Published by Two Lives Publishing, The Different Dragon (2006), was written by Jennifer Bryan and illustrated by Danamarie Hosler. Hosler’s warm illustrations pair well with Bryan’s sweet story of a little boy, Noah, his sister, many pets, and two moms.
The book begins as a cozy account of a family getting ready to settle down for the night. One of Noah’s moms, Momma, helps him brush his teeth, then his other mom, Go-Ma, cuddles up to tell him a bed time story. Go-Ma and Noah end up working together to weave a whimsical tale about a boy, Noah, who sails the sea and meets a dragon. The dragon he meets is sad because he doesn’t want to be ferocious. Noah provides his new friend with some wise advice about being yourself.
The Different Dragon is a delightful story. It’s perfect for bedtime, just a little silly and sure to inspire sweet dreams. Noah’s moms are clearly in a same-sex relationship, but that’s not the point of the story, although, accepting difference and understanding that dragons (and people) are complex characters is a take-away even the youngest reader is sure to understand.
The Different Dragon remains available through Two Lives Publishing, which continues to print the book on demand. It’s also easy to find used.
This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!