Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Review: David Bowie (Little People, Big Dreams)

David Bowie (Little People, BIG DREAMS)David Bowie by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In a step towards the other gender, Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara has taken her line of children's books called Little People, Big Dreams from primarily famous women into the stories of famous men. The idea of the series is to promote unique and influential people whom we want our children to look up to.

Obviously David Bowie was as unique a person as they come! He changed the landscape for people to start realizing that gender norms weren't necessary and that being 'weird' or 'different' was okay. The biggest disappointment I have in this release in Vegara's line of children's books is that there is very little said about how he influenced so many people to question their own sexuality and start conversations about the idea of gender fluidity and other realities that we are working to have society embrace today. It feels almost like Vegara, or her publisher, was not comfortable with stating outright the influence Bowie has had for so many in different marginalized community. Whether he was gay or not (note: he was married to a woman), gender fluid, bisexual, pansexual, etc. is irrelevant, partially because Bowie made it irrelevant; but also because it wasn't about being one thing in the 70's at the height of Bowie's fame. Bowie instead embodied the idea of allowing yourself to be whoever you wanted to be; even if that person didn't fit into the social box. While the book captures the idea of being weird is okay; it really misses out on emphasizing the gender norms that Bowie took head-on.

There are some cute pages in this book about Bowie being 'weird' or 'unusual' but overall it really missed the mark for me. There was an amazing opportunity in this children's book to really allow kids to consider gender norms and, perhaps, have little boys decide to wear dresses. Instead this story played it safe and for that reason I cannot say this is as good as it really could (should?) have been.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

How can you make a book about Bowie and than 'play it safe'? That just doesn't go well together! (Although, that might just be me, but doesn't it feel strange to see someone who's died so recently being included in this series of books? Not bad, just...weird.)