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
Going Home with Daddy, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Daniel Minter, is gorgeous.
The story unfolds from the point-of-view of a young African American boy heading to his great-grandma Granny’s for an annual family reunion. The text is heavy with emotion, but none shine as boldly as joy. Continue reading
A Name on the Quilt (1999), published by Antheneum Books, was written by Jeannine Atkins and illustrated by Tad Hills. Simple, but warm illustrations face evocative text that describes the family and friends of Ron, a man who passed away from AIDS complications, sewing a quilt to memorialize him. Continue reading
Published by New Family Press, How My Family Came to Be – Daddy, Papa and Me (2003) is written by Andrew R. Aldrich and illustrated by Mike Motz.
Two white men adopt a black baby whose mother is described as too ill to care for him. The adoption process is touched on – the two men meet with a social worker and have their home inspected before they can adopt. The love they feel for their adopted child and the care they provide is emphasized. Continue reading
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968, written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, is not the story of a single man – it is the story of a collective struggle. Duncan makes this struggle real and accessible to even the youngest of readers by unapologetically representing racism and the abuses of power that are a central logic and practice of capitalism. Christie’s atmospheric illustrations envelope each of Duncan’s interconnected vignettes helping express the shifting tone of the emotionally challenging story that puts American history on display in all its complexity. Continue reading
Gayle Pitman is the author of numerous LGBTQ* children’s picture books. Published in 2014, This Day in June, is not her newest release, but it is worth reviewing as it captures a beautifully inclusive vision of a Pride Parade sure to delight young readers. This text can easily be read with toddlers, who will enjoy the multiple representations of fabulous queerness colorfully illustrated by Kristyna Litten.