cover of Introducing Teddy A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton

Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton

Inside:  A book for kids about being transgender.

About this book

Introducing Teddy: a story about being yourself  by Jessica Walton, is a book for younger children about gender and how having a penis, may not necessarily mean that you identify as being a boy.

Introducing Teddy was first introduced as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, and as then picked up by a mainstream publisher shortly after. The book starts off with a small boy Errol and his teddy, Thomas. Every day they ride their bike in the back yard, eat their sandwiches in the tree and plant veggies in the garden. But one day Errol's teddy is sad. His teddy tells Errol that he is afraid to tell him something and that he is worried that Errol won't want to be his friend anymore.

Errol tells his teddy that they will always be friends, and teddy bravely tells his friend what is worrying him. Teddy tells his friend that he has always known that he is a girl teddy and not a boy teddy. And that he wishes his name was Tilly and not Thomas.

​​His friend Errol responds by saying that he doesn't care if Teddy is a girl Teddy or a boy Teddy. And that what matters is that Teddy is his friend. Errol then wants to invite his cousin Ava to come and play with them. Ava turns up to play and is told that teddy has a new name and that her name is Tilly not Thomas. Ava is nonplussed and they start to play together.

So, why do you want to read books like Introducing Teddy to your children?

It provides you with a story, so that you can introduce the subject of transgender to your kids. Introducing Teddy talks about the fact that how a person looks on the outside, doesn't always match up with how they feel on the inside. In this modern day, we now know that gender (male or female) isn't necessarily determined by your genitals. Most people with penises identify as boys, but some identify as girls. And most people with a vulva identify as a girl, but some identify as a boy.

But more importantly, it is about ensuring that the next generation grows up  more inclusive and doesn't bully children who are different by being transgender. As a parent, I want my children to grow up tolerant of people's differences ie to accept that we are all different and that that is okay. It may be the colour of our eyes, the colour of our skin, the way we dress the way we look, or the gender that we identify as. I don't want my children to be discriminated against but i also don't want my children to be guilty of discriminating against other people's children too!

Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton, is a wonderful book for younger children that introduces the fact that gender does not always match your sex. Younger children usually accept this fact as just another thing that can happen. Just like some kids may be in a wheel chair, or speak differently too! It is usually us parents who struggle with the concept ourselves. And books like Introducing Teddy are a wonderful opportunity to normalise transgender through a picture book that is written in an age-appropriate way. And the book gives you the words to explain it, which means that you don't have to be an expert of the subject yourself.

So if you want to grow up a child who doesn't discriminate and is accepting of diversity, then this is the sort of book that you need to have in your bookshelf!

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

Ideal ages

Introducing Teddy: A story about being yourself is ideal for children between the ages of 4 - 7 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of Introducing Teddy: A story about being yourself  by Jessica Walton from Amazon or  Book Depository.

You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.

Video book review

Resources

My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.

Which means that inside this website, you'll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics.

My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with talking to your child about growing up.

You'll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There's even some books in there for parents! 

If you're looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, Let's Talk About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural converasations with your child about their body. 

You'll also find some child friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let's Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

If you're worried that talking to your child about bodies might lead to questions about sex, then you can relax. Let's Talk About Sex, will help you to explain sexual intercourse to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that  take the stress out of explaining!

If your're unsure about how to answer your child's questions about sex, then The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid's ask parents about sex.  Which means you don't need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands. 

About the Author Cath Hakanson

I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.

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