Tag Archives: tomboy

I’m So NOT Wearing A Dress!

Written by: Julie Merberg

Illustrated by: Mai Kemble

For ages: 4-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Tomboy, Acceptance, Family, Sports, Social-Emotional Development.

Summary: Shelby likes to climb trees, dig for worms with her best friend Nate, and wear nothing but her dirty red high tops.  Shelby’s neighbor Sophie always wants her to have tea parties and dress up like princesses but Shelby is NOT interested.  One day Shelby gets home and her parents present her with several dresses and some news-Shelby is going to be a flower girl in a wedding and she gets to dress up fancy!  Shelby declares that she is SO not wearing a dress!  She wants to wear a baseball hat, not a tiara.  She wants to weather sneakers, not high heels.  What will Shelby do?  Is there a compromise to be made?  Will she HAVE to wear a dress?

We all have to compromise sometimes, to make others happy.  What is not fair, is someone that feels like they must constantly suppress who they are in order to be taken seriously, not teased, or receive positive attention from classmates and family members.  This book is cute because of course wearing a fancy dress for one occasion isn’t everyone’s favorite, but Shelby is able to retain a bit of her personality in the end.  This makes it memorable for everyone!

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever had a big event like Shelby did, being a flower girl?
  • How do you feel when you are asked to do something you don’t want to do?
  • How do you compromise with others?
  • What is your advice to people that sometimes have to do things like wear a fancy dress when they don’t want to?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

julie-and-booksJulie Merberg is the author of many children’s books including My First Book of Girl Power, My First Book of Feminism (for Boys), In the Garden with Van Gogh (and the rest of the best-selling Mini Masters series), How is Mona Lisa Feeling?, and My Favorite Shoes. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, the writer David Bar Katz, their four hilarious sons, and a sweet mutt named Alvy Singer. Julie Merberg began her publishing career 30 years ago as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster—which now handles sales and distribution for Downtown Bookworks. Many years as an editor and then as a packager led her to launch Downtown Bookworks as a book packaging company in 2005. But it was her experience as a mother of 4 boys that compelled her to start a children’s publishing company with the mission of keeping kids engaged in reading and the world around them. The list reflects her passions—science and nature, the arts, girl power (and her husband’s passion—super heroes). She has written many of our books including My First Book of Feminism (for Boys), Baby’s First Eames, My First Book of Girl Power, and My First Jewish Baby Book. Julie lives in Tribeca with her husband, their sons, and a rescue mutt named Alvy who sleeps under her desk and protects her from delivery people.

photo6775b15dMai Kemble was born in Long Beach, CA in 1981 and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) since winning the Illustrator Contest for “Crusin’” in 2007, and was also one of their Featured Artists in 2008. Since then, she has illustrated several picture books with various publishers.

Mai currently lives in Lancaster, CA with her husband Joshua Kemble (Xeric Grant Winner for NUMB/comic book artist/designer/illustrator), their son and two dogs.

Email Mai by clicking here.

Mai also enjoys creating images that feature pets and other favorite animals.  See these featured on various merchandise for purchase at her Society6 page or contact her via Facebook to stay-up-to date with these ever growing images.

You can follow Mai on Instagram @maikemble

Tutus Aren’t My Style

Written by: Linda Skeers

Illustrated by: Anne Wilsdorf

For ages: 4-7 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Tomboys, Exploration, Open-Mindedness, Family, Love, Acceptance.

Summary: This book is super cute!  The main character Emma loves playing in the mud, lizards, and climbing trees.  One day, she gets a package from her uncle!  Inside is a tutu and complete ballerina outfit.  Confused, she asks those around her how to be a ballerina.  Some say she must jump a twirl, be delicate and float, and make music.  Instead, all Emma can do is make burping noises and fall over.  Emma decides that maybe she can make her own music and dance moves, instead of take advice from others.  What happens is a routine totally unique to Emma and her life.  She shows this routine to her uncle who surprises her with a visit, and he is very impressed.  He says he never pictured her as a ballerina, which is why he sent her a safari outfit!  The two of them investigate the package he sent, and it turns out the company sent Emma the wrong costume!

This is a sweet story, and a quick read.  Emma is open-minded about trying something she never really considered was for her, and it’s clear her uncle knows her well and supports what she loves.  This is a great book for that lovable tomboy in your life, or to help children be open to a variety of activities.

Reflection Questions:

  • Emma’s uncle seems to know her pretty well. Who knows you the best in your family?
  • Have you ever tried ballet?
  • What did you think about it?
  • Do you think a specific type of person does ballet? Why or why not?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Skeers_Linda-002_d200Linda Skeers is the author of this book!  Here is her author statement from her website:

I realized the power of the written word before I learned to read. Words were all around me – in books, on signs, TV and cereal boxes. I had high hopes on my first day of kindergarten – finally I would learn to read! We colored. We napped on rugs. Ate graham crackers. Finger painted. Then it was time to go home. We had NOT learned to read and I made my displeasure known – loudly! It earned me a Time Out behind the painting easel.
 Thank goodness for Mrs. O’Connor in first grade. I remember the sheer joy of reading the sentence, “Run, Dick, run.”
 I wrote my first book when I was about 9.
 As a child, I went to the library every Saturday morning. One week I’d check out a stack of books about pioneers, the next week it might be UFOs or ghost stories. Or football. Or mysteries. Or snakes. Or poetry. I still read every night and always have a huge pile of books next to my bed. And in the living room. And the sunroom…
When I wasn’t reading, I was outside exploring the woods, building forts, riding my bike, catching frogs, or playing kickball with the neighbor kids.
 I didn’t think of writing as a career when I was younger. I was encouraged to do something practical like be a nurse or teacher. I always liked helping people so I became a nurse and worked in a hospital and a doctor’s office. But I never forgot how much I loved reading and writing.
Too bad there’s no cure for a bad perm!
After I grew up and got married, my husband and I went camping almost every weekend. Here we are at Backbone State Park – our favorite place!
anne wilsdorfAuthor and illustrator Anne Wilsdorf was born to Alsatian parents in Saint-Paul de Luanda, Angola, in 1954. After a childhood and adolescence spent living in many countries (Angola, Congo, Argentina, Morocco, France, and Belgium), she settled in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1976. There, she began publishing her drawings in newspapers and children¹s publications, followed by her first books. She has continued this path ever since, working with publishers in Switzerland, France, Germany and the United States. Her books, numbering more than twenty, have been translated into numerous languages, most recently into Korean.

Anne Wilsdorf was the Swiss candidate for the prestigious Andersen prize in 2000. Complementing her work as an illustrator.  Anne Wilsdorf has illustrated over 20 books for children, including the Ezra Jack Keats honor book, Sophie’s Squash. Anne currently teaches illustration at l’Ecole Romande des Arts de la Communication in Lousanne.