j wallace skelton’s The Newspaper Pirates (2015)

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 rings. His fathers, Papa and Abba, are as perplexed as he is when their newspapers go missing from their apartment. The story pivots around Anthony trying to solve the mystery of the missing newspaper. Continue reading

James LaCroce’s Chimpy Discovers His Family (2010)

Chimpy Discovers His FamilyJames 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 adopt him, however, the adoption agency rejects their appeal, because they are gay. Continue reading

Robbi Anne Packard’s Two Daddies… and Me! (2009)

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 a book that reflects their family form. Both dads are portrayed as white as is their daughter, the protagonist-narrator. Simple text and images capture the family as they move through their day. To establish the normalcy of gay parenting and dispel concerns that gay men and lesbians will raise gay and lesbian children, the young girl imagines herself grownup with a family of her own comprised of a husband and baby. An unremarkable book that does reflect a particular need that existed before better texts were developed to meet it. Continue reading

Michael Willhoite’s Daddy’s Roommate (1990)

Daddy's Roommate (Alyson Wonderland)Michael Willhoite’s Daddy’s Roommate was published in 1990 by Alyson Wonderland, the children’s literature imprint of Alyson Books, and was one of its top grossing children’s books of all time.

The simply told story is narrated by a young boy about a year after his parents’ divorce. His father has moved in with a man named Frank. Colorful illustrations show Frank, the boy’s father, and the boy in typical family scenes. Additionally, several images paired with brief descriptive text show Frank and the boy’s father engaged in everyday household activities from cleaning and eating to sleeping, all of which they do together. Continue reading

Vanita Oelschlage’s A Tale of Two Daddies (2010)

A Tale of Two DaddiesA Tale of Two Daddies, written by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Kristin Blackwood and Mike Blanc, tells the story of a young girl and what life is like with her Daddy and Poppa. A friend asks her a set of questions about which dad has which role in her life, ie which makes breakfast, which coaches soccer, etc. She answers with either Daddy, Poppa, both, or neither. The questions and following answers are all told in rhyme, which is catchy for kids. Continue reading