My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart

Published: 1st April 2021Goodreads badge
Larrikin House
Illustrator: Scott Stuart
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

My Shadow is Pink is a beautifully written rhyming story that touches on the subjects of gender identity, self acceptance, equality and diversity.

Inspired by the author’s own little boy, ‘Shadow’s’ main character likes princesses, fairies and things ‘not for boys’… he soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide.

This is an important book for a new generation of children (and adults alike) which exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect and positive parenting.

This story is a great example of defying gender norms and being your true self, also a great book showing examples of positive parenting and accepting friends. Stuart tells us that our shadows show us what’s inside, who we really are no matter what is presented to the world.

There is so much to love about this story. The fear of liking things “not for boys” is explored so well and there are so many different interpretations of what this could apply to. Stuart doesn’t specify but instead explores how whatever the reason, a pink shadow is ok and a boy with a pink shadow is not something to worry about.

The narrative is told through rhyme which has a lovely flow and it fits in and around the illustrations so you can compare and appreciate each one as you read. The themes are easy to understand for kids and the feelings of acceptance and loneliness in a new place like school are explored well and succinctly. I loved the dad a lot. His shadow is big and blue but at the same time he is anxious for his kid on their first day of school but doesn’t prohibit what they want to wear.

The illustrations are wonderful. I loved the colour contrast and the expression of the different shadows. Stuart shows how they can be their own individual self but connected to a person as well. The pink/blue scheme was an interesting choice given the theme, but as a base starting point it was clear Stuart was using well known and established gender colours to show young readers in the simplest manner about gender identity and defying gender norms.

This is a beautiful book that made me tear up at the end because from the start where there is so much uncertainty and worry, with the dad saying things are “just a phase” I was curious where the story was going. But seeing him come out and be supportive in so many different ways was amazing. It is a super adorable story that doesn’t have anything too complicated in it, the message is simple – people can be different on the inside to other people in a lot of different ways and there is nothing wrong with that.

You can purchase My Shadow is Pink via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

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