Tag Archives: Non-Binary Identity

Jamie and Bubbie: A Book About Pronouns [Cover Reveal!]

Written by: Afsaneh Moradian 

Illustrated by: Maria Bogade

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Gender Identity, Pronouns, Self-Empowerment, Growing Up, Family, Community. 

Summary: We are excited to be able to reveal the cover of this new book, Jamie and Bubbie! 

This story is the second installment in the adventures of Jamie, also seen in the book Jamie is JamieJamie and their great grandmother (Bubbie) are going to go out for the day and spend some time together.  Bubbie doesn’t live in the neighborhood that Jamie does, so she is unfamiliar with all of Jamie’s neighbors and the pronouns that they use.  Jamie is outspoken and empowered to correct their Bubbie, making sure that the people they interact with have their correct pronouns used.

The story is sweet and simple as it emphasizes the importance of using the correct pronouns, especially when they might have changed since you saw a person last.  Luckily, Jamie is not afraid to correct Bubbie and Bubbie is open and willing to learn!  This is the perfect primer for young children to learn about what pronouns are as well as strategies of what to say if someone you love uses the wrong pronouns for someone.

If you would like to learn more about how to preorder this book, you can follow this link here!

We were sent the advanced PDF copy of this book by Free Spirit Publishing, as well as the cover photo.  However, all opinions are our own!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

afsanehmoradian-2We are excited to learn more about Afsaneh Moradian, author of the book!  Here is her “about me” section from her website:

“I grew up between Washington, D.C., northern NJ, and New York City. I spent my childhood reading, writing, singing and watching tv.

After college, I started working at a Montessori preschool and my career as an educator began. I went on to get a Master’s in Education and am in the process of finishing a PhD in Education.

For more than 15 years, I have had an amazing time combining my love of writing and creativity with teaching students of all ages (from preschool to graduate school) in a variety of educational levels and settings between the United States and Mexico.

I love sharing my ideas with students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and anyone who will listen.

I write children’s books, poetry, short stories, essays and articles, in addition to writing about education.”

maria-bogade-web-1-2Maria Bogade is an illustrator and author with an animation background. She loves creating illustrations with a strong narrative, colorful and beautifully composed to entertain children and adults alike. Her work is internationally published and is also found on greeting cards and products such as chocolate. With her three children and spouse, she lives in a tiny village in southern Germany where fox and hare bid each other good night (we don’t know what this means, but it sounds lovely!).

The Love-Alphabet Rockers

Featured Artists and Guest Artists:

Alphabet Rockers - HighRes Photo by NinoFernandez
Photo by Nino Fernandez

Over 60 guest artists join the Alphabet Rockers co-founders, Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd. Voices from our next generation — Lillian Ellis, Maya Fleming, Kali de Jesus and Tommy “T3PO” Shepherd III, as well as 123 Andrés, Angel & Koja Adeyoha, Aris Wong, Ashanti Branch, Billy Dean Thomas, Celestina Pearl and Esperanza Carter-Pearl, Genevieve Goings, H. Daniel Mujahid, Harlow Carpenter, Honey Mahogany, Jennifer Johns, Juan “Wonway Posibul” Amador, Kanyon “CoyoteWoman” Sayers-Roods, KARLON, Kiran Nagraj, Lucy Kalantari, M. Zamora, MADLines, Mahawam, Malachi Garza, mariposa & AmihanCh’íníbaa’, Michelle “CHELLE” Jacques, Mike McCann, Nizhoni & Pálxcqíwn Ellenwood, Okee Dokee Brothers, Rei Matsuno, Rhonda Crane, RyanNicole, Samara Atkins, SaulPaul, Shaina Evoniuk, The Singing Bois, Sólás B. Lalgee, Yaw, Yiann, Zumbi Zoom.

For ages: Humans of all ages can groove to these beats!
Image via Kanyon Konsulting LLC

Language: Primarily English and Spanish, but features many other languages in songs such as This is Ohlone Land which acknowledges the variety of indigenous groups and languages of Oakland, CA, where the album was recorded.

