My Own Way

My Own Way, written and illustrated in the original Portuguese by Joana Estrela, and translated and adapted by the poet Jay Hulme, is a great way to introduce the concept of gender to children. With brightly coloured illustrations in a direct, clear style, the poem shows children that they are the ones who get to decide who they are – and that includes their gender and its expression. In simple language, the book teaches children to critically think about the world and about the things they assume about who others are.

The poem begins with a gender binary – are you a boy or a girl? – but then introduces the idea of other gender identities, “you might be both… you might be none!” There is a strong message of treating people with kindness throughout the book as well as showing children that there is more to them than their gender: “You are not only a boy or a girl. / Inside of you is a whole wide world!”  

Rather than a bedtime story, this book would be a great tool for any educator.

My Own Way - book cover
Publication Date
February 2022