Follow Ari through their neighborhood as they try to find their words in this sweet, accessible introduction to gender-inclusive pronouns that is perfect for readers of all ages. Whenever Ari's Uncle Lior comes to visit, they ask Ari one question: "What are your words?" Some days Ari uses she/her. Other days Ari uses he/him. But on the day of the neighborhood's big summer bash, Ari doesn't know what words to use. On the way to the party, Ari and Lior meet lots of neighbors and learn the words each of them use to describe themselves, including pronouns like she/her, he/him, they/them, ey/em, and ze/zir. As Ari tries on different pronouns, they discover that it's okay to not know your words right away—sometimes you have to wait for your words to find you. Filled with bright, graphic illustrations, this simple and poignant story about finding yourself is the perfect introduction to gender-inclusive pronouns for readers of all ages.
Katherine Locke's words are they and them! Katherine lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their very demanding cats and overflowing bookshelves. They also wrote Bedtime for Superheroes, and books for older readers including The Girl with the Red Balloon and The Spy with the Red Ballon. They edited and contributed to It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes and Other Jewish Stories and the forthcoming This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, Us. They can be found online at KatherineLockeBooks.com.
Anne (Andy) Passchier is a non-binary illustrator from the Netherlands, currently working in the USA. Anne lives with their cats, loves to travel, draw, and enjoys all things spooky and Halloween.
Praise for What Are Your Words?:
* "An affirming, conversational picture book that models the ease with which our language can adapt to gender diversity and pronoun use. A recommended first purchase for all libraries."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Awesome, insightful, powerful, necessary, relevant and woke.... The variety of adjectives used throughout Ari's journey to find their words will delight Language Arts teachers and can serve as a teaching text."—Cicely Lewis
, School Library Journal
"Locke's simple narrative...seamlessly incorporates the appropriate pronouns for each person, demonstrating the ease with which language can change to accommodate pronoun diversity.... A sweet, affirming introduction to the language used to communicate a range of gender identities."—Booklist
"A capable celebration of the rich range of pronouns."—Publishers Weekly
"Through Ari's story, children are gently versed in different identifiers. The ultimate lesson: how to champion yourself."—Entertainment Weekly
"This story offers lots of opportunities for exploring beyond the binary."—Horn Book
"An influential addition to gender literature, this educational feel-good book highlights the marvelous distinctiveness of humanity."—Midwest Book Review