I’m so excited to share my Flashback Friday selection with you all today! Published in November of last year, Norene Paulson’s debut, Benny’s True Colors is an adorable picture book that discusses identity and being true to yourself.
In Benny’s True Colors, we follow Benny (of course!) who looks like a bat, but he knows that he is actually a butterfly. While all of his bat friends and family eat insects through the night, Benny dreams of the day he can transform into the butterfly he really is. But one day, after telling all his butterfly friends he is one of them, Benny realizes they can help him make his outward appearance match the way he feels inside. With love, respect, and support from everyone around him, Benny finds his true colors.
Benny’s True Colors encourages young readers to believe others when they tell us who they are, and reinforces the concept that every individual is capable of accurately identifying themselves. In a world where strangers feel far too comfortable labeling one another and placing people in boxes based on their appearances, we need more books like this! Benny’s True Colors is a great resource for parents looking to build a firm foundation of respecting both their identity and the identities of their fellow humans.
The illustrations by Anne Passchier are phenomenal. Fans of What Are Your Words and Rainbow Pride will be happy to find the same wonderful color work in Benny’s True Colors. I especially appreciated the way the vivid pink in the butterfly’s wings is carried through to the cover and end pages.
You can pick up your own copy of Benny’s True Colors wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Norene Paulson is an author and former middle school language arts teacher based in Iowa. Please visit her website at norenepaulson.com to learn more about her and her work.
Anne (Andy) Passchier is an illustrator and queer advocate from the Netherlands, currently living in the US. To learn more about them and their work, please visit their website at annepasschier.com.
Thank you to Norene Paulson and Macmillan for providing me with a review copy of Benny’s True Colors. It was such a treat, and I can’t wait to share it with my little one.