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Born Bad Review #Gifted

I am really happy that the lovely Lefki from Cicada Books contacted me about one of their titles Born Bad. Born Bad is a bright and colourful picture book that introduces children to issues surrounding identity in a fun way. It is the perfect children’s book to read during Transgender Awareness Week (12th-19th November 2019). Cicada books have kindly teamed up with me to offer you a chance to win your very own copy (hopefully signed too!) If you would like to enter then head over to my Twitter competition and get retweeting.

Here is my review to help you find out a bit more. Thank you Cicada books for gifting me a copy for review purposes.

Title: Born Bad

Author: C K Smouha

Illustrator: Stephen Smith

Publisher: Cicada Books

Published: 28th June 2018

Genre: Picture Book, Ages 4-9

Themes: Identity, LGBT+ awareness

Amazon: Affiliate link

Born Bad Review

Born Bad is a humorous and colourful picture book about a wolf who is having an identity crisis. When he looks in the mirror Wolf thinks that he looks bad, which makes him feel bad and causes him to act bad. As the story progresses wolf meets all sorts of different creatures who each help him to transition into the person that he wants to be.

Themes & Issues

Identity is the key theme that is explored in Born Bad. Being comfortable in your own skin is one of the greatest personal difficulties I and many others will ever face. This is obviously more acute for anyone struggling with their gender identity. It is easy to see that transgender awareness is part of the underlying narrative but it is explored in a way that makes this complex issue easily accessible to young readers.

I really like how Wolf is educated by the other animals in the story. They help him to understand that each of them has their own issues and have their own transitions. Change isn’t easy but becoming who you want to be is important, as explained by Caterpillar. My favourite character is Seal who has spent a long time building up a thick skin (blubber), which I think is very hard to do. It is hard to be brave. It is hard to not feel embarrassed sometimes when we don’t like ourselves. Born Bad helps young readers to be proud of who they are and to be more accepting of others. Wolf can feel good!


I really like the colourful design of Born Bad. The bold colours and brightness help to lift the story off the page. The characters are all very quirky and fun.

My Thoughts

I have not come across many picture books that delve so deeply into important issues like identity and transgender awareness. I think it is a really nice story to help young readers explore their own feelings about identity and to learn to accept other people. An important part of the book is that Wolf is ignorant and it is only through education that he understands the other animals better. It encourages young readers to ask questions and to not be afraid of negative responses. I think that any book that helps people to be happy with themselves is worth reading and this is definitely one of them. If you have read Born Bad I would love to know what you think!

Category:Beautiful Books
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The Unspoken Name – Review #Gifted

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