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?