Topics Covered: LGBTQ, Non-Binary Identity, Transgender Activism, Radical Joy, Self-Love, Cultural Consciousness and Pride, Self-Expression, Respect for All, Survival, Black Gxrl Magic, Ancestral Power and Healing, Strength, and Truth.



It is impossible to sit silent and still when listening

to the Alphabet Rocker’s album The Love.

The album begins with a respectful acknowledgement of the land on which it was recorded, setting the stage for the thoughtful and transformational nature of the album.  Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd cover a wide range of topics artfully and powerfully.  In other hands and different voices the album could be heavy-handed and preachy, but by allowing the guest artists featured on the album to speak their truth, McGaw and Shepherd spread the love and recognition across the board.

ruth azul
Art by Ruth Azul

The Love is joyful, realistic but also hopeful, which can be an extremely challenging balance to strike-and they do it expertly.  The music and lyrics recognize the struggle and work of past generations and queer people of color from the far reaches of history like Hatshepsut to Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, founders of STAR, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries as well as today’s activists like two-spirit Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas.

(R-KS) Sharice Davids

The album’s lyrics could easily parrot the “everything is sunshine and rainbows!” or “life is suffering” binary found in many narratives.  Instead, the artists both acknowledge the injustice heaped upon marginalized groups and create a sense of hope that emanates from songs like “Black Gxrl Magic.”  This faith in the promise of the future is fired up by “the next generation” of voices, empowered young people who speak their mind clearly and energetically.

We loved the small photos with pronouns of all the other artists featured on the album!  It allowed us to get to know each artist as an individual, and provided a visual reference for the wide range of personalities, identities and cultures represented in the fantastic music. The explicit celebration of the many intersections of queerness and cultural identity is refreshing and radical, as so many queer narratives are whitewashed and simplified to appeal to a larger audience. The Alphabet Rockers recognize the truth of the windows and mirrors approach that we reference here at the Tiny Activist; that honoring the distinct identities of people who are not like you creates more space for everyone.

The Gender Wheel by Maya Gonzalez

One feature of the album that we particularly enjoyed were the interludes, especially They/Them, where each speaker introduces themselves with their pronouns.  It was powerful recognizing that children are able to grasp and see the importance this practice, especially when so many adults can’t be bothered to do the same. It gives us great hope that the next generation will be more open and accepting from a young age.The interludes create a space for dialogue, and they echo the practice found in other hip-hop albums, presenting more voices and personalities to be heard (both literally and figuratively).

Thinking in terms of incorporating this album in a class or community space, the short interludes allow for breaks and group discussion. The lyrics are thoughtful and complex in their understanding of culture and intersectionality, but easy to follow along with. The language is accessible and the lyrics are nuanced, subverting the tradition of simplifying concepts and wording in music produced for children.

The songs in this album went by so quickly, and it hardly seemed like 17 tracks! The Love should be in every classroom, so bring on the social justice dance parties!

About the Artists:

Photo by Kristin Chalmers

ALPHABET ROCKERS make music that makes change. Led by Kaitlin McGaw (she/her) and Tommy Shepherd (he/him), they create brave spaces to shape a more equitable world through hip hop. Their GRAMMY nominated 2018 album, Rise Shine #Woke has reached 300K kids and families since its release, inspiring American kids to stand up to hate and be their brave and beautiful selves. Their latest album, The Love (2019) lifts up voices of our trans, two-spirit and gender non-conforming community.

With headlining performances at Lollapalooza, The Kennedy Center, San Francisco Pride Festival, Art & Soul Festival (Oakland) and Kidchella (Philadelphia), and in over 50 schools across the country each year, diverse audiences love their contemporary sound and positive messages. They were Izzy Award Winners in 2018, American Library Association’s Top Album in 2017 and 2018, and won the Parents’ Choice Award for their 5-album catalogue. Alphabet Rockers appeal to a broad audience with lyrics like “I will stand up for you” and “I shine in my beautiful skin,” landing them in the top 5 songs of 2018 on Kids Place Live SiriusXM Radio. Their music, videos, concerts and curriculum are designed by an intercultural team of anti-bias thought leaders, educators, artists, parents and young people of all genders.


