Friday 24 June 2022

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Review: Picture Books for Pride

A photo of three Pride picture books on a large Progress Pride Flag, At the top-center is 'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina. ABC Pride by Dr Elly Barnes MBE, Louie Stowell and Amy Phelps in on the bottom left, partially under 'Twas the Night Before Pride. It's diagonal, top left to bottom right. The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kinglsye Books and Jem Milton is at the bottom right, particially on top of 'Twas the Night Before Pride. It's diagonal, top right to bottom left.

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Being that it's Pride, I thought it was appropriate to squeal over some of the beautiful picture books for young children that have been published specifically relating to Pride! They are gorgeous and beautiful, and I adore them!

ABC Pride by Dr Elly Barnes MBE, Louie Stowell and Amy Phelps on a Progress Pride flag at a diagonal, top left to bottom right.

ABC Pride by Dr Elly Barnes MBE, Louie Stowell and Amy Phelps

Published: 2nd June 2022 | Publisher: DK | Source: Bought
Louie Stowell’s Website | Amy Phelps’s Website

A is for Acceptance! B is for Belonging! C is for Celebrate!

ABC Pride introduces little readers to the alphabet through the colorful world of Pride. Children can discover letters and words while also learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community and how to be inclusive.

Every letter of the alphabet is paired with fun, bold illustrations to support language learning, and a handy list of discussion points at the end gives adults the tools to spark further conversations and discussion.

ABC Pride offers a simple yet powerful way to explain gender, identity, ability to children, while supporting diverse family units. Ideal for children to explore together with a caregiver, or in the classroom.
From The StoryGraph.

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ABC Pride by Dr Elly Barnes MBE and Louie Stowell, and illustrated by Amy Phelps is a fantastic book for children to learn more about LGBTQ+ people and topics through the alphabet.

It provides simple meanings for words that might not be obvious to children, like "non-binary," "trans," and what being "out" means. When it comes to sexual orientations, the focus is on love - who a person loves and/or who they don't, which I really liked. With people wanting books banned, and the idea that teaching about LGBTQ+ people is somehow related to sex, as if it's something sordid, the emphasis on love here is really beautiful. It also discusses neo pronouns with "xe" being the word for X. What's great is how some of the words, like "kindness" and "understanding," overlap for life and empathy in general, and others like "justice" and "march," that overlap with other civil rights issues, as well as words that are specific to LGBTQ+ people and Pride.

The illustrations are simple yet beautiful, with people of colour, disabled people, and people wearing hijab represented. It's great to see how the words have been represented in the illustrations, which can be used to help explain some of the more difficult to explain ideas, like "equity," or as a further talking point.

ABC Pride is a a really lovely book, and would make a great introduction to LGBTQ+ topics and Pride, or a great addition to a child's LGBTQ+ library.

'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina on a Progress Pride flag at a diagonal, top right to bottom left.

'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina

Published: 10th May 2022 | Publisher: Candlewick Press | Source: Bought
Joanna McClintick’s Website
| Author’s Website

Pride’s . . . a day that means “Together, we are strong!”

On the night before Pride, families everywhere are preparing to partake. As one family packs snacks and makes signs, an older sibling shares the importance of the march with the newest member of the family. Reflecting on the day, the siblings agree that the best thing about Pride is getting to be yourself. Debut author Joanna McClintick and Pura Belpré Award–winning author-illustrator Juana Medina create a new classic that pays homage to the beauty of families of all compositions—and of all-inclusive love.
From The StoryGraph.

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The StoryGraph | Goodreads

A rhyming story in the style of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, 'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and illustrated by Juana Medina is the gorgeous story of a family preparing to go to Pride the next day. The older child is excited, as they remember previous Prides they've attended. As it's baby Sammy's first pride, together the two mums and older sibling tell Sammy about about the history of Pride, teaching about the Stonewall riot. The history is told honestly but carefully; it's not sugar-coated, but it's not too brutal. There's reference to homophobia, through simple words and illustrated facial expressions. As such, I think it's a really beautiful way to introduce and talk about how LGBTQ+ are discriminated against, while also telling a joyful story.

All of the Prides remembered are beautifully illustrated by Medina. People of colour, disabled people, older people, and people wearing hijab are represented stunning scene are scene. There is so much going on in these illustrations, so much to see. There's a great deal of detail, and it's the kind of book where you'll see something new each time you read it. What's really cool, O I think, is how the people's faces are quite androgynous, and you can't exactly tell or easily guess someone's gender; there's no stereotyping here. I think this is just awesome, as it could make a great talking point around gender stereotypes and assumptions. There are signs and banners held up in every Pride depicted, and there's a great focus on Pride as protest as well as celebration. I adored that there's a Black Lives Matter banner in one scene.

I absolutely adored this book, and it's a great story as well as fun way to discuss Pride and it's history, and celebrate the joy with young children.

The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kinglsye Books and Jem Miltonon a Progress Pride flag at a diagonal, top left to bottom right.

The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kinglsye Books and Jem Milton

Published: 22nd June 2022 | Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Books | Source: Bought
Jem Milton’s Website

Featuring all the colours of the rainbow, this book teaches children about LGBTQIA+ identities through 17 different Pride flags. With fun facts, simple explanations and a short history of each flag accompanying beautiful illustrations, children will uncover the history of Pride and be introduced to different genders and sexual orientations. There's also a blank Pride flag design at the back of the book so that children can create their very own Pride flag!

With a Reading Guide that provides a detailed History of the Pride Flag and questions for further discussion, this inspiring book is a must-have for every child's bookshelf, library or classroom.
From The StoryGraph.

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The StoryGraph | Goodreads

The Big Book of Pride Flags from Jessica Kingsley Books, illustrated by Jem Milton, is such a brilliant book. It's pretty extensive, featuring the majority of Pride flags.

It starts off with the origin of Pride flags, with the Gilbert Baker Pride flag, requested by Harvey Milk, the Rainbow Flag, and the Progress Pride flag, and then goes from there to cover all pride flags in alphabetical order, including flags for different genders, sexual orientations, and romantic orientations. It tells you when they were created and who by, what the identity means, and what each of the colours represent, and with some of the identities being somewhat lesser known. Honestly, I learnt a fair bit from this book myself. All of the flags are accompanied by illustrations of people, and include people of colour, disabled people, people who wear hijab, all ages, and gender presentations.

I would say this book is for older children; while the explanations are relatively simple explanations for each flag, the different identities can be a little complex and it does give a fair amount of detail. For some, like intersex, they might still be questions and some confusion, but it's a great introduction to start with, and to start more conversations about how there are many different ways to identify.

The the back there's a timeline of the evolution of the Pride flag, going through the various changes and the reasons why that goes into more details than the pages at the beginning of the book. There are alsio questions to spark discussion and to check understanding. And there's even a space for a child to design their own Pride flag to represent themselves.

The Big Book of Pride Flags is fantastic. It's great to help children learn about the various identities and gain understanding, but also maybe help them figure out their own. It's just so beautiful, and I love it!

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