Books

6 Racially Diverse and LGBTQ Positive Children’s Books

I’ve found the feminist, racially diverse, LGBTQ-positive children’s books you’ve been looking for but first a digression because this is a blog and what else is a blog for but sharing stories.

As a younger queer exploring my sexuality and gender, I read a lot of books from the HQ section of my library, which my friends and I affectionately dubbed the homos and queers shelf. When S. Bear Bergman published “Butch is a Noun,” I didn’t even make it to the check out counter. I devoured it in one sitting in a narrow aisle in the basement, my back pressed against one stack and my feet propped up on another. I saw myself visible in Bear’s words in a way that soothed the fierce turmoil I was experiencing as I tried to chart a path through the slippery waters between butch and trans, finding words and stories that reflected new possibilities.

Fast forward almost a decade and I’ve mostly figured out my queerness and gender and have a kid who lights up my life in a whole new way. My mother taught me that stories are the way we figure out the world, and I want to give my kid stories that show a different world than the tired old sexist, homophobic/transphobic, white-centric, racist, or heteronormative stories in so many children’s books. So, I scour the internet and the library and grill my friends for their favorite children’s books.

Imagine my delight when I saw that S. Bear Bergman and his husband had founded Flamingo Rampant, a micropress dedicated to producing “feminist, racially diverse, LGBTQ-positive children’s books, in an effort to bring visibility and positivity to the reading landscape of children everywhere.”

The 2015 bundle of books from Flamingo Rampant includes six titles:

1. Is That for a Boy or a Girl? is a book of short poems about gender-independent kids and what they like to do or wear. Spoiler Alert: the point is there aren’t “boy things” and “girl things.”

2. Love is in the Hair is about a little girl waiting for her sibling to be born whose gay uncles tell her stories about their family through objects woven into their dreadlocks.

3. Zero Dads Club is about a group of kids who self-organize and do a special project while their class makes Father’s Day cards.

4. Newspaper Pirates is about a kid who sets out to discover who is stealing his dads’ newspaper from outside their apartment door every morning.

5. M is for Mustache is an ABC book about a girl and her chosen family and how they celebrate Pride.

6. A Princess of Great Daring is about a young trans girl Jamie and her three best friends who are playing princes, knights, and princesses, but it’s not your average “rescue the the princess” story.

That last title is Little Bear’s current favorite book in the set. Seriously, we’ve had it for about three months and it’s already needed some significant repair after an incident involving an unattended can of sparkling water.

Go forth, read good books with the children in your life!

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10 Comments

  1. Amazing. All new to me. Maybe because my kids are out of the picture book stage? Will definitely share. Thanks for compiling!

  2. I would love to know the authors of these books. Wasn’t able to find them online. Thanks!

  3. they are available at Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave. in Toronto.

  4. Michael Erickson says:

    You can also buy them through GLAD DAY BOOKSHOP – the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore. The whole package is on sale here: http://www.gladdaybookshop.com/products/flamingo-rampant-set

    And we will be selling the individual titles soon.

    – Michael Erickson
    Glad Day Bookshop

  5. Have you seen Cory Silvedberg’s books about bodies and growing up? We have “Sex is a Funny Word.” It’s wonderful!!

  6. Shoot! *Cory Silverberg

  7. Another notable mention is “My Chacha Is Gay”

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25613730-my-chacha-is-gay

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