This Day in June

by Gayle E. Pitman
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

There’s so much I love about this book – vibrant pictures, an accurate reflection of a Pride parade, a matter-of-fact description of the various things one sees there without getting into the why in the actual book. At the end of the book are two useful resources: one is a “Reading Guide,” a page-by-page explanation of why those words were chosen and what they refer to; and the other is a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” about talking to children of different ages about sexual orientation.

I was very glad to stumble on the Reading Guide as I was wondering about one page spread that said, “Sidewalk shaking, tummies aching.” The picture showed a group of unhappy children and I immediately wondered what was wrong and why so many kids weren’t feeling good. Turns out the author just meant, “Hey, there are kids at a Pride parade too – gay couples can have kids, and here’s how.” I wonder if there’s a better rhyme that could have pointed out the presence of kids, but I’m sure the author thought it through and decided this was the best rhyme.

The other curious thing is that I was reading this book with my friends in mind who are gay couples with kids. I was imagining them reading it to their little ones. The text is definitely aimed very young (I would say 0-2), with mostly 4 words per page in a simple rhyme. However, the note to parents is aimed at kids 3-5 and 6-12 and seems to assume the reader and their child are not part of a homosexual family. Granted, there are many more children in heterosexual families than not, but it was still interesting to note.

One last note: part of the 3-5 year old section stated that if your child starts asking about how babies are made, you should “find a book that’s applicable to all types of families for talking about how babies are made” – it would have been helpful to list some books that show all kinds of families and not just heterosexual ones. Overall, though, this is a lovely book and would be good in the hands of any child, provided their adult is capable of talking in an open and supportive way about LGBT people and families. (For the record, I personally like It’s Not the Stork! by Robie Harris – though it talks about how “most often a woman and a man have a special kind of loving” (p.28), it also talks about all kinds of families and shows all kinds of children in the pictures.)

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