10,000 Dresses

Every night young Bailey dreams about dresses, one on each step of an endless staircase, each dress more beautiful than the last. But when she tells her mother, father, and brother about the dresses, and asks for help in making them, they scold her, saying, “Dresses aren’t for boys.” Bailey explains that she doesn’t feel like a boy, but they each respond that she is and “that’s that!” Finally, Bailey finds a friend who is also fascinated with dresses and they begin to create some together.

10,000 Dresses is the first book for children depicting the experience of a child who is transgendered, or at least gender-variant. Bailey’s experiences, and the initial reactions of family members, are accurate and realistic, as is the importance of finding an understanding friend. The illustrations are child-friendly and colorful. The story is simple and appropriate for children as young as three or four, and invites discussion between parent and child. Such books are sorely needed, and this one is a real success.

Recommended for all libraries serving youth.

Reviewed by, Nancy Silverrod
San Francisco Public Library

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