Metamorphoses by Ovid is, as you can guess, is about change. It is a history of the world from the beginning of creation to the contentious relationship between man and Gods. Let's just say there are plenty of instances of man becoming a tree or animal when they upset the Gods in some way. When reading Metamorphoses I cannot help but think of change that we undertake within ourselves. We are constantly trying to 'change' ourselves in this goal of eradicating the worst versions of ourselves. But this is mostly an inner change, something that most people can relate to and understand. What if your inner self literally did not match your outward appearance, what does it mean to live in a body that does not resemble your entire inner beliefs?
The new book George by Alex Gino is a beautiful and excellent book that chronicles a metamorphosis of George a boy that knows she is a girl. This juxtaposition is attempted to be kept secret until her teacher announces that the new play will be Charlotte's Web and George wants to play Charlotte and is refused because it is for a girl. Of course George believes she should play Charlotte, even if her outward appearance is of a boy.
For younger children, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino is a great novel that also discusses gender and its fluidity. It is about a boy who loves to wear a tangerine dress at the play center because it reminds him of his mother's red hair and lions. He is teased for wearing a dress but soon he decides it doesn't matter as long as he is happy. This was a great conversation starter with my 5 year old about gender stereotypes.