My name is Jennifer and I’m a 30-something with a doctorate in Cultural Studies and a MA in Literary Studies. I also have a toddler. I didn’t give children’s picture books much thought until I was pregnant; until then my research focused on “grown-up” culture: films, literature, even pornography. But, as a Lefty mama with a PhD I understood the role cultural texts, like picture books, play in shaping how we perceive ourselves, the world, and all the people in it (and the animals, environments, ideas, ext.). I wanted the hours a week I knew we’d spend reading to help my child understand the most important lesson I think a parent can teach – you are good if you do good.
This blog reviews some of our favorite children’s books. I hope it helps other parents find awesome books! Feel free to email recommendations, comments, and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Publishers and Authors: I review diverse, LGBTQ* inclusive, and social justice themed children’s picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, and young adult books. I prefer hard copies (especially for children’s picture books and graphic novels). But, I understand the cost can be prohibitive and accept E-books. *It is currently taking me 4 – 6 weeks to review picture books and 8 – 12 weeks to review MG and YA. Email me with requests at email@example.com.
How to use the blog: Scroll down, discover great books, buy the books, read the books!
I’m excited to announce my co-edited collection, The Dialectic of Digital Culture, will be published mid-September! I contributed a chapter about digital advocacy anchored in an analysis of Lori Duron’s mommy blog RaisingMyRainbow. Other contributions explore the dark web, Etsy, #metoo, net neutrality, privacy, surrogacy, music, and Trump’s presidency. I am very proud of the rigorous discussion about digital culture this collection will encourage as well as the diverse phenomena explored by contributors!
Guest Review by Sara Austin, PhD
Because there was so much apocalyptic YA fiction, it is rare to find something truly different, but Nicki Richard’s Demon in the White Lands delivers just that. Samuel, the main character of the novel, is not gifted with magic by birth or circumstance. This lack of “Chosen One” status is what sets Demon in the White Lands apart from many other entries into the genre. Samuel is relatable, a flawed character whose decisions seem realistic. Also, because Samuel is not special in a traditional YA sense, Richard relies on characters and relationships to drive her plot. Continue reading
What Riley Wore (2019), written by Elana K. Arnold, explores the creativity and sensitivity of a nonbinary/gender creative child as they navigate everyday life from the dentist’s office to the playground. This accessible children’s picture book is colorfully and cartoonishly illustrated by Linda Davick with a touch of whimsy that doesn’t detract from the text’s realism. Continue reading
July 28th is my ONE YEAR BLOGAVERSARY!
I’ve reviewed over 150 children’s picture books, including over 100 LGBTQ children’s picture books. I’ve also dabbled in middle-grade and YA reviews.
My goals for the year were to get 2500 blog followers and 2500 Twitter followers – I did it! I love that so many people are using my blog as a resource to find books that meet their needs.
I’ll have a big giveaway to thank everyone for their support on the 28th – stay tuned!
Teach the children in your life about LGBTQ history today and everyday!
For reviews of LGBTQ children’s picture books click here.
I am recuperating from a 5 night adventure. I flew to Indianapolis on June 12 for ChLA’s 2019 conference where I presented my work about LGBTQ children’s non-fiction picture books. There are only a handful of children’s picture books that explore aspects of LGBTQ history and I discussed their transformative potential and limitations during my presentation: LGBTQ Children’s Picture Books Now: Between the Past and the Future.
If we build a rich archive of children’s nonfiction that centers diverse experiences of differently classed, raced, and gendered subjects we might just begin to create the type of critical consciousness needed to take account of various modes of oppression that work in tandem. We might also be able to imagine becoming queer as a project in empathy and understanding that forces us to rethink attachments to oppressive ideas, identities, and institutions that reproduce oppression, indignity, and injustice for a newly conceptualized all of us.
I was only there a couple of days before flying to Saratoga Springs, NY to participate in a workshop for an open access Introduction to LGBTQ Studies textbook project I’m contributing to. I’m writing chapters about queer theory and LGBTQ children’s picture books. I’m so excited about this project because it will make information about two of my favorite topics available to students for FREE! It was wonderful to talk with folks who love all things queer! But, it was a lot of flying!
Lollipop Power Press is responsible for publishing some of the most stereotype shattering, queer-inclusive, children’s literature of the 1970s and 1980s! Learn more about the press and follow my blog for upcoming reviews of their children’s picture book publications!