Kids of Same Sex Parents Deserve Books About Them Too

Monday With MaximWhen Jaclyn Roth went searching for children's books for her 6-month-old daughter, she noticed a trend. There were no stories about a life like Jessie's. Even in the new millennium, it seems, the books written about kids with same sex parents aren't just few and far between: they're not actually about the kids.

With National Coming Out Day slated for this Tuesday, October 11, timing for a book series about the children of an openly gay community that continues to grow in America seems just right. Their lives matter too. So why can't they find themselves in a bookstore like other kids?

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That's just what Roth, a sometime The Stir contributor, is trying to make happen. The mother of two has partnered with Phylliss DelGreco and Kathryn Silverio plus illustrator Rory Smith to bring the 8 to 10 million kids in America being raised by gay parents a children's book series that actually tells their story. The Jessie books are about a girl who has two moms. No, really, they're about the little girl. Which is unlike just about anything Roth could find on the shelves for her daughter, 5-year-old Jessie, the inspiration for the new series.

"There are a couple of books out there [for kids of same sex parents]. A couple were from the '70s, and they were really antiquated for this day and age. The moms were a bit stereotyped," Roth explained. "But more than anything, the books were about the parents, not about the child."

They told stories about how their family might be different, but they were doing OK anyway. That's what the collaborators on the Jessie books wanted to avoid. Instead, they created a series of books about a little girl who just so happens to have two moms, but otherwise is exactly like any curious tot who enjoys playing with her dog (inspiration for Monday With Maxim, The Amazing Maltese) and hitting the dinosaur museum (see Tuesday With Mommy ... and Pterodactyls). She's not OK despite her moms. She's OK. Period. In other words, they wrote a book about a kid just like Jessie.

"It's just about the life of a little, silly-hearted 5-year-old," Roth explained. You can check out The Jessie Books online or hit up Amazon for the first in what will be a seven-book series covering the days of the week.

Have you found good children's books that mirror your kid's life? What are your favorites?

 

Image via The Jessie Books

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