Oliver Button Is a Sissy – by Tomie DePaola


Oliver Button Is a Sissy – by Tomie DePaola, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, (9781481477574), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? This reissue of a book first published in 1979 has lost none of its charm. Young Oliver “didn’t like to do things that boys are supposed to do.” His father pleads with him to play a sport, but Oliver loves to dance. So, his parents send him to dance school. He is teased by bullies who play keep away with his shiny black tap shoes until the day he performs in the local talent show and his classmates realize he’s a star! At its core, this story gently preaches the importance of accepting people as they are. It has been embraced by many in the gay community and has even been turned into a thirty minute musical (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBA86Ohg94 for one of many performances).  This belongs in all children’s libraries.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend for children in grades two and up.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with general picture books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, if you haven’t already read it.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  7/18/17

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