Sound off Saturday: Ourselves!

Hi everyone!  We have gotten so many new social media followers over the past couple months we decided to capitalize on waiting for our awesome forthcoming Sound off Saturday-ers and have a post about ourselves!  Hope you enjoy it, and learn a thing or two as well 🙂

Introduce yourself/your organization!

Although we recently got the BIGGEST compliment which called our operation ‘a team’ of people, The Tiny Activist is fueled by the two Locke-Hardy’s: Corrie & Lee, as well as a hefty dose of coffee. Corrie is fastidious about making and keeping cold brew daily in the refrigerator!  We started this website and social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram) just under a year ago, and have been floored by the support we have received from the children’s literature community, and we can’t wait to see where we go in the year ahead!  We would eventually love to post more detailed curriculum about the books we love, as well as a video or two.

What are you passionate about?

Yvette de Chavez‘s Amazing Art

CLH: I am passionate about curriculum redesign and development.  I think the majority of our public school curriculum and standards are Eurocentric, ableist, and marginalizing to a variety of experiences.  I would love to be able to make my mark by providing lessons that uplift marginalized communities and provide support to the educators already doing this important work.  On a lighter note, I’ve recently gotten into printmaking and am in love with that process of design and creation!

LLH: I am passionate about art, music and making others feel loved. I am passionate about working to heal inherited trauma, and building community (whether online or IRL) for nonbinary and other GNC (gender non-conforming) people.


I’m also passionate about the McElroy Family of Products™, including the podcasts My Brother, My Brother and Me, Sawbones and Wonderful. You can pretty much guarantee that at any given time of the day that I’m somewhere laughing out loud in joy at the silly jokes and goofs.

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

IMG_1993CLH: In grad school this summer and upcoming fall semester I have gotten the opportunity to pilot my own research study!  I will be interviewing and observing educators who are already teaching the type of curriculum I believe should be in every classroom.  This summer I am also managing the town farmers market, which has been a fun new experience for me!  Getting paid to hang out in the sunshine with farmers is an ideal job for me

LLH: Since I started a new job, I’ve been learning at how to be the best at it, and most of my time outside work is spent listening to podcasts (see above) or making art on my iPad using the app Procreate. I like to take photos of things I see out and about and make art with them!

How can people support you on your journey?

CLH: Provide book recommendations for The Tiny Activist, share my research study with those you think might be interested, and share meaningful books to those within your own life!

LLH: Like Corrie said above, we always welcome recommendations, and if people can continue to spread the word about the work that we’re doing, we are so grateful for the opportunity to amplify the books and projects of other activists!

What book was your favorite in 2019 so far?41+lolL22gL

CLH: Alright buckle up folx, we’re here to categorize. Favorite book that I’ve reread in 2019 is Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari.  It’s excellent, and details a lot of the evolution of both humans and society by breaking history down into four revolutions; the cognitive, agricultural, unification, and scientific revolutions have been the foundation for where we find ourselves today.  Favorite children’s books published this year have been Our Rainbow, Lubna and Pebble, Hair Love, and I Will Be Fierce! 

LLH: I am guilty of not reading long-form books, but my favorite children’s book I have read thus far is Our Rainbow. I really enjoy reading The Boston Globe every morning to keep up with townie news (I have my favorite columnists), and reading my oracle cards (I use Spirit de la Lune). My other favorite reads are the painfully accurate clickbait articles on Reductress. Basically I read everything but books-oops!

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

IMG_2029CLH: We are embarking on our biggest adventure yet: buying land!  Lee and I are on the search for the perfect piece of land to build a tiny cabin on, and I may or may not be (but definitely am) spending hours everyday poring over options online and planning everything down to the letter in the most endearing and neurotic way possible.  I am also looking forward to beginning the second year of my masters program, and deciding if a doctoral program is the next step.

