This Turnarounder grew up in rural Ireland, where World Book Day consisted of hustling us all into the staff room like we were just about to get our mumps jab, a strict rationing of book tokens worth one Irish punt, and a nervous visit to the single bookshop in the county to choose from a stall of slim delights written especially for the day. Now I’ve landed in England and have become aware of your longstanding tradition of cosplaying your favourite characters, and my eyes are opened to a world of possibilities. I turned to Turnaround’s shelves for costume #inspo:
Though I grew into a cis-gender woman, very young me didn’t feel like a girl. I would’ve loved to have taken inspiration from Gracefully Grayson on WBD (and everyday) to screw with the pinafore/trousers binary that pissed me off to no end. Former teacher Ami Polonsky’s novel for 10-14 year olds sees Grayson Sender struggle with the fact that “he” is a girl on the inside, and we follow her journey to confident gender expression. Coming in paperback this June!
Scene: a child enters a classroom feeling confident and safe, wearing whatever the heck they feel like wearing that day, ready to talk openly about what they’re feeling. “Look, Teacher! I’m a visual representation of healthy communication about sex and romance!” Maybe a more abstract choice, but we had to give a shoutout to this excellent toolkit for caregivers talking about sex and bodies to kids aged 8-12. It’s been called revolutionary by Buzzfeed for its status as the first trans-inclusive guide for kids, its nail-on-the-head representation of diversity, and the respect it gives to young kids and their feelings.
Shun the capitalist marketplace and upcycle that old Where the Wild Things Are get-up for a truly Wild Child. John Seven and Jana Christy present a children’s book like no other where the principles of anarchism are outlined in an easy, fun and lively fashion: “When someone says ‘Work!’, you say Why?” “No baths ever again!” . This title even comes with an official damning from the Tea Party, to whom it is “downright shocking.”
Girls around the world with access to education can honour this book’s title by owning their right to go to school, and by fighting for those women who are without this universal human right. Malala is an inspiration that’ll last way longer than any WBD celebration.
Pearl Power and the Toy Problem
Accessories for this World Book Day outfit include trucks, dolls, dinosaurs, fairies – toys. Just toys, no “smashing robot for super boys!” or “pretty pink princess for girly girls”, because limiting children’s interests and is needless and harmful. This picturebook sees our very young protagonist teaching her fellow classmates this lesson, and comes as the second in a series about this boss young lady.
Browse Turnaround’s wealth of diverse kids books here
Read more about our books with great young female leads here
Post by Heather Keane