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Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero
Ellie Royce, illus. by Hannah Chambers. Pow!, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-57687-935-1
In this picture book exploring the multifaceted nature of queer identity, the narrator loves Uncle Leo/Auntie Lotta: by day, Uncle Leo is an accountant who helps with math homework; at the weekend, Auntie Lotta is a drag queen who “sings and dances with me.” At Pride, Auntie Lotta whisks a runaway puppy out of harm’s way; when the mayor announces a celebration in their honor, Leo agonizes over self-presentation (“I’ve never been both of me at the same time before”), and the narrator helps to assemble a look that fits who they are. Chambers’s digital illustrations lack outlines, lending the artwork an unfinished quality, but Leo and Lotta’s friends are diverse, and Auntie Uncle’s final outfit, a cropped magenta suit with a peach tulle skirt overlay, is a showstopper. And though the unyielding compartmentalization of Auntie Uncle’s identities, and the firm masculine/feminine binary that establishes, may give some pause, it’s a vivid introduction to drag for young readers. A letter from drag artist Marti Gould Cummings and an afterword by Royce emphasize the personal aspects of the narrative. Ages 3–7. (May)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 03/27/2020

Release date 05/19/2020

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