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Jacob's New Dress

by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman
Illustrated by Chris Case

Published by Albert Whitman, 2014
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8075-6373-1

Ages 3-8

When Jacob puts on a dress in the dress-up corner at school, his classmate Christopher tells him he’s not supposed to wear a dress because he’s a boy. At home, Jacob likes putting on the witch’s dress from his Halloween costume, but when he asks to wear it to school his mom says no. When he asks if he they can buy a dress he can wear to school she hesitates. So Jacob comes up with his own solution, turning a big bath towel into a “dress-thing,” but Christopher pulls it off him. That afternoon, Jacob asks his mom if she’ll help him make a real dress. “Mom didn’t answer. The longer she didn’t answer, the less Jacob could breathe.” But Jacob’s mom and dad both come through, and the dress Jacob wears to school feels like armor when Christopher teases him. “Soft, cottony, magic armor.” In their authors’ note, Sarah and Ian Hoffman’s explain this picture book about a gender non-conforming child is based on their own son. In the story, Jacob’s awareness of and anxiety about both his parents initial uncertainty is particularly powerful and poignant. (MS) ©2014 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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