My shadow is pink by Scott Stuart

cover image

Larrikin House, 2020. ISBN: 9780648728757.
(Age: 4+) Designed to get kids talking about body image, self esteem and being yourself, My shadow is pink offers the tale of one boy, a child in a long line of men who are nothing like him. He prefers pink; his shadow is pink, he prefers wearing dresses, he loves dancing around, twirling and wearing sparkles. But he is told by one and all that these are not meant for him, for he is a boy. His big, hairy Dad tells him it is just a phase, and that he must do what boys do. But when the first day at school comes along and he is asked to bring along a dress up, he takes his dress. Dad is very worried about how he will be received, and Dad's fears are realised when the boy is laughed at and jeered.
But Dad comes into his bedroom where he is cowering under the bed covers, angry and sad, and Dad is wearing a dress too. He explains that although his shadow is blue, sometimes it lives in a disguise. He tells his son of all the family who have lived with a shadow that is different from the one expected; one uncle was an artist, one loved dancing, one loved acting. One aunt's shadow liked other girls, one preferred fiddling about with engines. Each was different and did not conform to what was expected. Dad concludes that just because his shadow prefers pink, does not mean that he should conform to the images that others impose: he encourages him to stand up and be himself, to wear his dress to school and Dad goes along with him in his dress.
Themes: Self image, Confidence, Mental health, Emotional health, Self esteem, Difference.
Fran Knight