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!

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Read This! Leo: A Ghost Story

Read This! Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch

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October is always a good time to read about witches! In this rhyming tale by Diana Murray, Grimelda believes that “messed is best”. However, when she can’t find the pickle root she needs for a recipe, she knows it’s time for drastic measures: CLEANING. Heather Ross’s illustration show us a witch who is friendly, not scary.

Read This! Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch

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!

Read This! Two Friends

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D.C.’s Presidential Primary is tomorrow, so this seems the perfect time to share Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins. The book tells of Anthony and Douglass’s fight for rights, including voting rights – and also their friendship and planning over tea and cake. Sean Qualls & Selina Aliko (who also collaborated on The Case for Loving) are responsible for the great mixed media illustrations. A preschool-appropriate introduction to two very important Americans!

Read This! Two Friends

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

Read This! Shoe-la-la!

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This is the book for the moment at our house. Perhaps you have a similarly fancy kid? One in love with glitz, glamour and SHOES?! If so, this rhyming tale by Karen Beaumont, paired with LeUyen Pham’s always fabulous illustrations is a winner. Nothing too brilliant here, but a fun, well-illustrated book for the dress-up set. Frances can basically recite the whole thing to us at this point!

Read This! Shoe-la-la!