Every night, Bailey dreams of magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows,dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows...But when Bailey's awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is inspired by Bailey's imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together..and Bailey's dreams come true.
Sounds like a sweet story, doesn't it? When this book came home in our library bag along with several other books chosen by Stephanie, I suspected nothing. And then, as I overheard Vanessa reading the book to Stephanie as I prepared dinner, warning bells started to ring. I quickly stopped the reading and asked Vanessa to let me preview the book before she continued. Sure enough, my suspicions were correct.
Bailey is continually referred to by the feminine adjectives "she" and "her" as she dreams of beautiful dresses. Only, when she tries to tell her parents and her brother about the dreams, they each rebuke her in turn. And why? Because, it turns out, Bailey is actually a boy.
Bailey feels confused and rejected, until he/she finally finds a neighbour who is accepting of him/her and encourages Bailey to be true to him/herself.
Now, this is not intended as a gay-bashing review. I have known several homosexual people over the years, and my experience with them has always been positive. As people, I can like them and enjoy their company while detesting their ungodly lifestyle, and exhorting them to repent. As did Christ with the tax-collectors and prostitutes, I believe it is our task to look beyond the "gayness" to see the person in need of God.
What concerns me deeply is the fact that the book jacket gives no indication at all of the bias of this book...there is no other way to determine that Bailey is a transsexual than by actually sitting down and reading the book. And since the target audience is 4-8 year olds, there's every chance that the child may be reading this book before it has been "vetted" by a parent.
Lesson learned: more carefully proof-read all children's books before giving the seal of approval.