess in the school parade. He and his mom embark on a venture to find a purple princess dress. But will they find it on time? Following is a note about the book that the author wrote for educators, parents, and caregivers:
When my son Danny told me he wanted to be a princess for Halloween, I was worried that he would be teased and I would be judged. I suggested another costume, but Danny knew what he wanted. I decided to support him and we created a beautiful purple princess dress. He wore it happily in the school parade and kept it for years. Although I didn’t know it then, I later came to realize that having a gender-creative child was a beautiful gift.
“A delightful book… a story that needed telling… a liberating message for all children… One of a Kind, Like Me deserves to be present in every library, every school, every home.”
Alma Flor Ada, winner of the Pura Belpre Award
When Danny was growing up, we didn’t know other families like ours, or see ourselves reflected in picture books. To fill this gap, Danny helped me create a story with a gender-creative child surrounded by a loving multicultural family and community. I hope that One of a Kind Like Me gives children a sense of belonging, courage to be who they are, and an appreciation for people who are different than them selves.
Being Danny’s mom, I have learned to appreciate children who don’t follow expectations based on gender. I also have seen how pressure to fit gender expectations can make life hard for any child. We can help all children feel safe and accepted by allowing them to explore a full range of activities without restricting or criticizing what they do based on gender. We can also make a difference by encouraging children to be respectful and kind to their peers, and by letting them know that teasing and bullying hurt. If you have a child who doesn’t follow society’s gender norms, rest assured that you are not alone. It is perfectly healthy to explore different ways of expressing gender. If you have concerns and fears, as I did, learning about gender diversity and connecting with other families like yours can give you confidence and peace of mind.
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Written by Laurin Mayeno
Art by Robert Liu-Trujillo
Spanish Translation by Teresa Mlawer
Published by: Blood Orange Press
Release date: September 2016
Discussion Guides:Educators Families