LGBT+ media non-profit GLAAD has released a new children’s book called Jack (Not Jackie) which follows the story of Susan, who finds out her younger sister Jackie would rather be known as Jack and identifies as a boy. Jack (not Jackie) is written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Holly Hatam.
The children’s book was released via Amazon and booksellers on Tuesday.
The book, which is intended for children aged four to eight years old, is “a conversation starter about gender identity and gender expression, but more importantly, it is a story about the love between siblings and wholeheartedly accepting people for who they are,” explained GLAAD.
Director of Transgender Media and Representation at GLAAD Nick Adams said, “Today children of all ages are finding support and understanding from parents and caregivers when they express that their gender identity or gender expression doesn’t match the sex recorded on their birth certificate.
“The social transition portrayed in this book is simply and refreshingly a family listening to their child and following his lead as he tells them what name and pronoun he wants to use and how he wants to dress.”
A blurb for the book explained, “In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realises that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as ‘Jack’?
“Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle! She can’t wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together.
“But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a superbug! Jackie also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack.
“Readers will love this sweet story about change and acceptance.”
GLAAD also recently released a gay royal love story to coincide with the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
Prince and Knight, written by Daniel Haack and illustrated by Stevie Lewis, is a picture book that tells the story of a prince looking for a princess but instead falls in love with and marries a knight.
Both books were published as part of a partnership between GLAAD and publisher Bonnier Publishing USA which was announced back in May.
The partnership, according to GLAAD, is “dedicated to integrating and elevating positive LGBTQ representation in children’s literature.”
“The partnership will release at least four titles per year across various genres and formats for children up to the age of 14,” GLAAD wrote on their website.
CEO of Bonnier Publishing USA, Shimul Tolia, said, “The Bonnier Publishing USA kids group, now in its fourth year, continues to grow and evolve. With that growth comes the responsibility to produce meaningful, socially conscious books for every reader. We’re proud to be partnering with GLAAD to authentically and accurately tell LGBTQ stories, and do our part to make classrooms, bookstores, and even the playground a more inclusive environment.”
Meanwhile, children’s book publisher Sonali Fry explained, “Children need to identify with the characters they’re reading about. The importance of children recognizing themselves, their family, and their friends in the media cannot be overstated. We strive to create stories that not only empower but ensure that no child feels invisible.”
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