Reviews /

My Brother George

Authored by Kelly and Zoey Allen
Illustrated by Tara O’Brien
Published by UCLan Publishing

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This bright, cheerful inclusive picture book is told from the perspective of Molly who introduces the reader to her brother, George. George loves telling funny jokes and laughing. He also enjoys doing things with Molly such as climbing trees, playing on the beach, searching for insects, stomping in puddles or just snuggling on the sofa with hot chocolate. What George does not like is being called a girl. Molly explains how some people are unkind and laugh at George because he has long hair. As Molly matures, she grows in confidence and is able to respond to people, telling them that he is her brother. George too learns how to cope and to be what he wants to be rather than becoming upset at the thoughtless comments made by others.

The tone of this book is extremely positive and stresses the importance of understanding and communication in situations where someone may be perceived as being ‘different.’ Emphasis is placed on explanation and understanding rather than anger and confrontation.  My Brother George highlights the difficulties that may be experienced by a non-gender conforming child and the story conveys a clear message about having the confidence and self-belief to be able to be yourself and also about not judging others by their appearances. This book would be an excellent prompt for discussion in upper KS2 classrooms about the subject of gender norms in our society and the possible expectations in behaviour for both boys and girls. Molly is an engaging narrator and her innocence and acceptance serves as a reminder of the importance of kindness and empathy. The vibrant illustrations and the depiction of a loving family life ensure that it would also work as picture book for its own sake with younger children too.