cover image Jacob’s Room to Choose

Jacob’s Room to Choose

Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, illus. by Chris Case. Magination, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4338-3073-0

In this follow-up to Jacob’s New Dress, both the titular character, who wears a dress, and his friend Sophie, clad in a button-up plaid shirt and slacks, know which bathroom feels right. But Jacob is stared at in the boys’ bathroom, and Sophie has a similar experience in the girls’ room. Compassionate teacher Ms. Reeves is an ally; pointing to symbols representing a girl and a boy, she gently speaks to the whole class: “You know what? A lot of you don’t look like the signs.” The students set out to create new, inclusive bathroom signs: “I have to pee, so let me be!” one reads. Ms. Reeves just might be the real star in the story, as she models how limiting traditional views of gender can be. Case’s smudgy artwork shows the familiar trappings of a cozy library and the energy of an impromptu art project. In an authors’ note, the Hoffmans share their firsthand experience with their gender-nonconforming son. Ages 5–8. [em](May) [/em]