MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS by Keith Negley is inspired by Mary Edwards Walker, a 19th century woman who decided to wear pants and was arrested repeatedly for wearing them.

This picture book is charming, and the illustrations are vivid and clever. Mary is shown as being inquisitive and determined as she attempts to challenge the status quo. But, the highlight is the overall message of thinking for yourself and that anyone can choose to wear what they want. Mary was ahead of her time and a woman of many accomplishments, as is noted by the wonderful full-page author’s note of her life (teacher, doctor, war hero, activist!).

This book has become a favorite at home for my twin daughters, and it is at the top of our most requested bedtime stories list. As my daughters grow, this will continue to be a wonderful book to explore and to engage in conversations about individuality and the importance of Mary Walker as an important woman in American history.

Suggested Reading Age: PreK-Grade 2 | Balzer + Bray | Jan. 15, 2019 |

“I’m not wearing boys’ clothes,” said Mary. “I’m wearing my clothes!”

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