What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/21
Publisher: Little Tiger
Four boys have been friends since before they can remember, and all four are different: Tam is great at making things, Nattie is a storyteller, Rey is very musical, and Bobby is superlative at understanding how things work.
Yet, as the boys get older, their friendship changes: competitiveness, other relationships and wider interests mean that the boys have less time for each other. Fortunately, their deep roots mean that they’re able to return to the group and support each other as a team.
The follow-up to the successful picture book The Girls follows the same formula about a group of children who grow up to become different people, but always stay friends. In The Boys, the book touches on the importance of boys sharing their emotions, and of the friendship group supporting each other in tough times and happy ones. As in The Girls, there’s an acknowledgement of gay relationships as well as heterosexual ones, when the characters are older. There's also a good portrayal of boys with different and non-stereotypical characteristics and interests, as well as a strong representation of boys demonstrating nurturing behaviours, both to each other and in their later life as fathers and partners.
Fans of Ed Vere’s How To Be A Lion will love this inclusive picture book, which is very much centred on presenting an alternative to outdated representations of masculinity, and reminding us that boys are just as kind, loving, creative, clever and thoughtful as girls.