Tag Archives: LGBT families

We Are Little Feminists: Families

Written by: Archaa Shrivastav & Little Feminist Book Club

Photographs by: Collected by Little Feminist Book Club, page numbers with acknowledgments are on the back cover!

For ages: Infants and up

Language: English 

Topics Covered: Family, Feminism, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Relationships, Board Books. 

Summary: 

This is probably the most diverse family book that I’ve ever seen, and I absolutely love how the photographs are of real people! This board book is a powerhouse of representation, and normalizes all sorts of different family structures.  It’s heartwarming to see so many LGBTQ families reflected in the pages, and truly does so much for opening doors of conversation for readers of a variety of ages.

This is one of a three-part series, I haven’t read Hair or On-the-Go yet, but I have actually ordered them because Families was so fantastic.  If you’re interested in these board books, or in their book boxes, you can actually use our discount code (THETINYACTIVIST) for 15% off orders (except gift cards)!  We are thrilled to be a part of this organization, because they (like us) care so much about representation and diversity in books.

This gorgeous book was sent to us by the Little Feminist Book Club, but all opinions are our own!

My Footprints

Written by: Bao Phi

Illustrated by: Basia Tran

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Imagination, LGBTQ Families, Bullying, Xenophobia, Family, Love, LGBTQ, Growing Up, Girls Outdoors.

Summary: 

My Footprints is a lovely book that tackles some tough subjects. Thuy, our main character, is walking home from school making footprints in the snow and thinking about how kids have been making fun of her for a slew of reasons. When she gets home, she’s greeted by both of her mothers who were shoveling snow outside. Together the three of them use imaginations to think critically about the situation and if those mean things that were said are true or worth thinking about. 

We think that this book is really important to use as a way to foster discussion about bullying and the things that were being said to Thuy. She’s teased for having two moms and told to “go back to where she came from”. Both homophobia and xenophobia are incredibly sensitive topics that are all over the media currently as well as near to our hearts. Being queer people that plan to have children one day, we are optimistic that things may change but realistic about the fact that there is a very good chance we will be having these conversations with a tiny person we wish we could shield the horrors of the world from. We are white, but we have family that immigrated here and have been profoundly harassed for being different. These are very real experiences that children have at school, and it does no good to shield others from this reality. Having a book like My Footprints that addresses tough times while not making it the focus is crucial. The author does a fantastic job of making Thuy and her mothers’ imagination be the healing power that their family needs. Focusing on the love instead of the hate, we can have tough conversations with those around us to create more empathy and windows into the lives of others around us. 

It’s personally one of the best books of the year in our opinion.

This book was sent to us by the Capstone for consideration in the Best Books of 2019 List put on by the Read With River book club. All opinions are our own!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Bao-byMichaelTranBao Phi has been a performance poet since 1991.  A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, Bao Phi has appeared on HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry, featured in the live performances and taping of the blockbuster diasporic Vietnamese variety show Paris By Night 114: Tôi Là Người Việt Nam, and a poem of his appeared in the 2006 Best American Poetry anthology. His poems and essays are widely published in numerous publications including Screaming Monkeys and Spoken Word Revolution Redux. He has also released several CDs of his poetry, such as Refugeography and The Nguyens EP. A short story of his, Revolution Shuffle, appeared in the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Stories from Social Justice Movements, AK Press, 2015, and an essay of his was included in the anthology A Good Time for the Truth, edited by Sun Yung Shin, Minnesota Historical Society Press.

