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.

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Read This! Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch

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

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!

Books for Queer Families: What Makes a Baby

What Makes a Baby is a birds and the bees book for all kinds of families – queer, straight, adoptive, birth, folks who conceived “naturally” and folks who needed medical assistance, folks who had a vaginal birth and folks who had a c-section. Totally appropriate for little kids.

Pros: Age-appropriate and medically accurate without being clinical or saying anything about “when a mommy and daddy love each other”. Bright, colorful, fun illustrations. Has one of the best descriptions of childbirth I’ve ever read: “sometimes it hurts a little, and sometimes it hurts a lot.”

Cons: I can’t think of one.

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a basic “how babies are made” book, buy this one. It’s great for queer families, but also for folks who used IVF or adopted or just didn’t have the standard conception.

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

Books for Queer Families: What Makes a Baby

Read This! Octopus Alone

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Octopus lives in a busy corner of the ocean. From her cave, she sees all sorts of maritime hustle and bustle. When three seahorses come to visit, Octopus starts to feel a little overwhelmed. She escapes and ventures forth until she finds a quiet, unoccupied cave to rest in for a while. When she’s ready, she returns to the hustle and bustle, happy to see her friends again. I love Divya Srinivasan’s illustrations of a colorful, underwater world. But more than that, I love this non-moralistic tale of an introvert’s need for some alone time and the joy of visiting with friends. Balance.

Read This! Octopus Alone