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Fiction Ages 6-8
Pages: 80
Themes: gender identity, self-acceptance, sibling relationship, supportive families, nonconforming children
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 16/Mar/2021
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? “Insightfully emotional…A poignant, purposeful depiction of a ­family learning to recognize, confront, and heal internal struggles with self-love and self-worth. Children in need of encouragement will find comforting ­revelations about the value of individuality.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Riley is inconsolable. He can’t stop crying and nothing is making him feel better. His sister, Regina, tries her best to help him figure out what’s wrong, but four-year-old Riley isn't sure. It’s not his tummy, or his head, or the monsters under the bed. Regina and their dad try everything they can to make Riley smile, but nothing works until one day Regina has an idea. Maybe it’s Riley that is making Riley upset.

Regina knows what it feels like to be uncomfortable in her body, but she also knows that she’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things. So how can she help Riley see that he’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things? A charming story about a child’s search for his true self under the compassionate eye of his older sister.

Publishers Weekly
“Gentle-hued watercolor and gouache illustrations by Bray-Bourret...[create] a comedic effect...Boulay and Simard accessibly interrogate identity.”
Kirkus Reviews
“A kind message.”
School Library Journal, starred review
★“Insightfully emotional…A poignant, purposeful depiction of a ­family learning to recognize, confront, and heal internal struggles with self-love and self-worth. Children in need of encouragement will find comforting ­revelations about the value of individuality.”
Quill & Quire, starred review
★“Bouley bring immense tenderness to both [Regina] and Riley’s journeys of discovery…Bray-Bourret’s quirky illustrations offer energy and lightness that balance the serious subject matter of gender identity…This picture book shows how we can give young children the freedom to be themselves.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Sensitive and nuanced...A beautiful combination of text and image, exploring gender expression, fluidity, and the power of being yourself when the world prioritizes conformity. Riley Can’t Stop Crying is a worthy addition to any home, school, or public library collection! Highly Recommended.”
The Globe and Mail
“This is a book that perfectly captures in both words and pictures the struggle so many young children face to be themselves.”

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