Anna was born in our 2008 Subaru Outback on a cold night in January 2013. She is named after a Tolstoy character. We, Anna’s two moms, were married in a library. Our local bookstores and public library are our family’s second homes. Anna is nearly five now. She is getting close to asking the same question we’ve been asking since the day she was born: “Why do none of these books have a family like ours?”
Of course there are not none. There are some. Thanks to some heroic book creators and stewards, there are a very few board and picture books with kids who have same-sex parents.
While similar discussions do and should continue to grow around the many kinds of currently under-represented children and families who should be portrayed in children’s literature, with this post, I focus on books featuring children who have same-sex parents.
First, I describe the content and distribution problems existing in the picture book marketplace when it comes to featuring children with same-sex parents. Second, I suggest that alongside these problems lies an opportunity worth seizing. I then offer a summary of the current offerings of these board and picture books. This summary underscores the aforementioned content and distribution deficits while also providing three next action steps in proving the demand for these books.