5:52 PM |
Amazing Gay Dads in Children's Literature
Happy Father's Day, everyone! The celebration for fatherhood today got me thinking about same-sex dads in children's literature -- a topic that is fairly controversial and not quite common in publishing, although a significant number of titles have sprouted over the years. (The blog Books for Kids in Gay Families has a very good selection of gay-themed children's books from the world over, here.)
I still remember for example the nasty furor that descended on Singapore upon the discovery of a copy of Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson's And Tango Makes Three in the national library in 2014, which then decided to pulp it. This was horrifying and sad because the book truly celebrates love -- and it is in fact based on two true-to-life male chinstrap penguins in New York's Central Park Zoo who did raise a little penguin on their own. That book [buy it in Amazon] should be celebrated, so here's a video of a reading of that book...
Another favourite children's book that celebrates gay dads is Lesléa Newman's Daddy, Papa, and Me from 2009. It is altogether a different book: a very simple story of a young boy who narrates how his two fathers -- Daddy and Papa -- make generous time playing with him, despite what for adults reading the book see as the underlying context of two men being quite busy, and tired, with their adult lives. But they pursue these games anyway with imagination and flair.