LLH: I am looking forward to growing more confident in my skills at work, and working on my mental and physical health, and like Corrie said above, begin the adventure of buying land and creating an intentional space that is all our own for the first time in our relationship!

Our Rainbow

Written by: Partnership between GLAAD & little bee books, additional appreciation to Tierney (creators of the Philly Pride Flag)

Illustrated by: C.G. Esperanza (Opening), Mohammed Fayaz (Black/Brown), Love is Wise (Red), Beena Mistry (Orange), Dylan Glynn (Yellow), Cynthia Yuan Cheng (Green), J Yang (Blue), Chris Kindred (Purple), Jeromy Velasco (Closing)

For ages: Toddler & up

Language: English

Topics Covered: LGBTQ, Acceptance, Self-Expression, Social-Emotional Development, Activism.

Summary: This book is SO cool!  It is a board book shaped like a waving flag, which is a great sensory experience for readers.  The collaboration of this book specifically covers the Philly Pride Flag and what the flag represents for our LGBTQ community.  A different artist illustrates for each color, explaining the original meanings intended by rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker.  Feelings, Nature, Forgiveness, and many more are included in this book that will be engaging to a variety of ages.  We can’t recommend this book enough, it needs to be on every shelf!

Having books that normalize the LGBTQ community is crucial for community members and allies alike.  Children that grow up seeing multiple family structures are more accepting and open to real individuals that they will inevitably encounter in their daily lives.  We need to be proud to know (and be!) these people all year round, not just during Pride Month.  Like other marginalized populations, corporations and advertising focus on them for a month and then do nothing for the rest of the year that benefits them (and sometimes have policies in place that actively hurt members).  What can we do to stop these harmful practices for everyone, especially individuals that are marginalized in a variety of ways?

Reflection Questions:

  • What is your favorite color in the rainbow?
  • Why do you think that specific flags were designed to celebrate different communities?
  • What do you think is important for everyone to know about the rainbow flag?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Design your own flag that represents you.  What colors and symbols are important to you and your family?
  • Learn more about the organizations that helped make this book possible.  Why were they passionate about LGBTQ activism enough to make books for children?
  • Find out what you can do in your community for the LGBTQ members that live there.  Are there specific resources needed, or community centered activities that you can be a part of?

About the Authors & Illustrators:

glaadFor over 30 years, GLAAD has been at the forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community. GLAAD was founded in November of 1987 in response to the New York Post’s grossly defamatory and sensationalized HIV and AIDS coverage, and in that same year they persuaded the New York Times to start using the term “gay” instead of “homosexual” so that they could help the Times “get with the times”. They have been continuing to monitor and influence the media since then!


little bee books is a children’s book publisher dedicated to making high-quality,
creative, and fun books for busy little bees ages 0 through 12, offering an inspired selection of early learning concept books, board books, novelty books, activity books, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, gift sets, and more.


Born the second of six kids. The South Bronx is where C.G. Esperanza first opened his eyelids. A land shrouded in bright colored decay, the birthplace of graffiti and the hip-hop DJ! He paints fantasy worlds of elephants, and castles too! Accompanying this wonder is some whimsical truth. Charles has a voice that is seldom heard. A fusion of jazz, distorted guitars, and chirping birds.

Author and Illustrator of “Red, Yellow,Blue and a dash of White too!” available now! (Skypony Press)



Mohammed Fayaz is an illustrator and one of the organizers of Papi Juice. Born and raised in New York City, Mohammed’s illustrations are intent on documenting his community of queer and trans people of color. With work that spans digital and mixed media, his illustrations lend an eye into a world traditionally left out of mainstream media.




