4 years & up
Katherine Locke & Anne Passchier
This book is sheer perfection. What Are Your Words? is the perfect book for classrooms to teach about how to ask someone else’s pronouns, and it’s a beautiful guide to help those who have shifting pronouns to navigate those feelings. I really appreciate that both pronouns and other descriptors like “responsible”, “colorful”, and “loud” are folks’ words as well.
Pronouns aren’t everything, they work with our other personality aspects to create a holistic and multifaceted view of each of us. I, Corrie, use both “she” and “they” for my words, and Lee uses just “they/them”.
Ari’s Uncle Lior always asks Ari what pronouns Ari is using that day, because they change depending on Ari’s feelings. Not only is this brilliant normalization, but it also allows Ari to advocate and think for themselves. Uncle Lior takes Ari’s pronouns very seriously, and a detail I appreciate about the book is how this practice is already established when the story begins.
This particular visit however, Ari isn’t sure what words to use. As the pair get ready for a neighborhood party and meet others who tell Uncle Lior their words, Ari becomes introspective and a little bummed. Will Ari figure out what words to use before the day is over?
This book was published by Little, Brown Books but was purchased by me. The creative duo behind this awesome book both use “they/them” and their words, among many others!
Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their feline overlords and their addiction to chai lattes. They are the author of The Girl with the Red Balloon, a 2018 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and 2018 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, as well as The Spy with the Red Balloon. They are the co-editor and contributor to It’s A Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes and Other Jewish Stories, and a contributor to Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens and the forthcoming Out Now: Queer We Go Again. They are also the author of Bedtime for Superheroes and What are Your Words?. They not-so-secretly believe most stories are fairytales in disguise. They can be found online at KatherineLockeBooks.com and @bibliogato on Twitter and Instagram.
Anne Passchier (also known as Andy) is an illustrator and surface designer from The Netherlands, currently living in the USA. They like drawing, cats, videogames, Dungeons & Dragons, shows about aliens, and anything spooky or Halloween-related.
Anne is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Non-binary means they’re not a boy or a girl. When referring to them, you can say “they’re an illustrator”, and use gender neutral words like person, partner, or sibling rather than man/woman, boyfriend/girlfriend, or brother/sister. They also create online comics about their experiences as a non-binary person under the pseudonym Andyrogyny.