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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Some help required please... Our childminder has asked us to help her find a book that has same sex parents in the stories for the kids she looks after. She said that as Alex becomes more aware she wants to have some books around for them to read. I looked into this whilst pregnant but it seemed to fall by the wayside and now I have lost my list.

Thanks in advance,

Rach x
 

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Our favourite is 'The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Other Stories' by Johnny Valentine. It's a bit old for Ember yet but it's great as in each story the kids go off and have adventures, then come home to their two mums/two dads/single mum etc and it happens without comment - very normalising! :) I believe he did another in the same vein but we don't have that one.

We also have 'Heather has two mommies' which is also fine but the main storyline is about her having two mums rather than it being incidental.

Those are the only ones we own ourselves but if you look up either on amazon they'll come up with plenty that are similar.

Good on your childminder!

Best wishes,

G. x
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys. I have bought a few and put a few in my shopping basket for when he's a bit older. Really appreciate your prompt replies!

Rach x
 

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Have to say I find LGBT inclusive books very disappointing.

The best I've found is this Australian series - the stories are pretty rubbish, still. https://id304.securedata.net/twolives.com/merchantmanager/product_info.php?products_id=48

I got them from this two lives publishing place in the US when they were shipping to the UK. I also got a baby book from them.

Perhaps we should write our own...

Could this thread be made sticky so that we can add to it and refer to it if we discover more books? (Who knows how to do that?) It's so important our families are reflected in books. Am fed up with stumbling across another daddy and quickly changing it to grandad. Monty must think there are lots of mummies who live with grandads. done :)

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yes it would be great to write some childrens stories with two mummies or one mummy or two daddies or one daddy. 

i wish i was more creative!
 

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This is a brilliant thread xxx
 

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mable - have been looking at the link you sent.  looks like some great books there.  and especially like the bilingual ones as our speck will be bilingual ... because gaby is and we live in spain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would love to write our own... If anyone is serious, and/or creative I would love to get involved!
 

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I was thinking about this more this morning. Some of my clients are writers and they self publish. I don't think it is very expensive. We have lots of stories we make up with Monty (mainly about diggers, quad bikes and motorbikes that call round to play and take him off for various adventures, which usually end with him having icecream). The problem for me would be the illustrations. Is someone clever with drawing? Am off to investigate this further and will report back if it is easy.
 

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hay Mable

i know lots of really good illustrators and designers and visual artists.  maybe we can colaborate?

HOW EXCITING!!!

ax
 

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It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong, if anyone knows about this) that the essentials to a good book for a pre-schooler is:

interesting subject (vehicles, cuddly bears, animals)
shortish amounts of poetic writing in a repetitive style (rather than bob the builder type clunky catchphrases or long paragraphs)
a scenario the child can relate to (going on an adventure/going to bed) with a sense of progression through the story, either by going somewhere, or having a problem that needs resolving (cue for a subtle moral here)
happy resolution - ending in a favorite meal/bedtime
great illustrations make a good book

examples of books that I consider to be well written and illustrated (and happen to not have daddys in them) are
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Who-Wouldnt-Go-Bed/dp/0552528382
Anyone know these Helen Cooper books? - the pumpkin one is really nice too.

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Mable -

sounds like a good list to me.  i havent particularly researched childrens books as havent had one to read to .... I guess there are different criteria for different age groups.

is there a particular age group you think it would be good to write for?

I think the illustrations are important and subjects that really catch a child's attention.  I loved the meg mog and owl books as a little girl, (i loved all things witchy) and MOG the forgetfull cat (which is very domestic and relateable), and the tiger who came to tea (which combines the relateable with the magical).

I guess the important thing is for the two mummies thing to be indidental and normalised rather than the focus for the story.

aimeex
 

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I was a graphic designer in a previous (professional) life and would love to collaborate on a book, or several. :) My sister is a cartoonist and my cousin is a professional artist too, so I can definitely drum up some illustrative talent if needs be. My aunt also self publishes (her recent book on viruses and vaccines is shocking and extremely enlightening for us as non-vaccinating parents - 'Fear of the Invisible' by Janine Roberts if any one is interested) so I can pick her brains as well. She uses Lightning Source - http://www.lightningsource.com - and they do colour books...

Mable, that's a good summary of things to consider in a pre-schooler book, and Aimee, I'd agree that the two mums need to be incidental rather than the focus. Mable, would you - or anyone else - like to write up a sample story so I could have a play with some graphics - in very much a draft form. It might take me some time, full time parenthood being what it is. :) In the first instance we could just do an electronic version that parents could print out and pop into a mini photo album or something, even if that's something we just do within this group as a test group.

Rach - if we meet up in the next few weeks you'll probably meet my sister too so we could have a bit of a brainstorm there too if we fancied it.

What do you reckon? Shall we set up an email list to discuss this further?

Gina. x

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i think its a brilliant idea.  and im sure there is a cheap way to publish a kind of prototype book to test.

im going to have a think over the weekend and see if i can have any ideas.  might need to start buying some childrens stories to get some research done!

ax
 

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Fantastic Gina - I was thinking you are rather skillful at graphics. Am at work today - if I get time (also have an assignment to write for a course I'm studying) I was going to sketch out a couple of the stories we tell Monty before bed in word, with gaps for the illustrations. This is the bit I would struggle with, although have found by googling a few websites that show you how to draw diggers and so on. I just think the illustrations are SO important - Monty spends hours looking at and commenting on the pictures.

Monty's stories that we make up at bedtime are about 'the digger that lives next door' and his friends (the quad bike, motorbike, fork lift truck, road cleaner, rubbish truck - the variety of machinery he finds fascinating is just endless). At the start of every story he likes to list who is in his family, including his imaginary friend Peter and some of his toys. Then he plumps for a vehicle - last night it was a fork lift truck, and we all go on an adventure on that. I'll sketch one out to show you. Not sure how versatile this subject matter would be - anyone else's child obsessed with vehicles? Am wondering how to make these stories have a wider appeal so that we could all use them?

I'll have a go today and see how I get on.
Thanks for the link Gina - will check that out (manager is lurking..)
M
 

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mable

i think they sounds great!  and loads of kids love trucks etc ... think of bob the builder arent most of those characters trucks and diggers?  and the movie cars?  and walle ... and thomas the tank engine. 

i think they sound really cute!

cant wait to read one.

ax
 
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