Book Reviews

One of a Kind, Like Me/ Unico Como Yo by Laurin Mayeno at Blood Orange Press

Genre Nonbinary / Contemporary / Children / Fiction
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-September-2016

Book Blurb

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It s almost closing time will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time? One of A Kind, Like Me / Unico como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It s a unique book that lifts up children who don t fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community.

Book Review

There are very few children’s books that challenge gender stereotypes, but this one is a perfect example of what such books could look like. It’s even better that this cute story reads much like a fairy tale – because the reality of having to face bullies of all kinds for any child not falling with “the norms” is too sad to put in a book for young children. In this version of events, much like in traditional fairy tales, the hero gets to be who he wants. Then he becomes both an example and a beautiful vision for what might happen if people were more accepting of children trying out different ways of looking at the world we live in. The author has written Danny’s story based on what happened to her son, and he is a very lucky boy!

The story line is basic and easy to follow for a young child; the recommended age range is four to seven. Danny wants to be a princess in the school parade, wearing a purple dress, and his mother takes him shopping for a costume. They find various types of purple garments, but none of them is quite right. Almost ready to give up, Danny has a brilliant idea: if they buy all the pieces, they can make the perfect dress by combining them.

The message that “being different is okay” is evident on more than one level of this story: Danny wants to be a “boy princess” as the other children end up calling it, and none of the ready-made costumes are right for him. He is special enough to have a completely tailored dress. The book is also bilingual English / Spanish, which adds an extra level of inclusion and, as unusual as it is, I think it works well.

I also want to mention the beautiful illustrations. They are well drawn, the colors are not overwhelming or look artificial, and the pictures show the story clearly enough to stand on their own. Stunning!

If you have a child, either your own or someone in your wider family or circle of friends, who is just slightly different from the norm and if you’re looking for a book to encourage them, ‘One of a Kind, Like Me’ could be one way to help them visualize a positive environment. It is also a great book to use for teachers as a basis for discussion, or to answer questions children in a classroom environment may have. And, based on my experience, it’s a very enjoyable short book to read even as an adult!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format hardcover
Length Short Story, 32 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-September-2016
Price $15.00 hardcover
Buy LinkÚnico-Como/dp/0985351411