Are you looking for a simple text that gives young students a lot to think about? Ogilvy by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by T.L. McBeth is a story about acceptance and standing up for yourself. Ogilvy, the new bunny in town, is surprised to discover that there are rules that determine which games a bunny can play based on what the bunny wears. Ogilvy is wearing an outfit that can be either a sweater or a dress, the only choices allowed. When Ogilvy wants to play a game for dress-wearers they call their outfit a dress and when they want to play a sweater-wearer game they call it a sweater. Finally, when confronted by the other bunnies, Ogilvy musters courage to speak up and convinces the others that they should be allowed to play whatever they want, regardless of their clothing choices.
Teacher Thoughts: This is a gentle story with many layers. The rhyming text and fun illustrations makes this a great read aloud. Underwood’s carefully crafted text contains no pronouns making the story one that speaks to many individuals and may resonate with gender nonconforming students and transgender or gender fluid children.
I am always looking for books that will help students think about the power of diversity and this book is perfect for even my youngest students.
This book reminds us to be kind, don’t exclude others, and it’s okay to be different.
Some students found the most powerful lesson was when Ogilvy finds their voice and help change the way the other bunnies think.
When older students were asked why the author didn’t use pronouns, they said that it was because it didn’t matter if Oglivy was a boy or girl, everyone should feel okay playing whatever they want.