Some queerspawn reading lists

During Banned Books Week, we all get to reflect on the life-saving quality of the books in our lives. So, continuing the celebration, I wanted to collect in one post a bunch of useful book-ish resources for youse LGBT parents out there, or those of youse who know some, and want to figure out what to get their kiddles for the next gift-giving occasion.

Some time back, I worked up a Kids’ books page off of this site reproducing a book list that was distributed to members of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Our Family Coalition by a woman who had done a book search for her own kids’ school. To this, I added a smattering of additional resources, listed on the Kids’ books page and repeated below.

    • The blog Worth The Trip, provides reviews of queer books for kids and teens, by a “librarian and children’s & young adult literature specialist, and life-long reader of LGBTQ literature.” (For instance, here’s a great post on picture books depicting LGBT families.)
    • Mombian Books is a place for folks to share recommendations about books for LGBT families, run out of Dana Rudolph’s prodigious resource, Mombian.
    • At Family Pride’s eStore you can buy some of the books in the SF Public Library or the COLAGE or the OFC lists, knowing that some of the proceeds will go to the organization. Of special note are the preschool, elementary school, middle school, and highschool “packs,” which include selections of eight or so books widely considered valuable and appropriate for a given age. A perfect gift for those with the wherewithal to give their school, or to ask their school to purchase, or to be generously hinted at before, say, a baby shower.
    • This annotated list, which was created as a resource for a Spring 2007 Gender in Children’s Literature class at The College of New Jersy.
    • The Amazon.com list “Beyond Heather Has Two Mommies: Picture Books w/ Gay Parents,” from “Rainbowheart,” which (as of this writing) includes 40 different titles. I love to support Powell’s Books, the indie giant in Portland (my parents courted in Portland), but their site doesn’t currently support this e-z community list-sharing feature, and some of the books on these lists they don’t even carry (alas).
    • Last, for those whose little one(s) aren’t even born yet, or literate, and are simply compiling their own baby book, BabySakes.com actually has “baby memory books” for two mom or two dad families:

    The Story of ME can be ordered with the “two moms” or “two dads” page pack, which includes a family tree featuring same-gender parents and 2 pages for information about each parent. “The Story of ME” can be customized with your choice of 20 different covers. “Molly West’s Baby’s First Year” is designed to be gender-neutral featuring references to “parent” wherever you would normally see “mom” or “dad” allowing it to be easily customized for same-sex parents.

    Do these people understand an under-served niche market or what? (What’s that sound I hear? The thundering hooves of every other marketing executive realizing the vast commercial potential of the gayby boom?)

I have to think that the print resources available now are legion, compared to when my own beloved was a young girl being raised by lesbians a coupla decades back (it was only in 1990 that we got the legendary titles Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s RoommateAlyson Wonderland charts their history here). Still, when I see that the various available lists of books for kids with LGBT people or families in ’em numbers just a few dozen (by my count), and I think about how many kids are being raised in our households (millions, by the last census’ count), I sure think that more of us ought to be getting into the children’s book-writing business.

Mmmm, children’s book-writing…

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