What are your words? A book about pronouns

Katherine Locke

Book - 2021

Ari knows a lot of words for neighbors, including the pronouns each prefers, and with help from Uncle Lior, who always asks "What are your words," figures out which pronouns--and other words--fit best today.

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jE/Locke
1 / 2 copies available
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Children's Room jE/Locke Checked In
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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8.
ISBN
9780316542067
0316542067
Main Author
Katherine Locke (author)
Other Authors
Anne Passchier (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Whenever Ari's favorite person, Uncle Lior, visits, they always ask, "What are your words, Ari?" Today, before heading to the summer bash, Ari is troubled because none of Ari's words seem to fit. Usually, Ari knows which pronouns—along with other words that describe feelings—feel right. Some people's words, Ari explains, stay the same, while others' change occasionally or frequently or just once. As they walk to the summer bash, Ari introduces readers and Uncle Lior to all the people in the neighborhood. Above each figure float their words: two descriptive adjectives, one word that shares what they do, and a pair of pronouns. Locke's simple narrative, of Ari worrying over that day's words, seamlessly incorporates the appropriate pronouns for each person (including he/him, she/her, they/them, ey/em, ze/zir, and xe/xir), demonstrating the ease with which language can change to accommodate pronoun diversity. Once Ari realizes which pronouns feel right that day, the summer bash celebration is complete. A sweet, affirming introduction to the language used to communicate a range of gender identities. Grades K-3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Two nonbinary creators unite for this picture book about Ari, a narrator who sports an asymmetrical haircut and is excited about a visit from Uncle Lior, a biologist with a dark pompadour who uses they and them pronouns. Aware that pronouns can "change depending on how I feel," Lior asks, "What are your words, Ari?" whenever they drop by. Locke offers an affirming, changeable look at pronoun usage in accessible prose as Ari searches for the right pronouns to use on the day of the neighborhood's "big summer bash." On the way to the barbecue, Lior, Ari, and Ari's older sister Rachel, all brown-skinned, encounter neighbors of varying abilities and skin tones, whose adjectives and pronouns float above them ("Artistic! Sweet! Kind! Ze/zir"). Passchier adds friendly, geometric-based digital art in a mainly triadic color scheme of goldenrod, light indigo, and seagreen. A capable celebration of the rich range of pronouns. Ages 4–8. (May) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 3—Ari's Uncle Lior comes to visit and the pair walk through town to a neighborhood summer bash. Uncle Lior uses they/them pronouns, and they make a habit of always asking Ari, "What are your words?" Sometimes Ari knows which pronouns feel just right, but on this day it's tricky to decide. On the way to the bash, Ari introduces Uncle Lior to everyone in town using that person's pronouns, which are illustrated over their head, along with a few words describing their personality. Ari's family is light brown-skinned, and their neighbors represent a range of skin tones, abilities, and genders. After the bash, Ari invites the reader to share their own words and pronouns after finally settling on they/them pronouns for the day. Passchier's colorful, geometric digital illustrations match the joyful tone of the text, bringing the whole neighborhood to life. Pronouns from around the world decorate the end papers. VERDICT 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.—Allison Staley, Lake Oswego P.L., OR Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An accessible and heartwarming introduction to gender-diverse pronouns follows the experiences of a gender-fluid child who learns how their neighbors identify themselves during a community party where everyone is included. 30,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Ari knows a lot of words for neighbors, including the pronouns each prefers, and with help from Uncle Lior, who always asks "What are your words," figures out which pronouns--and other words--fit best today.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.