BRAND NEW BOOK!
It’s been sixteen years since I first self-published Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…Coloring Book with Irit Reinheimer. I never planned this to be my life’s work. But I suppose it was spelled out for me. I wore leisure suits and retyped other people’s books on my small plastic typewriter for fun.
In 2001, all Irit and I had to help us with the distribution of our first book was an email address and a post office box. We printed 50 copies of the book at local print shops and quickly sold out. We reprinted and reprinted and reprinted, and before we could blink, had sold 5,000 copies totally on our own, without a publisher or even a website.
This DIY coloring book distribution enterprise quickly outgrew both my living room and my patience. We eventually sought out a publisher and the book found a unique audience with people seeking something other than the world of Barbie, Ken and Disney. But that publisher let the book fade into obscurity. So Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be… has been out of print and hard to find for a decade.
I must admit, I had kind of given up on it myself. But PM Press/Reach & Teach, who had taken a chance on me and my ideas for so many years, began kindly nudging us to bring this book back to life, asking nicely about twice a year, "is it time?"
Over the years, people would ask me, “Do you actually think children are ready for these concepts?” and I would want to take it all back, as if I had never said any of this out loud. They would say, “This is weird, I don't know anyone who would want this” and I would wonder why I dared to make such strange books in the first place that seemed to offend so many people. But over and over again I met children who got it, parents who championed my books, adults who saw a younger version of themselves finally validated in the pages, teachers who would tell me about specific students lifted out of isolation by this work. I met activists who photocopied pages for protests and folks who made quilt squares with the images. There were people connecting with the work with joy. This enthusiasm is what I called upon when creating the new version of Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be...
I look around and am truly amazed at the people talking about gender, intersectional feminism, and gender fluidity that never were before. These conversations are happening in line at the grocery store, in schools, and on the 6 o'clock news. I feel the presence of a larger community around me and it gives me hope.
Irit stepped aside from the revision of this book to work on seventeen other phenomenal projects. When I had a doubtful moment about what to do with the rewrite, I would ask myself WWID (What Would Irit Do?) and always find the answer.
This updated edition contains new illustrations and questions for contemplation. It features illustrations from the original by Giselle Potter, Michael Wilcock, Julie Novak, Nicole Georges, Kristine Virsis, Shane Ballard, and more. I sought out fresh illustrators (Simi Stone, Nicole Rodrigues, and Jac Dellaria) to bring new concepts to light. I truly love how it turned out, having all these collaborators on my team, infusing the book with their ingenuity and compassion for children. One moment in time has led to over a decade of publishing coloring books about gender creativity, the dream job I never knew existed.
Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…Coloring Book is a celebration of gender. In this book, you will meet girls who build drum sets and fix bikes; boys who bake and knit; and all manner of children along the gender spectrum. This book is for all the heroic handsome beauties of the world. The future is gender fabulous.
”My family has loved all of Jacinta's coloring books, and this one is no exception. The pictures are all different: inspirational, fun, fantastic, touching, campy, angry, and educational. And they remind us that the world is our oyster and we're whatever kinds of pearls we can dream into possibility. Or maybe we're not pearls at all." --Catherine Newman, Real Simple columnist & author of Catastrophic Happiness
"If I had had this coloring book when I was little, I think things would have been a little easier for me, and when you're little a little easier is a lot." --Lynda Barry, author of Naked Ladies, Naked Ladies, Naked Ladies Coloring Book