Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator: T. L. McBeth
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2019
Themes: acceptance, gender expression, stereotyping, non-binary, lgbtqia+, Pride, gender fluid, self-confidence, Pride month, transgender, rhyme,
Ogilvy happily hopped up and down.
The very first day in a very new town
“I’ll zip to the park that I found down the street.
What do they play there? Whom might I meet?”
When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and fun things to do together! But in this town, “bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks.” Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won’t let a sweater or a dress get in the way.
Why I like this book:
I am a huge Underwood fan, and confess that OGILVY has supplanted INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA as my favorite picture book by this masterful writer. I am convinced you will love the bunny, Ogilvy as much as I do. They are funny and confident, with a wonderful joie de vivre. The other bunnies cannot handle this bunny who won’t take a stereotypical gender clothing stand, and is determined to enjoy life to the full and not miss out on fun because boy-bunnies or girl bunnies (or sweater-wearers or dress-wearers) don’t do certain activities.
This is a super fun, beautifully rhymed story about the ridiculous restrictions of gender roles, and really could be used to discuss many restrictions we place on things. It is not the least but heavy-handed but rather wonderfully sly and smart. Not surprisingly, Underwood choose not to use gender pronouns.
Because of the skillful rhyme and great pacing, this makes a terrific read-aloud as well as being a springboard for discussions about gender norms/nonbinary people etc, if desired.
Love the textured clothing and I so hope the Ogilvy becomes a fashion trend! Don’t you dig these end pages?
T. L. McBeth has some cool coloring pages on her website.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.