A stellar board book—one of four—about pretend play that subverts gender stereotypes.
Clive is a little boy with dark, straight hair and light skin. His diverse group of playmates interacts with him as he pretends to be a nurse: light-brown–skinned Anisa drives an ambulance toting baby dolls and a stuffed animal, white Wilfred is another nurse, and black Amy is a patient and later caregiver to an ill stuffed-animal crocodile. Clive demonstrates gentleness, compassion, and imagination as he bandages Amy’s arm, gives water to a thirsty teddy bear, bathes Penguin with a sponge, and so on. The soft color palette matches the book’s quiet tone, while the illustrations highlight characters and action described in the text, shunning complex detail and backgrounds. The result is an accessible, engaging board-book depiction of young children’s play that offers a matter-of-fact rebuff to strict gender norms. Other books in the Clive’s Jobs series similarly cast Clive in the pretend-play roles of librarian, teacher, and waiter and echo this title’s success.
Clive is a star! (Board book. 6 mos.-3)