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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Peanut Goes for the Goal is by Jonathan Van Ness, grooming expert on the TV show Queer Eye, with cartoon-like illustrations by Gillian Reid. It tells the story of an adorable hamster named Peanut, who decides to be a rhythmic gymnast, practices hard, has the loving support of family, and competes in a big competition. It's cute, lively, and upbeat. The author uses the pronoun "they" when referring to Peanut. Nonbinary kids will recognize themselves in the book, and parents can use the book as an opportunity to talk about gender expansiveness. Kids who don't notice the "they" language may just get wrapped up in the fun story about a self-motivated kid training for a big competition. It's also an appealing model of body positivity, with pear-shaped Peanut confident, graceful, and athletic in a sparkly red leotard.
What's the story?
From the first sentence of PEANUT GOES FOR THE GOLD, it's clear that "Peanut has their own way of doing things" -- like "having banana pancakes on their birthday instead of cake ... and cutting their own hair as they Hula-Hoop." And once Peanut decides to do something, "there's just no stopping them." Peanut decides to be a rhythmic gymnast, trains hard, and enters a big competition, and it works out well, despite a big mistake.
Is it any good?
This upbeat story shows a kid hamster driven to achieve greatness, willing to work hard to get there, and appreciating the help of loved ones along the way. Peanut Goes for the Gold is a super-positive story that highlights nonbinary gender identity by the use of the pronoun "they" in references to Peanut. Peanut's enthusiasm, determination, and pure joy is inspiring, and Gillian Reid's illustrations capture Peanut's exuberant spirit. It's a fresh take on the know-who-you-are and follow-your-dream themes that's downright irresistible.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the big competition in Peanut Goes for the Goal. What does Peanut do to prepare for it? Have you ever had a big competition or performance to get ready for? What happened?
What's fun about the art in this book? Which pictures are your favorite? What do you like about them?
Peanut makes a mistake but quickly recovers. How hard is it to do that in life? Do you think you can have as positive an attitude as Peanut has?
- Author: Jonathan Van Ness
- Illustrator: undefined
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Brothers and Sisters, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harper
- Publication date: August 24, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 13, 2020
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