Read This! Little Goblins Ten

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With Halloween around the corner, I recommend the mildly spooky, totally sweet counting tale, Little Goblins Ten, written by Pamela Jane and illustrated by Jane Manning. All manner of supernatural parents and their children (monsters, mummies, witches, goblins, etc) practice their skills (scaring, moaning, cackling, leaping, etc) before meeting up to Trick or Treat. I especially like how it alternates between mommies and daddies with their respective offspring. Perfect for preschoolers.

You may also enjoy these Halloween picture books that I wrote about a few years ago.

Read This! Little Goblins Ten

Read This! Leo: A Ghost Story

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Leo is a ghost, yes, but a very friendly one. He makes delicious snacks and loves to draw and play. In this tale, when Leo frightens a family that moves into his house, he knows that will never do. He doesn’t want to frighten any one, so he moves out. It’s a little scary being out in the world, but luckily enough he finds a new place he belongs. This is not a Halloween story, but in a month when there are a lot of scary things about, it’s nice to read about a ghost who you would want to be friends with!

Read This! Leo: A Ghost Story

Books for Queer Families: Mom and Mum are Getting Married!

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I bet you can guess the plot of Mom and Mum are Getting Married! Published in 2004 (in Canada, not the UK as I assumed from the Mum), the book tells of Rosie and Jack’s moms’ wedding – and Rosie’s desire to be a flower girl. The books does seem a little dated now – both because of the clothes in the illustrations and because Moms getting married in the middle of their kids childhood (and not because they are creating a blended family) is from a particular two decade-ish moment in time. This is certainly still happening, but now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. (and Canada and a dozen other countries), I think there will be less and less of two moms or two dads getting married after years and years together with several kids in tow.

Pros: Moms getting married is NEVER an issue. Yay! The only issue is Will Rosie Get to Be a Flower Girl/Ring Bearer, an issue that any kid who has been involved in a wedding will relate to.

Cons: I don’t love the illustrations. Not my favorite style (although I do really love Rosie at the wedding with a bandaid on her knee), and as mentioned, they look pretty dated now.

The Bottom Line: Worth reading, but you can totally just get it from the library.

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books for Queer Families: Mom and Mum are Getting Married!

Books For Queer Families: Real Sisters Pretend

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Real Sisters Pretend is a sweet and simple tale about two sisters pretending to be mountain-hiking princesses. In the context of pretend play, big sister Tayja tells little sister Mia that they don’t have be pretend to be sisters, they are real sisters “because of adoption”. Published in 2016, I discovered this on my public library’s “New Books” display. Yay, libraries!

Pros: I love that this is a book about adoption – and especially about transracial adoption. The author Megan Dowd Lambert is by her description: “a white, bi parent of six children in a multiracial, adoptive, blended family that includes two moms and two stepdads.” Yay for queer folks writing our OWN stories!

Nicole Tadgell’s illustrations are lovely. I especially love the illustration of the two sisters looking at the picture of their family on Mia’s “adoption day”, the first time we realize Tayja and Mia have two moms. I’ve probably made clear, that books with two moms that aren’t ABOUT having two moms are my favorite, so this is right up my alley.

Cons: I don’t really have any. It’s light on plot, but it’s just the sort of basic story, with a family that happens to have two moms that I am always hoping to stumble across. I would be interested in hearing what adoptive families think of this book – does the adoption discussion seem heavy handed? I thought it was great, because adoption is not something we had specifically discussed with our four year old, even though her aunt is adopted and she has a several friends with families created through adoption. I found it helpful to have it be so explicit. But I know that I often wish the Two Mom thing was less explicit, so I wonder if adoptive families sometimes feel the same.

The Bottom Line: Love this book! Definitely pick it up from the library or buy yourself a copy. So happy to have stumbled across it!

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books For Queer Families: Real Sisters Pretend

Read This! Maybe Something Beautiful

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A beautifully illustrated tale written by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell of a girl who loves to paint and how she inspires (and works with) a muralist to transform her grey neighborhood. Rafael Lopez’s bright and cheerful colors show a diverse neighborhood coming together to create art. Fun and uplifting read!

Read This! Maybe Something Beautiful

Books for Queer Families: And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three is a picture book account of the true tale of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who formed a bonded pair and raised an egg another couple had abandoned. It is one of the most frequently challenged books in school and public libraries because of its “promotion of the homosexual agenda.” (If only my agenda involved more adorable baby penguins!)

Pros: Such a cute sweet tale, with great illustrations. The book does a great job of describing how Tango’s family is different without making them seem odd or abnormal. Difference as a fact of life, rather than a problem to be overcome.

Cons: It’s a little sad that my favorite book about two dad families is about penguins, but hey, that’s not this book’s fault!

The Bottom Line: Definitely read it! Such a lovely story. Super accessible to every one.

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books for Queer Families: And Tango Makes Three

Read This! Every Day Birds

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This book is like a beginner’s field guide to birding. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater writes simple rhyming characteristics for twenty different North American birds, which pair beautifully with Dylan Metrano’s cut paper illustrations. I *love* cut paper illustrations, so this book was a winner from the start – and maybe we’ll get a little better at identifying the birds in our area!

Read This! Every Day Birds