I’m always looking for great books for little boys, probably because I have two pretty cute ones of my own. And guess what? I have a new favorite. DEAR BOY, by Paris and Jason Rosenthal, the daughter and husband of the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and illustrated by Holly Hatam, is the book I’ve been waiting for!
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DEAR BOY, is a Phenomenal New Book for Little Boys!
There has been a huge push in the children’s literature world for books about strong girls. And I get it – these books are desperately needed! Picture books like Beautiful and Rosie Revere, Engineer, and anthologies like Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Herstory and Strong is the New Pretty, showcase that girls are so much more than dresses and dolls.
Instead, girls are finally being revered as athletes and brainiacs and creatives and inventors.
Girls are powerful. Smart. Witty and quick on their feet. Being a leader doesn’t imply she’s bossy, but instead, beautiful.
These books are unquestionably changing the narrative of our society by continually reminding our daughters that they can be anything and everything they want to be.
It is truly remarkable.
There’s a question so many of us have been asking over and over again, especially me, as a boy mom, librarian and book blogger.
Where are the books for little boys? Where are the books for my sons?
I hear it all the time. Where are the books conveying messages that being a boy is more than playing sports and loving trucks and getting dirty and hiding your pain? Where are the books that celebrate boys who show compassion for neighbors and feel so much better after crying and – gasp! – truly enjoy playing with dolls?!?
Where are the books that emphasize respect and thoughtfulness and honesty as significant values that parents should nurture and every boy should strive to cultivate?
Our little boys need these books. Our big boys do, too.
And guess what? Now we have it!
DEAR BOY, is just the book I’ve needed to share with my sons.
DEAR BOY, is written by Paris Rosenthal and her dad, Jason Rosenthal, the daughter and late husband of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a beloved writer of children’s literature. It is illustrated by Holly Hatam.
DEAR BOY, is a companion book to DEAR GIRL, which Amy and Paris wrote before Amy’s death and is one of my favorite birthday party or baby shower gifts. DEAR GIRL, is an ode to the special girl in your life, and in its powerful, gentle pages, it inspires girls to be confident, strong, and filled with love for their beautiful selves.
And now there is a boy version of that same book, and I fell in love from the very first page.
A book for little boys that emphasizes they can be cool, clever and compassionate? YES, Please!
DEAR BOY, is the perfect love letter to your sons and other special boys in your life. Boys, too, need reminders that they can be cool even if they aren’t tough, that they can be special even if they show their feelings, and that being good at sports also means having — wait for it! — good sportsmanship.
Each spread in DEAR BOY, offers words of wisdom and advice for the young reader. It reminds boys to make friends with people that are both like and unlike them, that being truthful will never lead them astray, that yes means yes and anything else means no, and that it’s perfectly ok to cry on days you’re feeling cloudy.
DEAR BOY, is just what I needed for my kids and students! Sure, I can share these same sentiments with them… and I do, all the time. But when my kids see notions like this portrayed in a picture book, the words truly resonate. They stick. And that, my friends, is the power of a good book.
DEAR BOY, is a tender and affirming book for little boys. It reminds us all that there is so much more to being male than acting tough and hiding tears and making bold proclamations that he will never play with girls and he would rather die than play with barbies.
To the contrary, DEAR BOY, celebrates those kids who understand it’s ok to share their feelings and it’s perfectly healthy to cry. It honors the kids who are proud to engage in creative play and like to dress up all fancy and love music and displays of tenderness.
It reminds kids and adults alike that your son and your nephew and your brother and your students can do all these things and still be boys, and there is no shame to be found in boys who exhibit kindness, creativity and tenderness. To the contrary?
These are extraordinary characteristics we should forever honor so our boys grow up to be compassionate, respectful gentlemen.
I am tremendously grateful that I finally have DEAR BOY, to share with my own little guys, who are still so innocent and need to read these books that subvert and defy harmful and stereotypical gender norms. I want my children to know that there is no singular way to be a young man in today’s world. I want my children to be proud of who they are, to know that sharing their emotions is beautiful, creativity is powerful, and their compassionate actions make them so very, very strong.
DEAR BOY, is the book I’ve been waiting for, and our entire team gives it two huge trunks up.
RELATED: We’ve got all the best children’s books for you on Happily Ever Elephants, so be sure to check them out!
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