R is for Red

My 5 year old grandson, CJ,loves his favorite Uncle Kris A LOT. What he doesn’t know is that his uncle grew up as a girl. As a family we have discussed finding the best way and the right time to tell him. We know it won’t change his feeling towards his uncle in the least. He’s at the “town crier” stage in his life and out of respect for Kris, he doesn’t need to know yet. Since he is a bright kid, we realize that he might connect the dots and come to his own conclusions before we tell him. He has seen a small handful of pictures of Kerri as a little girl and he has seen the pictures around the house of Kris as a little boy.

Until that day comes, I have been looking for books to help him and his baby brother to understand. Well, as is the case in all things transgender, the offering of kids books that address the issue of gender are limited. On top of that, the vast majority of those books write about transgender girls (male to female).

And then I found the book Red by Michael Hall.

Red by Michael Hall

This is the story about a crayon who was red, at least that’s what his label said. The only problem was that he wasn’t very good at being red. People in his life suggested different remedies to help him feel more red. And they had a lot to say about him, including that he wasn’t trying hard enough.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't be red.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t be red.
 It wasn't until he met a new friend who asked him to make a blue ocean that he realized the truth.
It wasn’t until he met a new friend who asked him to make a blue ocean that he realized the truth.

This book is the perfect tool to introduce young children to the concept that the outside doesn’t always match the inside. In the end the blue crayon keeps his red label and I think that’s okay. It sends the message that it’s acceptable to be whatever color you are and labels don’t matter.

As for the lack of books that show little transgender boys (female to male), Kris and I plan on writing a book about a little spitfire named Kerri who grows up to be CJ and Beej’s Uncle Kris.

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7 thoughts on “R is for Red

    1. Yes, we are in the talking stage right now- looking at other books, determining our target audience and all that. I’ve never written a children’s book before.

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  1. I hope you’re able to tell him before he figures it out. Like kids who are adopted, they can be alot of anger when kids feel they’ve been lied to. The book sounds nice, hope you’re able to put something together.

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    1. We figure we will start with the crayon book now. When he has seen the few pictures that remain out of Kerri as a small girl, he has asked who it is and we say Kerri. He’s fine with that. He is very accepting and loving child so I don’t think it will be an issue. He is part of an incredibly diverse family so this is just another small piece of a very unique puzzle.

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