2018-05-31-e-lee-loveis-wise-university-of-the-arts-new-yorker-cover-illustration-1-768x512Love is Wise is a Freelance Illustrator based in Philadelphia from Washington, DC. In addition to being a Capricorn lady who is obsessed with the color pink, she has worked with some amazing clients such as The New Yorker, L’Oreal, The New York Times, REI, Refinery29, BuzzFeed News, Bitch Media, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia Printworks ,Illustrated Impact, Tampa Bay Times, Eileen Fisher, The Poetry Foundation, Cartoon Network, LeafTV, Got A Girl Crush, BUST Magazine & Wieden+Kennedy

Check out her collection of prints/shirts here with Philadelphia Printworks, The Schomburg Center in Harlem, buy prints of her New Yorker cover here and her Etsy shop here.

Contact her for a chat, commissions, & inquiries at loveiswiseillustrations@gmail.com!



Beena Mistry is a combo pack UX Designer and Illustrator who can tell some pretty good stories with shapes and colour. Find Beena at beenamistryart@gmail.com and @BEENATHEMISTRY.





Dylan Glynn is based in Toronto and studied animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and directing for animation in Valence, France. His multidisciplinary practice is characterised by its emotion, grace and sense of wild-movement. His work has been recognized and exhibited by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Somerset House and the Canadian Screen Awards.





Cynthia Yuan Cheng is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist recently landed in Los Angeles, CA. Cynthia loves to create warm, hopeful comics & illustrations exploring relationships, identity, and personal experience.

In her free time, you can find Cynthia on the hunt for delicious foods and fun movies.  She grew up reading manga and playing American football in New Jersey and graduated from MICA with a B.F.A. in Illustration and a concentration in Sequential Art.

Find her on social media: twitter / instagram / tumblr
Her online store can be found here.


JYang_Morn3J YANG is a trans illustrator and designer working in children’s books and education. Published work—Our Rainbow, Spirit Day (upcoming this fall), and the interior illustrations in Craftily Book 6. The content J aims to put out in the world normalizes the existence of queer people, people of color, and disabled people by not making their differences the focal point of the story. J organizes & produces 2 charity artbooks a year with 30+ artists each—check out the Found Family Zine, Huemanity 2019 (a calendar), and this year’s #DogsforFlint and Beyond The Veil. Based in New York. BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute. Pronouns they/he. Reach out at jyang1029@gmail.com!



Chris Kindred is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer working in Richmond, VA. He can be found on twitter and via email here: chris@chriskindred.com




jeromy velasquez


Jeromy Velasco is a left-handed illustrator/printmaker currently based in Los Angeles. Contact Jeromy via email, on instagram and twitter!

Introducing: Raising Inclusive Kids!

Haaaaappy Saturday!  We have been working so hard lately to bring you content that positively impacts your days, and today have the great privilege of passing the mic over to Rowan Renee of Raising Inclusive Kids!  Rowan Renee has some fabulous words of wisdom for so many of us about coming to terms with the unconscious biases we will inevitably pass onto those we interact with.  Without further ado, read on and enjoy!

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself!



Raising Inclusive Kids: Hello! I am Rowan Renee of Raising Inclusive Kids, a non-binary, disabled parent to a three and four year old, a first generation college student, a writer, an artist, a dreamer. As a student of the teachings of both Thich Nhat Hanh and A Course in Miracles, I am always further developing my understanding and embodiment of forgiveness, mindfulness, and joy. As a person who is passionate about social justice, I am always working to bring to light my own unrecognized prejudice, bias, and racism so that I may heal it and reduce the harm I cause.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

RIK: My passion is creating, dreaming up, and happening upon opportunities to have fun, intentional interactions with my kids that foster empathy, compassion, and the value of diversity. As a parent of a toddler and preschooler, this primarily looks like strong, positive, diverse representation in our home through books, storytelling, rhymes and sing-alongs, imaginative play, and toys. Mostly it is pretty simple but significant: change the pronoun in a sing-along from he to ze, include a character in a wheelchair when making up stories, be one of two moms when playing house. For my preschooler, my efforts include conversations with them as well as modelling difficult conversations.

