This story of a boy's first ballet recital celebrates gender-creativity, the joy of dance, and being yourself
Téo loves to dance, whether it's the cumbia with Papí, the bhangra with Amma, or ballet class with Miss Lila. He also loves the way his tutu makes him feel, inside and out. But when it comes time to decide which outfit to wear in the big dance recital--a sparkly tutu or shimmering silver pants--Téo wonders if being his most authentic self on stage will put him too much in the spotlight.
Maryann Jacob Macias is a graduate of the City College of New York, CUNY and the Solstice MFA Low-Residency Program at Pine Manor College. This is her first picture book.
Alea Marley is a picture book illustrator. Born in the UK with Barbadian roots, she is currently based in North England.
An American Library Association 2023 Rainbow Book
A 2022 Notable Social Studies Trade Book
“This lyrical book bursts with sincerity without ever feeling preachy or forced…A gender-affirming picture book with a lovable, indomitable star.” –Kirkus
, starred review
“Written with poise and grace, Macias’s gentle story is filled with warmth from the joys of self-expression and calm assurance found in loving support.” –School Library Journal
“Macias's gentle story features a winning gender-nonconforming, biracial protagonist and his supportive adults (parents, teacher); Marley's lively illustrations acknowledge Téo's nervousness about being judged and celebrate his joy and bravery when he's true to himself.” –Horn Book
"What an exciting and thoughtful new voice to welcome into the world of young people's literature. Maryann's stories bring a clear-eyed freshness to the often under-represented narratives concerning what it means to grow up in mixed-cultures, non-conforming gender norms, and the beauty of childhood in general. As her former teacher and present friend, I am thrilled to support all that she creates." –Jacqueline Woodson