ChLA 2019

2019 Logo

I am recuperating from a 5 night adventure. I flew to Indianapolis on June 12 for ChLA’s 2019 conference where I presented my work about LGBTQ children’s non-fiction picture books. There are only a handful of children’s picture books that explore aspects of LGBTQ history and I discussed their transformative potential and limitations during my presentation: LGBTQ Children’s Picture Books Now: Between the Past and the Future.

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If we build a rich archive of children’s nonfiction that centers diverse experiences of differently classed, raced, and gendered subjects we might just begin to create the type of critical consciousness needed to take account of various modes of oppression that work in tandem. We might also be able to imagine becoming queer as a project in empathy and understanding that forces us to rethink attachments to oppressive ideas, identities, and institutions that reproduce oppression, indignity, and injustice for a newly conceptualized all of us.

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I was only there a couple of days before flying to Saratoga Springs, NY to participate in a workshop for an open access Introduction to LGBTQ Studies textbook project I’m contributing to. I’m writing chapters about queer theory and LGBTQ children’s picture books. I’m so excited about this project because it will make information about two of my favorite topics available to students for FREE! It was wonderful to talk with folks who love all things queer! But, it was a lot of flying!

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Karleen Pendleton Jimenez’s Are You A Boy or a Girl? (2000)

Are You A Boy or a Girl? (2000) by Karleen Pendleton Jimenez is a Lambda Literary Award 2001 Finalist that was adapted into the film Tomboy in 2008.

It is often thought that boyish girls have it easier than girlish boys. In fact, the idea that girls can more easily wear clothes and play with toys associated with boys is often used to diminish the challenges of being a tomboy. This book illustrates the policing of gender and hurt it causes. Continue reading

100 LGBTQ Children’s Picture Books Reviewed

I have reviewed over 100 LGBTQ* children’s picture books on my blog!

I am writing a book about LGBTQ* children’s picture books and as I identify, analyze, and evaluate books for my scholarship, I am reviewing the books on my blog. I hope the blog will be a public resource for educators, librarians, caregivers, and others interested in queering children’s bookshelves!

My reviews are of English-language books available in the US between 1971 and 2019.These books represent gay and lesbian parenting, gender expansive and transgender children, HIV/AIDS, queer grandparents, LGBTQ historical figures and histories, and so much more!

If you are an author or publisher and I haven’t reviewed your work, please email me at jlmiller1@gmail.com! If you are a blogger, avid reader, or fellow researcher, feel free to contact me!

Follow my journey by subscribing to the blog.

Craig Pomranz’s Made by Raffi (2014)

Made by Raffi (2014), written by Craig Pomranz and illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain follows Raffi as he identifies and explores activities that make him happy. The story takes place in the spring, and Chamberlain’s bright illustrations of green grass, pretty flowers, and clear blue skies set the tone of possibility and growth that is thematically explored by Pomranz. Continue reading

Lesléa Newman’s Saturday is Patty Day (1993)

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Saturday is Patty Day (1993), written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Annette Hegel, is one of the earliest children’s picture books to deal with lesbian parenting and divorce. Newman does a wonderful job creating a teachable text that accounts for the challenges of seperation. I particularly appreciate her sensitive focus on the feelings of Frankie, the young child whose parents are divorcing. At every turn, the story rings true, and even 25+ years after it was originally published, Saturday is Patty Day is a good book to support parents, lesbian or not, in helping their children process divorce. Continue reading