19 GIRLS AND ME by Darcy Pattison, illustrated by Steven Salerno (Philomel)
John Hercules Po enters his kindergarten classroom to find that the demographic is a bit heavy on the estrogen. John's older brother fears that the population will "sissify" him, but luckily, his little brother is more liberated than that, and his classmates don't hesistate to join him on adventures across the Great Wall of China, down the Amazon, and of course, into outer space. By the time they build a go-cart that seats all twenty, even John's brother has to admit, these are more than nineteen girls...these are nineteen friends. With gender roles, labeling and backlash still prevalent , this celebration puts the idea of people first and is the freshest offering since Charlotte Zolotow's classic William's Doll. It will keep those old-school limitations in cheerful check! (4 and up)
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