June 20, 2023

Children’s Books for Pride Month


I’m highlighting children’s books with LGBTQIA+ rep or by LGBTQIA+ authors for Pride Month. These are harmless books that are banned or people want to be banned, which is precisely why I read them and why I’m spotlighting them on my blog. I’m grateful that my local libraries carried these. 

Read banned books!

Read books by LGBTQIA+ authors!

Read books with LGBTQIA+ representation!

Read books about gender identity to children!

Fight for these books to stay accessible to all readers!

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson:

A cute, real story about two male penguins who chose each other and were blessed with a baby of their own to love and care for, making their family whole.

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack:

I adored this story about a prince who knew what he wanted and found that love with a knight. And EVERYONE welcomed their love. 

Tale of the Shadow King by Daniel Haack: 

A nice follow-up to Prince & Knight. Perhaps not as special, but it still carries the important message that it’s okay to be different, and that no one should be shunned or harmed for being different.

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman:

A simple picture book with stunning and colorful illustrations that celebrates love. I’ve never been to a Pride Parade, but this story made me want to go to one. 

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders:

A wonderful story about how the rainbow flag came to be. It made me cry. First with sadness and then with joy and pride.

Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution by Rob Sanders:

A great picture book about the Stonewall uprising. It’s written in the perspective of the building—originally two stable houses—which is unique and I loved.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff:

A lovely story about a child who knew he was a boy, and whose parents accepted that. The three of them, especially Aidan, want to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes with the new baby. This is a great lesson for siblings and parents about not assuming gender and how you can alter your way of thinking and actions.

Born Ready by Jodie Patterson:

A cute story about how a child is finally able to embrace their true identity and how his family accepts him and loves him regardless.

Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty:

A fun story with brilliant rhymes and wackiness that had me laughing, which means kids will surely burst with laughter.

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lebel:

A cute collection that demonstrates how to be a best friend, a good friend.

The story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf:

A sweet story that teaches kids it’s okay to be different.

William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow:

An older story with a message still relevant today. Kids should be able to play with whatever toys they wants. Toys shouldn’t be gendered. Girls can play with skateboards, and boys can play with dolls. A boy who learns how to care for a doll is preparing for being a father. ❤️

Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Timmy:

A boy’s favorite toy can be a beautiful porcelain doll.

Angus All Aglow by Heather Smith and Alice Carter:

Angus loves things that sparkle and glitter and gleam. He loves his grandma’s necklace that she gifts him when she realizes it brings him joy, but when he wears it to school, the reaction of the other kids dims that joy.

Pink Is for Boys by Bobb Pearlman:

This board book demonstrates that all colors are for all people.

Julian Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love:

Julian loves mermaids and learns to embrace his mermaid-self.

The Boy & the Bindi by Vivek Shraya:

About a boy who has always been fascinated by the dot on his mothership forehead and learns of the magic it can bring you when you wear it.

I’m Not A Girl by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi, Calvin by JR and Vanessa Ford, Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman are about kids who know exactly who they are and who find the courage to tell their loved ones who that is.

Pride Puppy by Robin Stevenson and Julie McLaughlin is a a cute alphabet story with vivid illustrations.

In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Polacco is perfect for Mother’s Day and Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schaffer is actually set during Mother’s Day but can also be enjoyed on Father’s Day.

Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack is a “love is love” story set during fairytale/medieval times.

Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride, and Protest in the Fight for Queer Rights by Jamie Lawson and Eve Lloyd Knight (an illustrated collection).

Identity: A Story of Transistioning by Corey Maison (a YA graphic novel).

I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (a picture book).

NOTE: I blocked out an adult graphic novel that’s not suitable for kids because of the illustrated sex scenes.

June 06, 2023

Dear Perfectionist Writer


Dear Perfectionist Writer,

In my post “Dear Stuck Writer,” I discussed how people could say you’re blocked because you’re not willing to embrace imperfect art and how that statement is not accurate for all artists. But now I want to discuss actually seeking perfection.

Aiming for perfection in the first draft (even your final draft) can cause exhaustion and lead to burnout. It can cause your muse to cross their arms and run away. 

It is okay to write a sentence that’s two words long. Sometimes I write a sentence that’s a single word long.

It is okay to write a sentence that is subpar.

It is okay to write a wordy sentence.

It is okay to write a boring paragraph.

It is okay to write a paragraph that is two sentences long, or one sentence long.

It is okay to write a lengthy paragraph.

It is okay to write a short chapter.

It is okay to write a long chapter.

It is okay to write lackluster dialogue.

It is okay to use adjectives.

It is okay to use adverbs.

It is okay to tell.

Why is all of that okay?

Because perfection is not (and should not) be the goal when we’re writing the first draft of a story. Our goal right now is to write the book. Each draft or round of revisions/edits after that will make it better and better. 

With that said, remember that perfection is an impossible goal to have at any time, even for your final draft before publication. A few typos can sneak by, even after a book is professionally edited and has gone through several rounds. Not all readers will praise your book and love it as you do. There will always be critics.

That is okay, too. It’s normal. It’s expected.

Do the best you can, put out the best work you can, and be proud of it!

QUESTION: Are you a perfectionist when it comes to writing?