Today we’re thrilled to talk to Kelly Allen about the brand-new picture book called My Brother George!
Molly’s brother George tells funny jokes and has the best laugh! When they are together, they have all sorts of adventures, whether that’s on the beach, climbing trees or snuggling on the sofa at home. Sometimes other children laugh at George and don’t understand that his long hair and clips are just part of who he is and how he is. An uplifting story about daring to be different, but finding our place as part of loving, happy families.
Without giving too much away, tell us about your new book My Brother George?
My Brother George is the story of a young boy who doesn’t fit society’s gender stereotype of ‘what a boy should be’. With the support of his family, and particularly his little sister, Molly, he is able to explore who he is and find his voice in a very loud world.
How is My Brother George similar to My Momma Zo? How is it different?
My Brother George is more about experiencing misgendering and prejudice from a very young age, as opposed to later on in life. It’s not a coming out story, but it is a story focused on acceptance and support, much like My Momma Zo. Both books show how love can pave the way for change and challenge society’s misconceptions.
Tell us about the illustrations! Do you have a favourite one you can share with us?
I adore anything Tara O’Brien creates, so it was a joy to hold My Brother George in my hands for the first time. Tara has created magic with these illustrations, with bold and colourful designs depicting gorgeous scenes and magical moments within the story. My favourite illustration within the book has to be the moment when George says, ‘I think you should get to know someone before finding out their gender’. The joy on both George and Molly’s face is just wondrous!
Is there another children’s book you’ve enjoyed recently that you can share with us?
Right now I’m reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but when it comes to children’s picture books, I always go back to my favourites… The Giving Tree and The Velveteen Rabbit. When it comes to more diverse books, I’ll always have a huge soft spot for Julian the Mermaid and A House for Everyone.
What do you hope your readers take away from My Brother George?
I think it depends on the reader. I hope anyone in a similar position finds strength and joy in the story. I hope anyone else learns from it, I hope it starts a conversation, and I hope it helps the journey to change within society.
Finally, describe My Brother George in three words!
Oh, that’s tough! Hmm…
Uplifting, joyous and beautiful.