The book I wish I’d had a decade ago.
TL;DR – A cute, fun tour through the world of queerness
Ragdoll Rating: 5/5 Buttons
Recommended For: Everyone. Especially anybody questions or recently out.
About the Book…
This book is very brief, but very informative tour through the world of identities, labels and relationships. The comics focus on the wisdom of a snail, who teaches a bunch of snail buddies about all the beautiful humans.
The book is broken into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the queer experience. Each chapter is ended with a little summary comic featuring an adorable set of creatures known as Sproutlings.
What I thought…
As I said above, I wish I had had this book a decade or more ago. Transitioning was the result of years of questioning my sexuality and gender identity, and the whole period was a very difficult time. I still – 5+ years later – struggle with some aspects, and this book would have helped me a great deal.
Obviously I can’t speak for every queer person, but I personally feel that the content of this book is brilliant. It’s really inclusive, covering a wider variety of topics (albeit very briefly in some cases).
The book starts by discussing sexual orientation, and (correctly) declares it to be distinct from gender identity. Then there is a section on gender identity itself, including non-binary identities and the differences between identity and expression. It’s a really good chapter. Then we have a section on asexuality, something I find is often ignored in by a lot of people. The book finishes itself off with sections of advice, covering healthy relationships and coming out. Mady G makes great efforts to point out the fluid nature of identity, talks a lot about spectrums and how labels and concepts can differ from person to person. I think it’s really well done, and you can definitely tell it’s been written by someone with experience of what they are writing about.
I also love the illustrations, courtesy of J.R. Zuckerberg. I admit I’m slightly biased in this regard. If you want me to love anything, make it cute and I’m basically sold – and this book is CUTE. I love the Sproutlings, they are all my best friends and I want to live in their cute little forest. But ignoring my obvious bias, the illustrations are really lovely, they make what can feel like a difficult subject feel easier.
Finally, I want to mention the very last pages. Tucked away at the end of this book are a series of little activities – I assume aimed at the younger audience. Their inclusion is a really nice touch. The activities include, among other things, a section to write a letter to your younger self (something I know a lot of queer folk have found really helpful) and an invitation to design your own Sproutling. I just thought that was really cool.
If I ever get hold of a time machine, I’m sending this book back to my teenage self. This is definitely a must read for anybody who needs a gentle guide into our big queer world.
Please Note: I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!