Why Won’t They Let Them Wear Dresses? Exploring Gender-Nonconforming Issues in Three Children’s Picture Books

  • Rachel Block


Children’s literature plays a crucial role in the Early Years classroom. The focus of this article is on children’s picture books featuring gender non-conforming children who dance, play sports, and prefer to wear dresses. This article brings awareness to the need to include gender non-conforming picture books in elementary classrooms. The three picture books used communicate the dissonance between the characters’ self-conscious identity and the constructed version that society tries to impose. These books educate young readers about the modern experience of being an LGBTQI child and they teach children to be welcoming and supportive towards all types of learners.