f070c83af410a5afeec167f172d086ec92bbee98Basia Tran is a Polish-Vietnamese children’s book and lifestyle illustrator currently based in her hometown Kraków, Poland.
Illustration BFA with Honors, Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota FL, USA
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Basia Tran jest polsko-wietnamską ilustratorką książeczek dla dzieci oraz designerką. Ukończyła studia z honorami na wydziale ilustratorstwa w Ringling College of Art & Design w Sarasocie na Florydzie i aktualnie mieszka i pracuje w pięknym, rodzinnym Krakowie.
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Basia Trần là một họa sĩ minh họa và thiết kế đồ họa người Việt Nam và Ba Lan. Bố mẹ của Basia sinh ra ở Thái Bình, nhưng Basia đã được sinh ra và lớn lên ở Kraków, Ba Lan. Tốt nghiệp đại học tại Ringling College of Art & Design ở Sarasota, Mỹ, bây giờ Basia đang làm việc ở quê nhà tại Kraków, Ba Lan. 
E-mail: tranbasia@gmail.com

In Our Mothers’ House

Written & Illustrated by: Patricia Polacco

For ages: 6-10 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: LGBT Family, Acceptance, Community, Love.

Summary: This story details the family life of Marmee, Meema, and their three children. They happen to be the only family with two mothers on the block, but that’s hardly noticeable to their children.  The two women adopted three children from three different places, and the book details all the ways they create a close-knit community and family.  They sew their own family halloween costumes, put on neighborhood events, and take care of the kids while they’re all sick.  There is one family that doesn’t like them, but the kids can’t put their finger on why.  The reader knows it’s because they’re an LGBT family, but very little attention is paid to the hate.  The house the family lives in is at the center of their lives, even when the kids grow up and move away.  One of the kids lives in it after their mothers pass away.  The strength of love and family runs through this book, keen to highlight the ways in which these women care for their children and support them throughout their lives.

This book is warm, inviting, and portrays a family that values each other and their community above all else.  It focuses on the good, rather than the potential hatred LGBT families can receive from others.  The family is diverse in race, temperament, and careers but that does not stop them from embracing each other and working as a team to put on numerous community events and activities.  A beautiful portrayal of a family!

Reflection Questions:

  • What is special about your family?
  • Why do you think that some people don’t like other families that don’t look like theirs?
  • Would you like to live in the same neighborhood as this family?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Have your own version of one of the events that the family puts on in the book.  Who will you invite?  What do you think will be difficult about planning a large event for your community?
  • Learn about different family structures.  At the base of them all, is love.  Families come in all shapes a sizes, even within your own classroom!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

polaccoPatricia Polacco was born on July 11th, 1944 in Lansing, Michigan. Her mother’s family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and The Ukraine. Her father’s people were from The County of Limerick in Ireland. Both cultures valued and kept their history alive by storytelling.

Patricia is the mother of two grown children; Steven, a tenured professor at Dominican University in San Rafael, California. And a daughter, Traci who has made a career in the medical field and also lives in California. Patricia lives on her farm estate in Union City, Michigan.

Patricia has earned a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Art and Art History. She has studied in the U.S., England, France, Russia and Australia. She is a guest lecturer in many universities and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees in Arts and Letters. She has a distinguished record as an international advocate for the rights of children. She has also established literary and art courses of study for young people both nationally and internationally. She has traveled extensively to Russia and has established an art camp in Losovough which thrives today. She has been honored by heads of state both at the Kremlin and the White House.

She is a member of the National First Amendment Rights Coalition and has fought tirelessly for this cause. She is also known as a champion of classroom teachers in our country, a cause sharpened by her association with Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut as a guest author and artist in residence. The tragic loss of both members of the faculty as well as children on December 14th, 2012 affected her life profoundly. The shock of this event caused her to collapse, be hospitalized and undergo open heart surgery to save her life. The grief of this set her on a path of establishing a series of lectures designed to raise the awareness of the plight of our classroom teachers as well as encouraging students to reach out to each other and include those who are perceived to be “different”. She has also designed an anti bullying campaign that has earned her national recognition. Patricia conducts school visits all over the country. She is known as a natural storyteller and is highly praised for her work with people of all ages.

To date she has written and illustrated over 115 books for children,. She is also a playwright and is in the process of penning for adults. She is a much sought after lecturer and keynote speaker and is considered one of the most inspiring speakers of our time