Myles E. Johnson’s Large Fears (2015)

Large Fears

Queer-affirming children’s book Large Fears (2015) is the product of a collaboration between writer Myles E. Johnson and illustrator Kendrick Daye. Each two page-spread is a vignette combining prose-poetry, photographs, black and white sketches, and color blasts that provide readers with access to the witty, whimsical, controlled chaos of young Jeremiah’s mind. Jeremiah is a queer black boy who loves pink and wants to go to Mars but his fears are almost as big as his dreams and they keep him Earth-bound. Continue reading

Patricia Quinlan’s Tiger Flowers (1994)

Tiger Flowers (1994)*, written by Patricia Quinlan  and illustrated by Janet Wilson, is an emotionally engaging story told from the point of view of a boy who loses his uncle and his uncle’s partner from illnesses related to HIV/AIDS. The warm and accessible picture book directly engages HIV/AIDS but has a more subtle approach to addressing homosexuality.

Readers are introduced to the young boy, Joel, as his sister wakes him up to ask about their uncle Michael. Joel reminds her that Michael has died. Continue reading

Jennifer C. Gregg’s Flying Free (2004)

Flying Free (2004), written by Jennifer C. Gregg and illustrated by Janna Richards, is a sweet story told from the point-of-view of a firefly after it’s captured by a little girl. The child, Violet, is excited to show her catch, the firefly, to her two moms. Violet plans on using the firefly as a night light. At the suggestion of her moms, and with their help, Violet helps make the jar  a bit more comfortable for the imprisoned firefly. But, the firefly isn’t comfortable and keeps trying to escape eventually deciding  not to glow so Violet will let it go. Her moms are able to convince her the firefly will only glow if it is free, and Violet release it. Continue reading