Choosing a topic for my end of semester L390 Children’s Literature paper was a process of exploration. I chose to compare and contrast picture books with a common theme. I wanted a theme that dealt with current events so I focused on the 2012 elections. With 3 additional States and the District of Columbia legalizing Gay Marriage (for a total of 9 states, http://gaymarriage.procon.org), I decided to examine children’s books that feature children with gay parents. So I turned to the IU East Library children’s book collection.
I located four books that were stories about gay parents: Daddy’s Roommate, Heather has Two Mommies, Gloria goes to Gay Pride, and And Tango Makes Three. A librarian also directed me to an LGBTQ libguide that has a great deal of information, including a link to children’s picture books with LGBTQ themes (http://iue.libguides.com/lgbtqyouthlit). I was thrilled to find out that the library’s juvenile book collection is growing, and more books with LGBTQ content have been ordered. These include King and King, a tale of two princes who fall in love and get married; and Mom and Mum are getting married, a story about a girl and her brother who are excited to go to their mother’s wedding. In Molly’s Family it is getting close to Open School Night at Molly’s school. Molly and Tommy work on drawing pictures to put on the walls. Molly draws her family: Mommy, Mama Lu, and her puppy, Sam. But when Tommy looks at her picture, he tells her it’s not of a family. “You can’t have a mommy and a mama,” he says. Molly isn’t sure what to do. Read the book to find out what happens!
And Tango makes three is based on the true story about two male penguins that are caregivers for a baby penguin. It is hard to believe that this creative and interesting book is on the “15 Most Controversial Picture Books” list. (http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2011/02/13/banned-book-awareness-tango-justin-richardson/) Daddy’s Roommate is about a boy’s father who gets a divorce from his wife and moves in with a man. The boy’s mother explains that his father and his roommate love each other, it is just a different kind of love and that is okay. Heather has Two Mommies talks about what life was like before and after for her two mothers before they had Heather. Gloria goes to Gay Pride is about a little girl who goes with her mothers to a Gay Pride parade. As she is at the parade, she see a few people that have signs that say “Gays Go Away,” and asks her mothers why they are saying that.
No matter what view people have about marriage, it is good to have children’s books that touch all subjects including different types of marriage. Reading opens the mind to new cultures, ideas, and lifestyles. By learning about these new ideas, it helps guide children in a direction to where they can accept everyone.