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 2.34.31 PM

But here is an important truth: I can read amazing, own voices, diverse books to my kids all day, but it will not counteract the racism I unconsciously pass on to my kids. I can adapt every nursery rhyme and sing-along, through stories and play I can create countless interactions that increase positive, diverse representation in my kids’ lives, but that will never be the antidote to my own prejudice and bias that my kids will inherit. And so, as a parent with social justice values, I must be just as passionate about confronting, naming, and digging out the deep rooted prejudice and bias in my heart, mind, and body. And then I compliment that work by providing great representation for my kids, in our home.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

RIK: Much of my ideas for increasing positive, diverse representation in your home I have compiled into a parent resource that is currently being offered for free. The activities are primarily focused on story time, storytelling, rhymes and sing-alongs, imaginative play, and toy play for the infant through preschool age groups. This Raising Inclusive Kids: parent resource is an ongoing project that I add to periodically. You can find it in my Instagram bio or directly here.

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 2.35.49 PM
Rabia Khokhar

Currently in the works, in collaboration with Rabia Khokhar, is a project designed to make it easy for educators to infuse social justice into their curriculum and to create a physical and learning environment that fosters empathy, compassion, and the value of diversity. I am very excited and honored to work with Rabia, a librarian and educator who does amazing work within her school to create a diverse and inclusive library, to cultivate empathy and knowledge within the students through intentional, diverse curriculum. You can find her on Instagram @rabia_khokhar.

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

RIK: Follow Raising Inclusive Kids on Instagram and Facebook, check out the free Raising Inclusive Kids: parent resource, and keep an eye out for updates on the educator resource. And definitely engage with me! My goal is to build community in order to share ideas, successes, struggles and to challenge each other to go deeper and further with our efforts to raise inclusive kids. Parenting is hard, a social justice approach to parenting is harder, takes more intention, and is greatly benefitted by community.

TTA: What book was your favorite in 2018?


La Frontera: My Journey with Papa/ El Viaje con papá by Alfredo Alva, Deborah Mills, Illustrated by Claudia Navarro 

RIK: There are so many to choose from! For sure, one of my favorites was La Frontera: My Journey with Papa. It’s a beautifully illustrated, heart-touchingly written, bilingual, #ownvoices book. Co-authored by Alfredo Alva, who shares his childhood immigration story of crossing the Mexican-USA border with his father, La Frontera is a book about perseverance and courage. With details about the journey, the people they encounter, and some challenges they face, the reader learns more about the lived experience of Alfredo Alva, and by extension, other immigrants. The book ends with four additional pages of information on Alfredo’s family story and the social history of immigration, useful for parents and educators who use this book as a conversation starter around the topic of immigration, empathy, and belonging. You can get it here!


TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

RIK: Building stronger community, more writing, more art creating, more reading, more time in nature, more time being really present with my kids.


Stay Connected with Raising Inclusive Kids!

Raising Inclusive Kids Website

Raising Inclusive Kids on Instagram

Raising Inclusive Kids on Facebook


Lee’s Birthday Post!

Hi folks, Lee here!

It was my birthday this week, and I am so excited to see what the new year will bring. My 28th year brought me a better understanding of myself, lots of work on my mental and physical health, and so many more adventures- including the launch of The Tiny Activist!

I wanted to share with you my goals and intentions for the next year of my life, so without further ado, here we go!

2019: A Year of Opportunity!

  • Continue to Chase After Positivity– reframe & refocus
  • Take Time to Reflect– collect memories
  • Share Love & Compassion– spread joy
  • Sing and Dance Often– especially the robot

I also want to share with you a few of my all-time favorite books.

Are any of these on your bookshelf as well?

Image Description: Front cover of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

by Avi

#1 Baby dyke Lee LOVED this cover, for many reasons that would not be revealed to me until I went to an all-women’s college.

