June’s Book Corner features five books with stories that celebrate Pride month, instill courage and create a greater understanding of the world. The list includes four children’s books and a young adult novel. These are great tales for a variety of ages, offering valuable lessons and activities to integrate into your family.
Freeda the Frog and the Two Mamas Next Door
By Nadine Haruni, Illustrated by Tina Modugno
Celebrate Pride Month with Gold Mom’s Choice Award® Winner Nadine Haruni’s picture book about family. Through the bright, colorful illustrations by Tina Modugno, “Freeda the Frog and the Two Mamas Next Door” expresses a sweet story of how Freeda’s tadpoles learn the most important aspect of a family – love. When Frank, Frannie and Jack meet friend Jessica’s two mommies, they have lots of questions about how this is possible. Freeda explains to her tadpoles that not every family looks the same, but each is beautiful in its own way. This story opens a conversation for kids to learn about all the ways to think about family, whether that means having one parent, two moms or dads, a mom and a dad or a different type of guardian.
All Kinds of Other
By James Sie
This YA novel by James Sie also celebrates Pride Month by telling the love story of two teenage boys. It is a coming-of-age tale about the end of old relationships, the beginning of new ones and facing your fears. “All Kinds of Other” follows the thoughts and feelings of Jules and Jack as they both navigate new lives at a new high school. Jules just came out as gay and is figuring out life in his new open world. Jack is a transgender male who recently moved to the area and is deciding how he wants to be known by his peers. When the boys meet, they have an immediate bond. But after a big secret is revealed, they need to decide if this truth is too much to handle, putting their connection to the test.
Who’s That I Hear?
By DJ Hill, Illustrated by Julie Adriansen
With the darkness of night, any little sound can bring a fright. Nighttime is scary, so a child’s imagination might run wild thinking about what is hidden under their bed. DJ Hill’s picture book “Who’s That I Hear?” brings this idea to light with a story of a young boy lying awake in bed. He gets nervous when he hears noises come from below. Even after mom and dad assure him that he is safe, the boy remains worried. But this doesn’t stop him. The boy works up the courage to find the source regardless of what he might discover. This story is illustrated with watercolors by Julie Adriansen, showing young kids that they too can overcome scary bedtime sounds. They might even find a fun surprise on the other side.
A Brief History of Underpants
By Christine Van Zandt, Illustrated by Harry Briggs
Does your child show curiosity about underwear? It is a piece of clothing that is part of everyday life but can sometimes be taboo to talk about. “A Brief History of Underpants” by Christine Van Zandt breaks down this barrier with a book on the history of underwear from all over the world. It exposes kids to different cultures and customs by observing the evolution of fashion’s most unmentionable garment. The illustrations by Harry Briggs bring this to life, providing exciting visuals on what the different types of underwear looked like and how they were worn. It’s part history and part humor, giving a new way to learn about innovations around the globe. This book also includes fun activities like how to make a Fundoshi, underwear worn by Japanese sumo wrestlers, which brings an interactive take to underpants history.
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All
By Chelsea Johnson, LaTonya Council, and Carolyn Choi, Illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
Childhood is a special time full of learning. Our education system has come a long way, incorporating reading, math, science and more all into one. What’s easily forgotten, however, is planting the seed of developing a social conscience. “IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All” introduces this concept by telling stories of multiple kids who cross paths. It gives a simple way to teach children that we are all shaped by our intersecting identities, like class, sexuality, dis/ability, race, religion and citizenship. This book shows young readers that no matter how different we might seem, there will always be commonalities that bring us together. Learning about intersectionality exhibits how so many things outline a person’s view of the world. So, it is important to get to know one another beyond the surface at a young age to foster an everlasting community of strength and support.
For more book suggestions, check out April’s Book Corner Guide, which is all about crafts, self-confidence and being yourself.