Pansy Boy

By Paul Harfleet

Category: Children's, LGBT+, Poetry

Formats available: Hardback, Ebook

Pages: 64

Publication date: 04/06/17

ISBN-13: 9781909954243

ISBN-10: 1909954241

A graphic novel in rhymed couplets, in which a young boy tackles homophobia in school by planting flowers at the site of homophobic attacks.

Out in the natural world, a boy is in awe of its beauty. Birds in flight amaze him. School squats at the end of summer. He is fey, and bullies aren’t comfortable with that. They attack him. How can he defend himself?

In a rhyming poem, the story comes to life in vivid graphic art. The boy takes strength from the flowers he loves. Where bullies pinned his life with their hate, he plants a pansy. The power of his actions empowers his school to value what is delicate and different.

The book comes complete with a personal field guide to the flowers that adorn and the birds that fly across its pages.

Some five star reader reviews: ‘A moving, warm, witty and uplifting story that speaks powerfully to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or misunderstood. This is stunning storytelling for all and accompanied by the most beautiful illustrations. Highly recommended.’ – Richard on Amazon. *****

‘If you’d like your child to grow up into a free thinker then this book will help you do that. I don’t have kids, but I’d like to think I’m a childless free thinker myself. So I bought this book and have it on my coffee table for all my friend’s kids to touch with their grubby little fingers, all over this beautifully presented hardback rendering MY book grubby, like their chubby paws.’ – Andrea on Amazon. *****

‘This is an truly outstanding book. It has excellent illustrations with a very touching story and great rhymes. The author has done exceptionally well with telling this story and matching the illustrations. A book for my coffee table at home and a gift for friends. If you want to go on an entertaining, rhyming and illustrative journey of thought provoking greatness, this is for you.’ – Riel Sibley on Amazon. *****


'Heartfelt and Powerful'

- Rachel Holmes, Chair of the Judges, the Polari Prize 2018

'Beautiful, heartfelt, uplifting ... Pansy Boy is a story of childhood innocence told through stunningly detailed illustration.'

- James Wong, Botanist

'Beautifully illustrated.'

- The Guardian

Paul Harfleet

Paul Harfleet conceived and runs The Pansy Project, an artwork and an activist movement which since 2005 has planted pansies at the sites of homophobic attacks around the world. Canal+ filmed Paul and his work for the multi-award winning documentary Les Pensées de Paul (2016). Pansy Boy is Paul’s imaginative autobiography, with stunning graphics and rhyming couplets. When young, Paul Harfleet felt that tug between the world’s natural beauties and a world that could be vicious to gay children. Paul began planting pansies to mark his own experience of homophobia …

Related News & Articles

Paul Harfleet – The Power of Pansies, Birds and Art

Birds feature in the story of Pansy Boy, but they get their own star feature at the end of the book in your hand drawn Field Guide to Birds. Why was it important to include those pages? When the book felt almost complete and was filled with the birds I …