#2 The book’s themes of finding your truth and living authentically were essential to me as a younger person, and are still affirming now that I’m older and (a little bit) wiser. The discussion of class and gender identity are central to the plot of the story, and the radical ideals that Charlotte stands for inspires my activism to this day

#3 What only child living in the suburbs doesn’t want to be a pirate/sea captain?


from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea

Image Description: Front cover of from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea

Written by: Kai Cheng Thom

Illustrated by: Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching

When I first read this book, I didn’t understand why it made me cry. Standing inside Drawn and Quarterly on a trip to Montreal with my wife, I started tearing up. Months later, I finally figured it out, and I came out to my wife, family, friends and school as nonbinary. It was a journey, sometimes euphoric and sometimes exhausting. But, like Miu Lan, I knew that despite all of the struggles, I still had people in my corner who would say:

“whatever you dream of, 

I believe you can be,

from the stars in the sky

to the fish in the sea”

my own devicesMy Own Devices

by Dessa

#1 Dessa is my favorite rapper-no, not my favorite female rapper-that reductive business doesn’t belong anywhere.

#2 Her voice is one of a kind, whether she is singing, rapping, speaking or writing. I could listen to her talk for hours. I hope she starts a podcast (and calls me)

#3 Razor sharp wit and an eye for the devastating details make this book one for the favorites list.

Happy Birthday to all my fellow Aquarians-let’s change the world!



from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea


one little boy ran up to the child and asked, “what are you supposed to be?” Miu Lan didn’t know how to answer.

Written by: Kai Cheng Thom

Illustrated by: Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching

For ages: 3-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Gender Identity, Non-binary Identity, Friendship, Self-Acceptance, Family

Summary: from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea is an incredible portrait of what it feels like to be a child in between. Gorgeously illustrated by Way-yant Li and Kai Yun Ching, it tells the story of Miu Lan. “Born when both the moon and the sun were in the sky”, Miu Lan “couldn’t decide what to be.” Supported and loved by their mother, Miu Lan is a “strange, magical child” with the ability to adopt various animal characteristics. This empowering home environment is contrasted with Miu Lan’s experience at school, where the other students are all “either boys or girls”. Challenging gendered expectations, Miu Lan must discover how to express themself fully without fear.

Reflection Questions: 

  • Was it ever hard for you to make a decision about an aspect of yourself?
  • Do you think Miu Lan should have to choose?
  • Has there ever been a time when your caregivers helped you feel better after a hard day?
  • How can you be a good friend when someone tells you something about themselves?
  • What might you want a friend to say to you when you tell them something important about your inner-self?
  • What can we do every day to make others feel comfortable to express who they are?

Continuing the Conversation: 

  • Taking inspiration from Miu Lan’s changing animal features, have a discussion about why Miu Lan might have chosen those characteristics.
  • “Who I Am Inside” Lesson:
    • Children are given a human outline, they cut out magazine pictures of “what they are inside” (favorite food, colors, activities) emphasis on things others cannot see (haircolor for example, is something others can usually see).

About the Author and the Illustrator:

kai cheng thom
kai cheng thom

Kai Cheng Thom (she/her) is a fiery writer, performer, spoken word artist and drag-dance sensation. Her first novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir was recently published by Metonymy Press. Kai Cheng has been widely published as an essayist and poet.  She is currently a Feature Writer at Everyday Feminism.  Her work also appears in xoJaneArc Poetry Magazine, and Youngist.  She was a a featured columnist on race, sexuality, and gender at The McGill Daily for two years running. Her poetry has appeared in, Matrix Magazineditch, OutWrite: A Queer Review, and What If? Magazine, as well as the anthology Where the Nights are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets. She also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work from McGill University, and is the co-founder of Monster Academy Montreal, a radical mental health initiative for youth.

Wai-Yant Li

Wai-Yant Li (they/their) is a ceramicist by trade, and they illustrated from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea along with Kai Fun Ching. Wai-Yant works in and runs a studio called 3 tables, a space composed of 3 ceramicists and 3 illustrators – each doing their own thing, but they are also definitely very much inspired by each other. Every Créations Li critter is designed and made entirely by them – from early sketchbook sketches, to its birth from a box of clay, to the roundabouts on the pottery wheel, to the final firings in the kiln.