Peanut Goes for the Gold by Jonathan Van Ness, illustrated by Gilian Reid and published by Harper 360 is a picture book celebrating uniqueness.
In his first book for children, Jonathan Van Ness has created an adorable and spirited character in Peanut, a nonbinary guinea pig who does everything their own way. From cartwheels on the basketball court to having banana pancakes instead of cake on their birthday. Even when friends think Peanut’s ways are a little strange Peanut just carries on being Peanut.
One day over dinner, Peanut announces their dream, to be a rhythm gymnast. Immediately, Peanut’s family are on board and with Dad making the amazing costumes, mum helping with routines and Sammy on the music, Peanut is on their way to the big competition. There’s only one problem, they forgot to tie their shoe laces. But as we know, nothing stops Peanut!
Jonathan Van Ness’s unique energy, voice and style come through perfectly in this book, bouncing, twirling and spinning the reader along with Peanut and their story. Just like their creator, Peanut’s uniqueness and zest for life is infectious and you are rooting for them from the start.
Whilst many children’s stories and books exist where the gender of the main character isn’t mentioned, this is certainly the first one I have read that states it clearly: Peanut is nonbinary. When I read this to my children, they defaulted to calling Peanut he or him. This led on to a brilliant conversation about how some people don’t see themselves as either a boy or a girl, they are just them. We have had similar conversations in the past but the tool of a picture book made great strides to strengthen that understanding.
Speaking about his picture book debut, Jonathan Van Ness said, “Growing up, the things that made me unique were not always celebrated, and I wanted to do something that would inspire kids to celebrate the things that make them special.”
Peanut Goes for the Gold certainly does just that; a wonderful story to empower everyone to embrace their uniqueness and feeling free to be exactly who they are.
Buy Peanut Goes for the Gold from Wordery with free delivery.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending a copy of this book for review, all views are our own.
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