Love is in the Hair, published in 2015 by Flamingo Rampant, is written and illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware. The sweet story, perfect for bedtime, focuses on a little girl, Carter, with light brown skin and a big smile. Carter is about to become a sister, and is unable to sleep the night before her sibling’s arrival. Her mom and dad are at the hospital and her two uncles are caring for her. Continue reading
A Princess of Great Daring (2015), written by Tobi Hill-Meyer and illustrated by Elenore Toczynski, is about a transgender girl named Jamie and her friends.
Jamie has not seen her friends all summer and plans on telling them about her gender identity. Her two moms drop her off at her friend’s house as all of her buddies are starting to play a game. They will be princes and will save a princess form distress. Jamie says she would like to be a princess and the boys are excited to have someone to rescue, but she interrupts the traditional narrative declaring that she will be “a princess of great daring.” Concerned that they will have no one to rescue, one of the boys, Liam, volunteers to be captured by a dragon. Continue reading
As the mother of a four-year-old who attends a Montessori school, I was excited to see this accessible biography about Maria Montessori! Dr. Montessori developed a pedagogical approach that empowered students to take control of their environments and their behaviors while simultaneously foregrounding the importance of community. This short biography, written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Raquel Martin, introduces students to the work of this remarkable woman from early experiences that prompted her to pursue teaching to her activist work that provide children with developmental disabilities agency and improved life chances. This is a wonderful book, great for parents and educators interested in introducing young children to strong and impactful women! Continue reading
City Life (2010), written by Jeannelle Ferreira and illustrated by J. Cecelia Haytko, is a self-published book told from the point-of-view of a child with two moms. As her moms tuck her into bed at night, the little girl’s thoughts drift to everything she might do with her moms the next day. The city has much to offer, from museums to parks and zoos. This is clearly a low-budget book, but the simple story is a pleasure to read aloud and would make a nice bedtime story for a young child being tucked in by two loving moms. Continue reading
Phoenix Goes to School (2018) is written by mother and daughter team Michelle and Phoenix Finch and illustrated by Sharon Davey. The story is based on the experiences of co-author Phoenix Finch, a gender non-conforming transgender girl, as she prepares for her first day of school.
Phoenix’s gender identity is affirmed at home but she is worried about wearing a dress to school. Her supportive mother helps her process her anxiety and find the confidence to be herself. Once at school, Phoenix is accepted by her peers and makes many new friends. Continue reading
Written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, is a wonderful conversation starter about injustice, civil disobedience, and social change.
Sanders uses alliteration to introduce activist-minded words and ideas to children, making the book a fun read-aloud that will help build vocabulary. Schorr’s illustrations transmit important content about specific civil rights leaders and issues, often drawing on current events. His illustrations really extend and expand the text’s message while providing opportunity for discussion and reflection. Continue reading
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship (2016), written by Jessica Walton and illustrated by Dougal MacPherson, is a whimsical and accessible picture book about gender expression and the power of self-identification. The teddy bear protagonist does everything with a friend named Errol. They climb trees, play in their garden, and have tea parties. Continue reading