Pink is for Boys, by Robb Pearlman/Illustrated by Eda Kaban, (June 2018, Running Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9780762462476
Recommended for readers 3-7
For those of us who are tired of the “blue is for boys, pink is for girls” madness, Robb Pearlman is here! Pink is for Boys is a lovely and fun concept book about colors that delivers the wonderful message that ALL colors are for EVERYONE. Spreads alternate between introducing colors and what else they’re popular for. In the first spread, a boy and a girl are getting ready for a party; he wears a pink shirt and bow tie; she’s got a pink dress with a long ribbon. The text reads, “Pink is for boys. And girls.” In the next spread, boys and girls wearing different shades of pink dance in a pink room, festooned with pink balloons and banners, and the text notes, “And bows on fancy clothes.” Each color is featured in the text and in the art, and shows boys and girls enjoying a game of baseball; playing royalty; enjoying nature and racing a go-kart; enjoying the summertime, teddy bears, pets, and most important of all, unicorns! Unicorns are for boys and girls! The text is decisive: all colors are for everyone. Period.
The art is adorable! Eda Kaban gives readers a diverse group of friends having fun together. Their faces are expressive and the body language between characters shows engagement and excitement. Make sure you look twice at the child on the unicorn; at the end of the book, you may become a little teary-eyed. Pink is for Boys is a fun summer reading addition to concept book collections and storytimes. Ask kids what they imagine when they think of different colors!
Pink is for Boys made Out Magazine’s list of 18 Essential LGBTQ Children’s Books for Every Age. Go, Robb!
Q: The most obvious question first: what prompted you to write Pink is for Boys?
Robb: I was prompted to write Pink is for Boys after attending a children’s birthday party at an ice skating rink. All of the children, including the boys, were required to wear pink wristbands to indicate that they were part of the group. One little girl decided to tease one of the boys for wearing something pink. He didn’t quite understand why wearing any color should be a source of embarrassment, and she was as disappointed that her attempt to anger him had failed. I, on the other hand, was delighted and inspired.
Q: Do you write every day, or does inspiration just strike you and get you started?
Robb: As much as I’d like to write every day, most of my writing is done on the weekends when I can devote chunks of dedicated time to it. I’ll sometimes write on my phone or iPad during my commute, too, if I’m in the middle of something that I can’t stop working on. But I’m constantly writing notes to myself about ideas, stories, or sometimes even just names to work on at a later time. Sometimes those notes are half sentences or just one word prompts, so it may take me a little while to remember what I was thinking in the first place.
Q: There’s a unicorn in Pink is for Boys! Any chance we’ll get a unicorn story out of you one day?
Robb: I’m a huge fan of unicorns because UNICORNS! I wrote a book for grown-ups, called 101 Ways to Use a Unicorn a few years ago, and I do have some half-finished stories for kids that I’ve been working on.
Q: Who would rock pink better: Han Solo or Chewbacca?
Robb: It’s hard to say! I think bright pink bandoliers would really pop against Chewie’s honey brown hair and make a statement of intergalactic proportions. But then again, Han would certainly rival Lando’s swagger if he sported a pink leather, instead of basic black, vest. I don’t see why they both can’t give themselves over to the pink side, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s “Let the Wookiee win,” so let’s go with Chewbacca.