I’m so excited to share What are Your Words? by Katherine Locke with you all today! Just in time for Pride, this delightful picture book follows a young child named Ari as they explore their identity and pronouns during their Uncle Lior’s visit.
Uncle Lior uses they/them pronouns, and always asks Ari, “What are your words?” when they come to visit. Ari is growing every day, so he uses different pronouns on different days—sometimes he/him, sometimes she/her, and sometimes ey/em—but today, none of those options seem quite right. We follow Ari and Uncle Lior through their day as they prepare for the neighborhood summer bash. Ari introduces us to the diverse cast of characters that make up their neighborhood and provide young readers with straightforward explanations of each person’s identity and pronouns. Ari eventually finds the right words to describe their identity and encourages young readers to explore the words that best describe them.
What Are Your Words? is a wonderful introduction to gender inclusive pronouns for young readers, providing answers to so many questions folks have about using the correct pronouns for their friends, family, and acquaintances. But it is also a celebration of exploring our identities, encouraging young readers to trust others when they tell us who they are. We need so much more of this in children’s books, and I’m so happy to see this book exists today.
The illustrations by Anne (aka Andy) Passchier are wonderful! The bright, playful colors really draw you in, and they’re sure to please young readers.
What Are Your Words? officially releases next week (May 25, 2021), but you can preorder your copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Katherine Locke is the author of both young adult and children’s titles, such as The Girl with the Red Balloon and Bedtime For Superheroes. Please visit their website at katherinelockebooks.com to learn more about them and their work.
Anne (Andy) Passchier is an illustrator and queer advocate from the Netherlands, currently living in the US. They have illustrated other queer children’s books, including Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhar, and Benny’s True Colors by Norene Paulson. To learn more about them and their work, please visit their website at annepasschier.com.
I want to thank Little, Brown Books For Young Readers for both making books like What Are Your Words? possible, and for generously providing me with a review copy. I know books like these will make the world a kinder place to be, and I can’t wait to see this one in the hands of young readers everywhere.