“Just be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Is probably the motto Peanut lives by. A non-gendered hamster does their thing in this quirky picture book called Peanut Goes for the Gold. Jonathan Van Ness, of Queer Eye fame, decided that this lovable fuzzy guy needed to tell the story of how to be determined, to do what ya gotta do and to remember to always tie your shoes before doing your rhythmic gymnastics routine.
The story is basic: Be yourself. But there are enough new pieces of data to make it fresh and not just the same ol’ same old message. And Gillian Reid does have some fun illustrations to compliment and tie it all together. Everything is happy and bouncy. The text, the colors and even Peanut seems to jump off the page. The details are perfect and have some surprises. I am sure that the brother’s heart-shaped nose was deliberate. You are going to want to root for Peanut and I am thinking we will see at least a sequel. (While I enjoyed Peanut and do want a sequel, I hope there are not too many so that the theme and fun of Peanut is watered down).
This is a good lesson for all ages. The younger crowd will have fun reading the illustrations, the older listener to the story and even a more advanced reader can do the reading themselves. Fitting for a read-aloud to a group or one-one-one readings this might not become a classic, but it will become a favorite of yours and children.