Blog Tour Review: Pink, Blue, and You! by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great conversation-starter for adults to teach kids about gender and sexuality.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours, Elise Gravel, and Mykaell Blais for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publishing Date: March 8, 2022

Simple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone’s right to be their true selves.

Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.

With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how appropriate male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.

About the Author

I was born in Montreal in 1977 and I started drawing not very long after I was born. In kindergarten I was popular because I was able to draw princesses with long spiral hair. Then, in high school, the girls would ask me to draw their ideal guy in their diary. I became very good at drawing muscles and hair, which I used later when I illustrated my book The Great Antonio . On the other hand, I am always just as bad when it comes time to use a diary correctly.

Later, I studied graphic design at Cegep and that’s when I understood that I wanted to do illustration. After my first book, the Catalog des Gaspilleurs , I wrote and illustrated about thirty others . One of my books, The Wrench , won the Governor General’s Award in the Illustration category, and since that time I have a big head and I brag all the time.

I live in Montreal with my two daughters, my husband, my cats and a few spiders. I am currently working on various projects in Quebec, English Canada and the United States. My books are translated into a dozen languages. I hope to live a long time so that I can still make lots and lots of books because I still have lots and lots of ideas.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

This book was excellent! I was a bit worried about how I would go about reading and reviewing a children’s picture book because this is not something I normally do. However, once I opened up my copy of Pink, Blue, and You! I knew I was in for a treat.

As a children’s book, there are several things that readers already know to expect: short sentences, cute illustrations, educational message, etc. Where Pink, Blue, and You! exceeded my expectations was in how all of this was delivered. This book covers extremely important topics that kids should be learning about including gender stereotypes, gender identity, and sexuality. It teaches children about social constructs, pronouns–even a bit about bigotry–and it does so in a way that encourages open conversation between the person reading the book and the child.

Each section ends by posing a question to the reader such as should we feel bad about doing things we like? How would you describe your gender? What is your family like? By doing this, the author creates an environment of open communication in which the child can reflect on their own personal views and discuss their thoughts with the adults around them. The illustrations that accompanied these words improved the experience even more as they were very cute, diverse, and relevant.

I definitely recommend Pink, Blue, and You! to anyone who is looking for a book to teach their children about gender and sexuality. Big thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for introducing me to this gem!

Book Review: Timothy Mean and the Time Machine by William A.E. Ford

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun and rhyme-y kids book full of adventures from across time!

Book CWs

  • Child (non-imminent) Danger

Premise

Timothy Mean is a young kid who gets bored one day and decides to make a time machine out of junk in his house.

Using his new machine, he travels across time–all the way from dinosaurs to hover boards!

Review (No Spoilers)

Thank you William for the free pdf copy in exchange for a review! This is the first kids book I’ve picked up in a long time and since I’ve never reviewed a kids book before, I had to stop a lot to think about what I could say.

Kids books are very short and fast paced so it can be difficult to tackle things like “plot” and “character”, but what I really enjoyed about this book was all of the different time periods that it ventured into. I can definitely imagine it conjuring up educational interests in young kids who want to learn more about things like vikings, dinosaurs, and the first trip to the moon.

The book also threw in some sci-fi which was really fun! There were dragons and futuristic technology mixed in that I think would allow this book to reach a wide audience.

The only thing that I didn’t like was that sometimes the art totally freaked me out. It was actually kind of strange because there were times when I would look at a drawing and be amazed at how nice and detailed it was and then other times when I would look at a person’s face and feel terrified. I fully admit though that I have weird reactions when it comes to how faces are drawn in books. There are some mangas that I actually refuse to pick up because the art scares me.

I recommend taking a look at this book if you’re shopping around for kids. It seems like the physical copy might also have stickers!