Erica Silverman’s Jack (Not Jackie) (2018)

Jack (Not Jackie)

Jack (Not Jackie) (2018), written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Holly Hatam, adds an important perspective to the existing archive of children’s picture books about transgender and gender creative kids. This thoughtfully told and cheerfully illustrated tale is narrated from the point-of-view of a girl experiencing her transgender younger brother come into his identity. In an article for Watermark Online, Ryan Williams-Jent, writes: “It’s the second picture book in a partnership between GLAAD—the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization—and Bonnier Publishing USA, which publishes over 150 books annually. The collaboration aims to integrate and elevate positive LGBTQ representation throughout children’s literature by releasing at least four titles annually.” Continue reading

Angel Adeyoha’s The Zero Dads Club (2015)

The Zero Dads Club

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

Kai Cheng Thom’s From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (2017)

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the SeaFrom the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (2017), written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching, is about a child named Miu Lan who cannot choose what to be: a boy or a girl, a bird or a fish. Their mother loves them unconditionally and lets them try out different expressions and identities. The child has a beautiful life. Continue reading

Daniel Haack’s Prince and Knight

Prince and Knight (2018), written by Daniel Haack and illustrated by Stevie Lewis, immediately reveals its affinity to fairy tales. The title page depicts a typical fairy tale cartography: a castle surrounded by water and the far simpler homes of villagers. This broad overview of every fairy tale landscape, located somewhere far away, quickly shifts to the castle itself, which is lit from the inside against a blue night sky. Unsurprisingly, the text that hovers over the castle reads: “Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here…”. Continue reading