An educational tale that may help kids understand the feelings of transgender people.



A colorful picture book about a gentle dragon that addresses transgender concepts.

Horus the dragon lives in a village, where he takes care of kittens at the animal shelter and sings in his church choir. Horus also has a deep, secret sadness. As a boy dragon, he can breathe fire, but he longs to have beautiful wings and other things that are only part of a girl dragon’s life. For many years, Horus buries his true self and cries alone in his bungalow, until one Sunday, when a beautiful dragon with rainbow wings speaks at his church. Horus learns that he isn’t alone in feeling that his body isn’t quite right for him, and he finally gets wings and becomes Harriet, the female dragon that she was always meant to be. Horus/Harriet is an appealing, stereotype-busting character and debut author/illustrator Stefaniuk-Gaudet’s images are effective, with bright colors and engaging details. At times, the book’s language gets a bit complex for kids: “They were talking about exciting new 3D printing technology that could potentially help little boy dragons grow up into lady dragons.” Overall, however, it fulfills its promise as a good place to begin a discussion of transgender identity with youngsters.

An educational tale that may help kids understand the feelings of transgender people.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5255-1090-8

Page Count: 33

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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