Sanchez, Jesus Canchola. “Pepito Has A Doll: Pepito Tiene Una Muñeca”, illustrated by Armando Minjarez Monarrez, Book Baby, 2021.
A Shy Young Boy
Pepito is a shy young boy who lives with his grandmother. He has only one friend, his doll Lola until Miguel appears and they begin a joyful adventure together.
Pepito loves Lola. He takes her to school in secret because his schoolmates will make fun of him. The other kids at school don’t play with him and every night he prays to find a friend at school. Then Miguel, a new student arrives at Pepito’s school.
Bilingual in English and Spanish, this story is a wonderful chance for families to discuss traditional gender roles and same gender attraction. We see how badly books like this or needed for the Black and Brown communities. The storyis inspired by the freedom the author felt when playing with my dolls. The children that bully Pepito in the story represent his family members who did not allow him to play with my dolls when he was growing up. This was frustrating for Sanchez and he was caught a few times and the dolls were taken away. His grandmother always got them back for him or bought him new ones. She was his fierce protector as a child and made him the man he is today by her unconditional love.
Illustrator Armando Minjarez Monarrez was also a boy who grew up playing with dolls. He agreed to go on the adventure with Sanchez and they started working together. After a few years of work, they have brought us this delightful book that is a welcome addition to the canon of LGBT literature.