Book Review & Giveaway: Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon

Please note: while comments on this post continue to be welcome, the giveaway is now over.

Jacinta Bunnell, author of Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon, kindly sent me a copy of her book for review—as well as one to give away! To enter to win this imaginitive, gender-bending coloring book, please leave a comment at the end of this post. The winner will be randomly selected and notified by email—so please either friend me on facebook or include your email address in your comment so I can notify the winner.

Sometimes the Spoon, illustrated by Nathaniel Kusinitz, envisions what I am passionate about: a world where everyone can be themselves without fear.

Each page offers a graphic/textual vignette—some re-imagine classic fairy tales, and others come fresh from Bunnell’s broad imagination. The book expands the definition of what it means to be a boy or a girl, as well as explores different family structures, races, levels of physical ability—all the different ways that people can look and act and be when they are simply themselves.

“Our culture ridicules sensitive boys, tough girls and other children who do not fit into gender categorization,” Bunnell writes in the book’s introduction. “If we allow all people to unfold naturally into their true selves, we pave the way for a healthier, more loving world.”

Kusinitz’s drawings are simple, whimsical, and engaging—as my five-year-old daughter attests. Ruby loved the page captioned “Marriage is so gay,” excitedly coloring the pair of brides atop a wedding cake.

I especially adore the very first page, which pictures a furry horned monster with earrings, a bow in his hair, and a diminutive pocketbook—with the caption “Some beasts like pretty things.” There are plenty of pages that will appeal to pink boys (“Prince Charming searched high and low for the owner of the glass slipper…to find out where to get a pair in his size”) as well as tomboys (“Dinosaurs are a girl’s best friend”). And it does a nice job of bringing the two together (“For every girl who throws out her E-Z Bake Oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one”).

My eight-year-old gender-nonconforming son Sam does most of his own drawing these days and isn’t so interested in coloring books—but he studied the text of Sometimes the Spoon intently. As a coloring book, Sometimes the Spoon will light the imagination of kids as young as three, if they have reading help, and will appeal to most older kids as well. I know that if Sam had had this coloring book when he was struggling as the only boy in his kindergarten class who liked to dress up as a princess, it would have made all the difference. And the upper age for this book? The sky’s the limit—I’d color it myself if my kids would let go of it.

Bunnell dedicates the book to “everyone who has ever felt left out,” saying: “May there always be a place in this world for you.” Exactly. Buy Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon (it’s available here) for all the kids on your holiday list—because what better gift than the message of self-acceptance?



  1. John B says

    I just discovered you blog yesterday and love what you have to say. My biologically female offspring would go nuts on this book!

  2. says

    What a great idea for a coloring book! I wonder if it’s something that would ever be accepted in preschools? Might be nice to give kids a head start on self- (and other) acceptance.

  3. Susan says

    This sounds whimsical and necessary. I will look for it at the bookstore. Thanks for instroducing the book to us!

  4. Saf says

    I just found your blog today! This colouring book is totally amazing. I would pull out my crayons right now… and I’m 23.

  5. Emily Striker says

    That book sounds awesome, I would love to have a copy!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now though I rarely post. Still I love to hear about the work you are doing to help bring awareness about gender diversity.

  6. Wendy says

    My two-year-old daughter loves trucks more than dolls, and I’ll admit I’d love to see that trend continue. There’s always time to love ballerina fairy princesses when she gets older, if she wants to.

  7. Laurie says

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I hope this trend is young children’s books continues. Your blog provides such a valuable service to all of us who are concerned about gender stereotyping. Keep the recommendations coming!

  8. Lisa Consani says

    This book sounds incredible! I love that she uses humor on a subject that can easily become quite serious. So much easier to deal with big issues with a bit of light-heartedness. I can’t wait to pick up a copy of one!

  9. vickie glass says

    Sounds like this would be a fab way to interact with my pink boy. I would love a copy of this book. Loving the blog, you have opened a whole new sense of peer support to me and my family with your webpage and blog. Thank you.

  10. Jackson says

    I’m absolutely in love with the idea of this book. It follows so closely to what my Out of the (Gender) Box group discusses and I know several other people who would highly benefit from this.

    It’s simply just amazing!

  11. Christopher says

    The title alone is fantastic! Look how far we have come since the rather dull Heather Has Two Mommies. Does the fork run away with the fork? Can the knife become a spoon?

  12. Laura Butler says

    What a fantastic sounding book! I would love a copy to read and share with the kids at our community center (especially the first gen immigrants whose families are more stern about gender in general, the gender-confused often bullied into staying in a box by family and friends alike)… If I don’t win, I at least hope to find it at our library.

  13. Anka says

    Really glad you reviewed this – I had heard about it, but couldn’t get any sense of the inside from what I saw on Etsy… Def ordering a copy, maybe 2-3 for my son’s class…

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