Remember the news story that broke a couple of months ago about the mom who wrote the book My Princess Boy for her five-year-old son, who loved to dress up in princess clothes? The mom, Cheryl Kilodavis, began selling it locally and directly through Amazon. Her son’s school began using it as an anti-bullying tool. Now, Simon and Schuster—a major mainstream publisher—has picked it up and will begin selling it on December 21. You can pre-order it through Amazon and other online retailers.
It is not the first picture book about a gender variant child. That honor (to the best of my knowledge) belongs to 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert, published by the smaller Seven Stories Press. (See my review and author interview.)
Nor is it Simon and Schuster’s first foray into LGBT children’s literature. They also publish the now-classic And Tango Makes Three, about two male penguins who raise a chick together. (The Penguin publishing house, confusingly, publishes not Tango but Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, about two gay guinea pigs and their niece.)
It is, however, the first picture book by a major mainstream publisher about a gender variant child, and as such, deserves our applause.
(Thanks to the New York Times article, “Bold Crossings of the Gender Line,” for a heads-up about My Princess Boy’s mainstream debut.)
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