It’s my belief that boys – of any age – secretly want to do what we girls do. I mean, just consider the Resident IT Consultant at the beginning of Witch time who sneaked more than one look at my women’s magazines. He’d obviously never encountered such interesting stuff before.
Here I have two picture books, each featuring a boy doing nice girly things.
In Craig Pomranz’s and Margaret Chamberlain’s Made by Raffi, we meet Raffi, who doesn’t enjoy what the other children do. He looks different, and he feels different, and he doesn’t care for the noise and bustle of the school playground. But one day he discovers a teacher knitting, and he asks her to teach him to knit.
It changes Raffi’s life! He knits. He sews (and saves the school play). And the other children don’t despise him, but rather admire what he does, and somehow Raffi becomes one of them. Someone who knits, rather than hits a ball, but still OK.
Prodeepta Das tells the story of an Indian wedding. In A Day I Remember, Swayam tells of the day he was his uncle’s markundi. A markundi is the boy who gets to wear special clothes and accompanies the groom throughout the – rather lengthy – wedding. Swayam looks and feels like a prince.
This is a fantastic way to learn – through photos from a real wedding – how they do it in India. I wished one of those sarees could have found its way here, and perhaps some of the delicious food.
I’m sure lots of boys would like to be a prince for a day. Less certain about them wanting to knit, but why not?