The past few years have been sorely lacking in quality, LGBTQ-inclusive picture books. There have been some, but they’ve been few and far between. Author and educator S. Bear Bergman aims to change that with the launch of a subscription-based book club that will deliver a new LGBTQ and two-spirit picture book to your home or school every other month.
The service is an offshoot of Bergman’s Flamingo Rampant publishing company that launched in 2012 with the release of his first two children’s books,Backwards Day and The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy (about which more here). The book club will bring more new titles by other authors, and a commitment to the full range of LGBTQ2S identities and the races and cultures of which we are part. Bergman writes, “Fully half of our books every year will center Black, Latin@, Indigenous, First Nations, Asian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and mixed-race people and cultures instead of making them minor, one-line characters — and these books will be written by people of color.”
Not only that, but the club will be all about “celebration and joy,” with curated titles that will “represent really positive values about our community.” They won’t take the “problem” approach of so many older LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ books, in which the child encounters harassment, bias or misunderstanding about her/his family. Instead, Bergman says, “What we’re about at Flamingo Rampant is showing things that are great about our families.”
The books will also have storylines — which I’ve noted are lacking in some other earnest but dull LGBTQ-inclusive picture books. The families in these books “get travels, adventures and mysteries to solve, rather than entire books pointing out that we exist,” says Bergman. He also points out that the exciting storylines make these books great for any family, school, or library, not just ones with LGBTQ2S members. Bravo!
Go check out the tentative list of initial titles on the project’s Kickstarter page. They include an ABC book about Pride (the third-ever kids’ book about Pride!), and others with two moms, two dads, a gender-independent indigenous child, and non-stereotypical gender interests.
In order to pay the authors and artists a fair amount, and to keep the subscription costs low, they need 450 people to contribute at the subscriber level of $99 — but for only $1 you’ll get coloring pages from the books and the warm feeling of helping a good cause.
Watch Bergman tell you more below (and see his own cute kid at the end).
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