My Body is Me! is an upbeat, rhyming picture book, aimed for 3-6 year- olds, written by Rachel Rooney and illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg in consultation with Transgender Trend. It introduces children to the workings of the human body, and celebrates similarities and differences while challenging sex stereotypes. It also aims to promote a positive self-image and foster self-care skills. The text is inclusive for children with physical or sensory disabilities.
“As a children’s author & teacher, I’m aware of teaching material for young children that promotes the belief that one can be ‘born in the wrong body’. Inevitably, this literature leans heavily on gender stereotyping to support a reductionist narrative at an age when magical thinking trumps reality.
I wanted to write an alternative narrative, one that celebrates all our unique bodies and the diversity of personality types that inhabit them. It was wonderful to have Jessica Ahlberg’s warm and witty illustrations alongside, enhancing this positive message. I am proud of what we’ve produced and I hope the book (and its message) is widely shared.” ~ Rachel Rooney
“I hope this book, with Rachel’s joyful, catchy text, will help children to feel happy and positive about their bodies. I think it’s really important to challenge gender stereotypes for young children, so in the pictures for the book I have tried to do just that. I hope readers will find it inspires their self confidence.” ~ Jessica Ahlberg
My Body is Me! is the perfect book to use in the classroom as the basis for teaching body positivity, the workings of the human body, health and safety, acceptance of difference and challenging sex-based stereotypes. The book supports the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1 curriculum in the areas of Science and Health education.
RacheI Rooney is a trained teacher in Primary and Special Education. She taught for many years across a range of school settings and has particular interest and experience working with pupils with ASC (Autism). She is now an award-winning children’s poet and picture book writer:
Winner of the CLPE Award 2012 for The Language of Cat (longlisted Carnegie). CLiPPA winners can be seen here.
Winner of the NSTBA 2019 for A Kid in My Class. The 2019 Award Longlist can be seen here.
Jessica Ahlberg has been illustrating books for children for 18 years. She is the illustrator of Goldilocks, Yucky Worms and Half a Pig, and the author and illustrator of Fairytales for Mr. Barker.
A few comments from Twitter…