j wallace skelton is the author behind one of Flamingo Rampant’s first children’s picture books, The Newspaper Pirates (2015). The narrator-protagonist is Anthony Bartholomew, a young boy with pale skin, red hair, and big glasses Anthony has an admirable sense of style, often boasting long scarves, pearl bracelets, and large […]
I teach literature, writing, gender studies, and interdisciplinary studies in Arlington, TX. My current research explores LGBTQ+ children's picture books. I blog about children's literature at https://raisethemrighteous.wordpress.com.
James LaCroce’s self-published children’s picture book, Chimpy Discovers His Family (2010), is the story of a misfit chimp who prefers banana facials to banana fights. He meets a gay couple, Juan and Benji, while they vacation on his “island.” The couple takes him on several adventures and soon decide to […]
The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption (2002), written by Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki and illustrated by Meilo So, is a story about international adoption that focuses on four North American families bringing their adopted daughters’ home from China.
Nice Little Girls (1974), a Delacorte Press publication written by Elizabeth Levy and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, explores the challenges of being a tomboy, particularly when boyish behaviors are paired with short hair, overalls, and sneakers that highlight how difficult reading gender can be. When Jackie begins her first day […]
Lynn Phillips’ 1972 Lollipop Power, Inc. publication Exactly Like Me is a slim paperback children’s book with an impactful message about disrupting gender roles. On the back cover of the book Lollipop Power describes itself as “a women’s literature collective that works for the liberation of young children from sex […]
The Prince and Him: a rainbow bedtime story… (2007) is a self-published fairy tale written by Kendal Nite and illustrated by Y. Brassel. The story begins with Prince Edmond’s parents urging him to marry a princess and enter adulthood. The prince’s father lines up local girls for him to kiss […]
Belinda’s Bouquet (1991), an Alyson Wonderland publication written by Lesléa Newman and cheerfully illustrated by Michael Willhoite, is a far more subtle depiction of lesbian parenting than was common in the early 1990s. The story is narrated by a young boy named Daniel, although it focuses on his best friend […]
Whisper Whisper Jesse, Whisper Whisper Josh: A Story About AIDS (1992), written by Eileen Pollack and illustrated by Bruce Gilfoy, is an early picture books that explores a young boy’s experience processing grief after losing his uncle to AIDS. The text-heavy story pairs wordy prose with detailed sketches of a […]
Written by Robbi Anne Packard and illustrated by Lori Ann McElroy, Two Daddies… and Me! rides the wave of self-published children’s books about gay and lesbian parenting that began emerging in earnest post-2000. Like similar titles, Packard’s book seeks to normalize gay parenting and provide gay and lesbian parented families […]
Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within features a beautifully dimensional cast of Latinx characters who are evocatively brought to life through her poetic vignettes. However, at its core the book is a coming-of-age story about 11-year-old Celi Rivera, a shy and sensitive black Puerto Rican Mexican American girl. Celi desires privacy […]