Cover Image: Jacob's School Play

Jacob's School Play

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Member Reviews

I think the value in this book probably depends on your use of it… 

I love books that include non-binary characters, without the story being all about the identity, because representation is needed in all stories. But it wasn’t quite that… It wasn’t about the play, but it also wasn’t fully focused on gender. It’s definitely best alongside other books if you’re trying to increase representation or talk about gender. 

I think the teacher explained how we respect people’s pronouns and what they tell us well, but I was a little uncomfortable with the “in this classroom we use he, she, and they,” since that’s not the only pronouns someone might use. 

ARC provided by NetGalley.
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A sweet book! I will definitely be utilizing this title in my classroom. In fact, I've bought a copy for my mom's daycare center!
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Jacob is back! Similar to the other titles in the "Jacob" lineup, I found "Jacob's School Play" presented information on gender identity in a factual, simple way that children (and adults too!) can learn from. There was not a strong narrative, character development, or rhythm, so I would not recommend this title for read-alouds or storytime. I do think that it is an important and useful tool when introducing school-age children to the concept of gender identity.  Best to be read with children ages 4-6.
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Jacob is a controversial fictional character. The first time Jacob and his story appeared on the book scene, many parents and educators were scandalized. This led to stories about Jacob being banned from schools and other places due to the small-mindedness of those making the decisions.

In JACOB'S SCHOOL PLAY, the message is that not everyone conforms to "traditional" gender roles. This story is an important one. Children learn from their parents and the world around them, as well as from books, television shows, and movies. If a child is taught to hate and to discriminate against anyone deemed "different," they will learn to hate and to discriminate.

What happens when a child or adolescent doesn't match the version of gender they were assigned at birth? What happens to the child's inner life? What happens when they are taught that what they are feeling is bad or disgusting?

What happens is that the child or adolescent develops self-hate. Their self-esteem plummets. This unfortunately has led to a staggeringly high suicide rate amongst LGBTQIA2S young people. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!! And, it is our job as members of society to help children learn to love; not only themselves, but also to all those around them.

The wonderful thing that is currently happening is that society is slowly learning to accept everyone, regardless of what pronoun they use. There is a lot of work left to be done, but this book is a fabulous start.

Jacob, is a beloved character who, in this, his latest book, helps other children learn about the often confusing subject of gender expression. This book tackles the subject of gender pronouns and why they are important.

The illustrations are terrific and help to illustrate the importance of the storyline.

I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book
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What a cute picture book! The story has a great theme of acceptance and knowing who you are. I think the way the teacher explains gender and identity is great, and every teacher needs to take a page from this teacher's book! In addition, the symbolism regarding the water and fluidity of gender paired well with the narrative. It is a plain, clear way to explore/explain gender identity for all ages.
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"Jacob's School Play" is an excellent addition to any Children's librarian. It's a positive way to introduce children to the concept of pronouns and gender identity.
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Jacob from "Jacob's New Dress" is back, and in this story, his class is preparing to put on a play.  Ari, a non-binary classmate, is portraying the water.  When Jacob asks which water - the cloud, rain or pond- Ari explains they are all of those things thus creating an analogy for non-binary gender orientation.  The class finds this a bit confusing, but Ms. Reeves, the teacher, gently explains that Ari is neither a boy nor a girl, but feels like neither, or perhaps both.  

I liked this book for its presentation of non-binary gender to a younger audience.  The analogy was brilliant and the teacher's respectful method of handling the questions in her classroom is a good model for educators.  As with the other Jacob books, this one is a good addition to a diversified elementary school library collection.
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Oh WOW! What an interesting book! Here I learn from the kids that regardless of their form, your friends' identity is inside them, and you must respect that. A boy can wear a dress, if he likes, or can be neutral, according to the book. 

With multitudes of perception nowadays, it is better to ask if you don't really know, or simply accept what they said about themselves. This is a way to respect your friends, and have a better understanding of your surroundings.
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This sweet and simple picture book, in which Jacob and his classmates put on a school play, is the perfect introduction to preferred pronouns. Another great Jacob book with a very important message of understanding and acceptance.
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I was a little unsure about how comfortable I would be reading this book to preschoolers at first . It is written in a sensitive child friendly way and addresses some common questions young children might have.  I would be happy reading this book to young children, it radiates warmth, acceptance and community.
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The third in this fantastic series about kids in a kindergarten class who are figuring out who they are on the outside and, now, on the inside. 

A definite add to my 2nd grade classroom library!
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Jacob is back and he is asking fantastic questions about what he sees around him.  Pronouns take center stage in this sensitively told story.
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I loved this book! It took a topic that is difficult for most adults to understand and made it make sense to children. I think everyone,especially some adults, should read this book. I will be looking for the other books in this series.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. 

What a great book to introduce the concept of 'they' as a singular pronoun. I love love love the story of Ari and Jacob. Ari uses the pronoun they and at first Jacob is confused, but over the course of a school play he begins to understand and appreciate. My favourite part of the book is the message that we don't know what anyone feels like inside so we have to trust us when they tell us what they feel. So powerful!
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Parents can educate themselves and their young children with this title in the helpful series published under the auspices of the American Psychological Association. Through the setting of a school play, this picture book looks at the subject of chosen pronouns, specifically the use of “they,” in addition to,”he” or “she.” The importance of respecting each child’s choice is the theme.

The class play is about a farm and harvest. The author ties the theme together by showing that farm crops grow just as they are supposed to, as do people. This inclusive message should be an important part of a child’s early learning.

I recommend this book for families and preschools.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
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This is the third in a series of picture books about a kindergarten classes where children are non-conforming. In the previous books, the emphasis was on Jacob, who wants to wear a dress and his friend Sophie who wears pants.

This time there is Ari, who is non-binary and wants to be referred to as a they, which confuses Jacob.  He thinks that "they" can only refer to plural people.

The story goes on to explain, in very simple terms, that Ari is neither boy or girl, just as, in the play, they are neither one kind of water, just water.

As the teacher explains, it is what Ari feels inside, which is important. "From the outside, we can't see who anybody is on the inside. So we have to trust them when they tell us."

The kids go on to put on a beautiful play, which is pretty amazing in itself for that age group, and Jacob finally gets what Ari is trying to tell him.

"Our class is just like a farm. We all help each other grow, and everyone grows up to be what they're supposed to be. Everybody in their own way."

A very elementary simple way to explain about gender and non-binary without getting to complicated. Also, just a sweet book and beautiful drawings.

<em>Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
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A beautiful story! Meet Jacob and his classmates as they are preparing for their class play.  As the characters choose their parts and make costumes, the teacher and students learn that not all parts or people are the same.  A sweet ending too!  This story sets up for a gentle age appropriate discussion about gender identity in young children.
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Jacob's class stages a performance that allows every student to shine. Along the way, the classroom teacher helps Jacob understand the difference between gender expression and gender identity, leading to Jacob's increased empathy toward and understanding of his classmate Ari.
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