Jonathan Van Ness’ first children’s book is heartfelt and will give nonbinary kids the representation they need
Is there anything Jonathan Van Ness can’t do? The Queer Eye beauty guru is a style icon, a yogi, an outspoken activist, an amateur figure skater, and now, the author of a new children’s book you’re going to want to get your hands on for your little ones. He just announced he’s releasing his first book for kids, Peanut Goes for Gold, and we can already tell it’s going to be a bestseller.
Van Ness has long been open about his struggles to accept himself when he was a child and knew he was different from the kids he saw around him. Peanut Goes for Gold mirrors his own childhood, telling the story of a nonbinary guinea pig who competes in rhythmic gymnastics. The takeaway of this adorable story is that kids should celebrate whatever makes them different from others, because it’s part of what makes them special.
The publisher describes the story as “a charming, funny, and heartfelt picture book that follows the adventures of Peanut, a gender nonbinary guinea pig who does everything with their own personal flare.”
The publisher’s description continues, “This upbeat and hilarious picture book, inspired by Jonathan’s own childhood guinea pig, encourages children to not just be themselves ― but to boldly and unapologetically love being themselves.”
BRB, pre-ordering a copy on Amazon right now. Pre-orders are open now, but the book won’t be out until spring.
This isn’t Van Ness’ first foray into being an author. His memoir, Over The Top: A Raw Journey To Self-Love, was a New York Times bestseller soon after it was released in September. Also, it’s basically the adult version of his new children’s book — it details his childhood, including his early days as a gymnast, and the long road it took him to accept and love himself for all of his differences. Basically, you and your little one can journey toward self-acceptance together using JVN’s words and encouragement in two different, age-appropriate formats. Can you believe?
While the message in the book is fantastic, what’s also great is that it provides a chance for nonbinary kids to see themselves in the books they read. Study after study has shown how important representation is, especially for kids from vulnerable groups, like the LGBTQ+ community. Van Ness has given kids what is undoubtedly a touching story about self love and acceptance, but more than that, he’s given kids a chance to have a childhood where they know they’re not alone in the world. That’s a gift that could be lifechanging for many kids.
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