Sam!, Penny Candy Books’ upcoming release about a transgender boy’s decision to share his gender identity with his family, is thoughtfully written by Dani Gabriel and warmly illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo. The story centers on a racially ambiguous family, all with thick dark hair and tan skin warmed by yellow undertones. This makes it one of only a handful of queer children’s books to engage both racial and gender diversity through major characters. Continue reading
A Church for All (2018), written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Laure Fournier, is a charming tale about LGBTQ spirituality that is influenced by one church’s social justice approach to religion. In an informative end note, Pitman describes attending Glide Memorial Church, the church that inspires the book, at the suggestion of a friend. She writes: “For the first time I found a spiritual community that fully accepted and embraced LGBTQ people.” Continue reading
All Families Invited (2019), written by Kathleen Goodman and illustrated by Jo Edwards, is a thoughtful look at the exclusivity of gendered school events, in this instance father-daughter dances.
The protagonist, Annabel, lives with her mother and does not have a father. Annabel soon realizes she isn’t alone. One of her friends lives with his two moms, another with an aunt and uncle; all three children are excluded from the dance. Annabel knows it isn’t right to exclude so many children and families. Continue reading
Square Zair Pair (2015), written by Jase Peeples and illustrated by Christine Knopp, is a quirky picture book reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. The story takes place in Hanamandoo, a fantasy world inhabited by Zairs. Zairs hatch from eggs that grow from vines. Some are tall and square; others are short and round. Round and square Zairs always form a pair by attaching tails. Continue reading
The Zero Dads Club (2015) written by Angel Adeyoha and illustrated by Aubrey Williams is a delightful Flamingo Press publication that celebrates multiple family forms. The story unfolds around Father’s Day. Two children with dark brown skin sit next to each other at a desk. One, Akilah, complains to the other, her friend Kai, about painting an image of a tie. She is upset because their families do not include fathers. The activist minded Akilah suggests they protest Father’s Day. Instead of a protest, they decide to start a club, which they name the Moms Only Club. They quickly change the name to the Zero Dads Club to account for the club’s growing membership. Some members do not have moms or dads. Continue reading
Lisa Blecker is the author and illustrator behind Sweet Neighbors Come in All Colors, a silly and cheerful new picture book with an important message about kindness and inclusion. In this tale, a variety of fruits at a farmer’s market come to life. Although the fruit are very different, they all get along, and what they have in common is emphasized. The book’s celebratory message of acceptance is made accessible to even the youngest of audiences through bright illustrations and thoughtful prose. Continue reading