Papa, Daddy, & Riley

Written By: Seamus Kirst

Illustrated by: Devon Holzwarth

For Ages: 3-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Family, LGBTQ Families, Interracial Families, Acceptance, Love.


This is an incredibly sweet story about a loving interracial family of two dads and their daughter named Riley. When they both drop Riley off for her first day of school, one of her classmates tells her (very matter of factly) that families only have one dad, so she’ll have to choose one. This sends Riley into a confused tailspin, because she has qualities from both of her dads and her “belly mommy” has never lived with them. When Daddy and Papa pick her up at the end of the day, the trio has a talk about what family means.

I loved this book. It focuses on the shared qualities between Riley and her dads, like freckles from Papa and black hair from Daddy as well as different hobbies that she gets from both of them. Poor Riley is confused by her classmate Olive’s comment, because the three of them ARE a family. Papa, Daddy, & Riley is the perfect example of how if we’re not actively having conversations with kids about the diversity of family structures, and how anyone can get married, declarations like this will be made. We need books with a variety of family structures to normalize seeing all types of people who love each other. Definitely worth checking out, and a fantastic place to begin having these crucial conversations about marriage equality.

This book was kindly sent to us by Magination Press, and all opinions are our own.

Seamus Kirst

Seamus Kirst is the author of the memoir, “Shitfaced: Musings of a Former Drunk.”

He is also a podcast host, freelance journalist, speaker and stand-up comedian.

Seamus has written for publications including The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, The Guardian,,, Refinery29,, HuffPost and UpWorthy.

Devon Holzwarth

Devon Holzwarth is an illustrator and writer of picture books full of warmth and charm.

She grew up in Panama with the jungle as her garden and parrots and iguanas as pets. Childhood memories and her collection of vintage children’s books strongly inspire her work.

Devon earned her BFA in 2000 from the Rhode Island School of Design focusing on screen printing and painting and afterwards lived in California painting murals around the Bay Area, and working for a children’s publication. After having two children and moving to Germany, Devon discovered she was an illustrator and had stories to tell. She currently lives in Aachen with her husband, kids, and beloved old hound dog.

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