How to Build an LGBTQ-friendly Library for your Children

Before T was even born, Sharon and I were talking about our favourite books and what kind of books T would likely have on his shelves. Classics like; Guess How Much I Love You, Spot, and Goodnight Moon were all up there, but, very quickly, we realised that families like us were rarely represented in children’s books.

At first it was pretty easy to navigate around, we would perhaps change the odd “mum” to a “dad” so that there were two dads in a story, or visa versa; replacing the odd “dad” with a “mama”. But as time went on, or when T started wanting to look at the pictures in the books and subsequently challenging our choice in character, we realised we had to expand our library to make sure he was represented, not to mention show him a fair representation of society!

We already had a few diverse and inclusive books in our collection, but no where near enough – we needed more.

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T’s Reads: Book Advent Calendar 2018 – Week Three

Just like the rest of the world, I cannot believe how fast December has gone. I thought having a lot of our Christmas shopping done early December would have meant December would have been a bit more chilled, but alas, the month clearly has other plans! 

This is probably the last time where we will see a full week of Book Advents, as the following week we’ll only have three more days until Christmas! But not to worry, I’ll have something extra for our last week to go with our last remaining books.

If you haven’t read what we found last week, you can read about this here.

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T’s Reads: Book Advent Calendar 2018 – Week Two

Another week, another week of book advents completed. I’ve actually now forgotten what books we’ve bought T, so it’s now become bit of a surprise for us too! 

If you haven’t read what we found during our first week, you can read about this here.

This week has been really fun. We’ve had a lovely variety of stories and had quite a few laughs along the way. Oddly though, looking back at all the books we’ve found so far, the one thing that’s stood out this year are the amount of books that feature animals in them as their main characters.

This then made me look at T’s other books to see what they featured, and this also showed a huge amount of animals. It’s not that I have an issue with this, I’m now just curious as to why that is? 

Anyway, I digress.

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T’s Reads: Book Advent Calendar 2018 – Week One

Following the fun we had from last year’s Book Advent, we’ve decided to do another book advent for this year. As mentioned previously, this isn’t because we’re anti-chocolate advents (he also gets a little chocolate coin) this is because we’re simply book mad in this house and like finding any excuse to add more to his collection.

For those of you interested in doing your own, but are concerned about cost, this doesn’t cost us much at all. We often start collecting the books throughout the year, either by scouring charity shops, garden centres, etc. or looking online at places like The Book People or The Works who often have good deals on book bundles.

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T’s Reads: Alien Nation by Matty Donaldson

This week was National Coming Out Day. If you’ve not heard of it or had your head in the sand for 24 hours, it’s a day to celebrate the coming out of the LGBTQ community (as a member or as an ally). We’ve written our feelings about the day before, which you can find over here.

Founded in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.

Wikipedia

As well as a form of protest, it’s also an opportunity for members of the community to educate others on the language they use and advise others on what they can do to help those still in the proverbial closet.

In keeping with the theme, we were recently sent a children’s book that does this.

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T’s Reads: LGBT Books: Two Mums & Two Mums and a Menagerie, by Carolyn Robertson

We’re always on the lookout for books that represent us as a family as we feel it’s important not just for T, so that he doesn’t always feel like a minority, but for society, so that they can accept, and dare I say it, ‘normalise’ us as a family unit.

If you visit your local library or book shop, it’s very rare that you’ll see many stories that show same sex families living every day lives like other stories on the shelves. More often than not, you’ll see books that ‘educate’ readers about different families, but there aren’t many than don’t make a point of the family being a same sex family.

Carolyn Robertson and her partner are adoptive mums to two boys, and began her publishing platform ‘Sparklypoo‘ in 2014 as a way to create books for LGBT adoptive families when she saw that the market was lacking in this subject.

I wanted to create books that were full of colour, fun and humour that would sit alongside all the other books our children enjoyed. Most of all I wanted affirming books that all children could appreciate because the topic of having Two Mums or Dads was simply incidental to the story.

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