Grandad’s Camper

If you’re looking for a picture book about grandparents, love, and grief with amazing LGBTQ+ representation, I have the perfect book for you today.

Grandad’s Camper follows a young girl who loves to visit her grandad’s cottage every summer, listening to stories of his travels with Gramps. Grandad doesn’t travel much since Gramps passed away, but that’s all about to change, as our young narrator encourages Grandad to dust off his old camper and get back on the road.

I have never seen a children’s book handle grief in such a beautiful way. There is no sorrow here. This book contains only joy, love, and a celebration of Grandad’s life with Gramps as his granddaughter encourages him to follow his passion for exploring in a new way after losing his husband.

As a queer person, I am so grateful to see a long joyful queer future represented in this book. Growing up, I never saw my queer identity on the pages of the books I read. I didn’t have a name for what I was, much less a future attached to it. I’m so proud that my child will have books like this on his shelf so he will know that queer books can be more than just a lesson, but an authentic look into someone’s full experience as a human.

I honestly love everything about this book, especially the illustrations. They capture Grandad’s and Gramps’ travels so beautifully and really bring life to their story.

You can pick up your own copy of Grandad’s Camper today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Harry Woodgate is an award-winning illustrator who found the inspiration to write Grandad’s Camper after their university dissertation revealed a lack of older LBGTQ+ representation in children’s literature. To learn more about Harry and their work, please visit their website at harrywoodgate.com.

This book is a part of a partnership between Little Bee Book and GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ+ acceptance through children’s literature. To learn more about this partnership and other LBGTQ+ books, you can visit glaad.org and littlebeebooks.com.

I would also like to thank Little Bee Books for generously providing me with a review copy of Grandad’s Camper. I know I will be reading this wonderful book to my little one for years to come.

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Milo Imagines The World

The award winning duo behind Last Stop On Market Street and Carmella Full of Wishes, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, are back at it with their latest release, Milo Imagines The World.

In this book, we follow a young boy named Milo as he and his older sister take their monthly Sunday subway ride to visit their mother.

As we follow Milo on his commute, he observes the people around him and draws their lives as he imagines them to be. In Milo’s drawings, a young boy in a suit becomes a prince and a woman in a wedding dress marries a man who whisks her away in a hot air balloon.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say that as Milo reaches his destination, he is surprised to find the young boy in the suit is going to the very same place as Milo and his sister. That’s how he learns that we can’t really know anyone just by looking at them, and is inspired to reimagine all of his drawings.

Inspired by Christian Robinson’s childhood experiences, Milo Imagines The World is a beautiful story that reminds us all not to judge a book by its cover. The lyrical text encourages us to practice understanding and love before judgement. I have a feeling this one will be an instant classic, and I can’t recommend it enough.

I think my favorite part has to be Christian Robinson’s illustrations! I especially love Milo’s drawings, the way they provide depth to Milo as a character by giving us a look into his internal monologue and his understanding of the world around him.

Milo Imagines The World is on sale next week (February 2, 2021), but you can preorder it today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)

Matt de la Peña is the award winning author of seven young adult novels and five picture books, and he currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches creative writing. To learn more about him and his work, please visit his website at mattdelapena.com.

Christian Robinson is an author, illustrator, animator, and Caldecott Honoree base in San Francisco, CA. To learn more about him and his work, please visit his website at TheArtofFun.com.

I also want to extend a HUGE thank you to G. P. Putnam’s Sons for proving me with a review copy of Milo Imagines The World. This is one I will keep coming back to for years to come with my little one.

Five Books to Celebrate National Adoption Month

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month here in the US? I thought it would only be right to celebrate with a few books about adoption. (Please note: this post will contain affiliate links, from which I receive a small commission. This commission allows me to maintain this website, and continue to put out regular content.)

While I am personally not a part of the adoption community (i.e. I am not adopted, nor is my son), I believe it is important that we teach all children about diverse family structures, including foster and adoptive families. Giving our children this knowledge not only allows them to understand that their family structure is not the only one, but it can also prepare them to respond appropriately when they meet someone with a different family structure than theirs. I can’t think of a better way to share knowledge than reading, so I would like to recommend these books to start conversations about adoption.

Pablo’s Tree

Pablo’s Tree by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Cecily Lang

This is a precious story about a boy named Pablo, and his tradition of visiting his grandfather every year on the day after his birthday. Throughout the story we learn that Pablo was adopted, and his grandfather has been celebrating his adoption day in a unique way every year since he was born. This book doesn’t explain adoption in an in-depth way, and there is not conflict. It’s just a sweet story of a cute little family and their love for each other.

A Crazy Much Love

A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake, Illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

This little book has so much love in it. Told from the adoptive parent’s perspective, this story recounts a family’s experience adopting their daughter from China. A Crazy-Much Love follows this family from the anticipation of “the” phone call, all the way up to their daughters first day of school, This is a “warm hug” kind of book. Though there isn’t a lot of explanation about the adoption process, this is the perfect book to show children unfamiliar with adoption how parents love their adopted children the same way their parents love them.

The Story I’ll Tell

The Story I’ll Tell by Nancy Tupper Ling, Illustrated by Jessica Lanan

In this book, a mother wonders what she will tell her son when he asks where he came from. She makes up all kinds of fantastic stories about her son’s past. From hot air balloons, to angels, to dragons, each story has a tiny hint of truth, letting the reader piece together their family’s adoption experience.

Just Right Family

Just Right Family by Sylvia Lopez, Illustrated by Ziyue Chen

This is a sweet story about Meili, an adopted child whose family is adopting a baby from Haiti. Meili isn’t thrilled about the idea of messing up their “just right family”, but she warms to the idea and realizes her family is still just right, even with a sister. I love that we are seeing the adoption process through the eyes of an older sibling in this book. Definitely a great read for families adopting a second child.

When The Babies Came To Stay

When The Babies Came to Stay By Christine McDonnell, Illustrated by Jeanette Bradley

In this book, we meet four babies who arrive on an island on the same day. They are taken in by the town’s librarian,, and they become the sweetest little family. While the word “adoption” is never used, I feel like this is a great read for children who have unanswered questions about their past.

I hope you all enjoy these books as much as I did!.What are your favorite books about adoption to read to your little ones? Be sure to comment below!

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(M)other – A Picture Book About The “Other” Mothers

Originally written as a poem, which was shortlisted for the CBC Poetry prize in 2018, (M)other, by Sanita Fejzic was adapted into a children’s book in March. The poem is paired with beautiful illustrations by Alisa Arsenault, creating an unforgettable children’s book that discusses the relationship between a boy and his “other” mother.

In the book, we learn of the unique challenges faced by families with two mothers, and no father. Written from the perspective of the “other” mother, we hear of the pressure this mother receives to provide a father figure for her child, and to conform to the societal expectations of what a family “should look like”. From birth certificates, to principals, to children at school, there always seems to be a challenge to their family structure.

With more emotion than I thought possible in 26 pages, (M)other is a tender look into the lives of a loving family.

If, like me, you would like to ensure your child has an understanding of diverse family structures from a young age, I would highly recommend this book. It would also make an excellent gift for the holidays, especially for those families with “other” mothers.

I would like to thank Bouton D’or Acadie for providing me with a copy of this book to review. It was an absolute delight.

Have you read (M)other yourself? Be sure to leave your thoughts below!

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