The next night Bailey dreams of a dress made of lilies and roses, with honeysuckles and blossoms that tasted like honey. When Bailey tried to tell her father about the beautiful dress he tells her that she is a boy and boys don't wear dresses! Bailey feels like a girl, even though she looks like a boy, and all she wants is to have one of the beautiful dresses she sees in her dreams. It seems like an impossible dream because even her family is not listening, they keep telling her she is a boy and boys don't wear dresses! Then Bailey meets a girl called Laurel and things make a change for the better.
I am not usually a fan of books with messages - especially picture books - but 10,000 dresses is a simple and sweet book that can be enjoyed as a story in its own right. Too often our books for children are full of stereotypes of how people should look or sound, and to have such an open and honest story about a girl who just happens to look like a boy to everyone else has immense charm for me. There are other books out there that encourage acceptance of diversity and provide support for children who are experiencing tough or confusing times, but most of them can not be enjoyed as a simple story - and 10,000 dresses can.
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who knows a transgendered child who needs a bit of a boost, to anyone who has a child who is friends with a transgendered child, and anyone who would like to read a sweet and touching story about a child who is happy in their own skin who happens to find a happy ending.
If you like this book then try:
- My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis; illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone
- Chamelia by Ethan Long
- And Tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- Be who you are by Jennifer Carr; pictures by Ben Rumback
- It's okay to be different by Todd Parr
- You're different and that's super by Carson Kressley; illustrated by Jared Lee