5 Children's Books About Same-Sex Families
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

5 Children's Books About Same-Sex Families

Family is love is love is love is love...

391
5 Children's Books About Same-Sex Families
Holly Clifton-Brown

When social studies is taught in elementary school grades (preschool through the 5th grade), students are not only learning about historical events, but are also exploring concepts related to society and culture. Social studies instruction could range from basic concepts (such as the different types of communities or specific cultures) to social issues (such as prejudice or bullying).

With sufficient instruction in social studies, students develop a larger worldview and become cognizant of issues on a global level, which is AWESOME and super important! And the best resources in social studies instruction, in my opinion, are quality selections in children's literature.

Despite that 21% of same-sex couples are reported to have adopted children, according to 2010 U.S. Census data, and this statistic is only projected to grow with the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex couples to adopt in all 50 states, the decision of whether to allow conversations about same-sex couples and families in schools may still be a hot-button issue.

Nonetheless, it's SO important that when kids in same-sex families come to school, they are able to "see themselves" represented in classroom literature, and there are two ways teachers can begin to achieve this! First, teachers might want to consider teaching about same-sex families as part of a larger unit about family types, and the Human Rights Campaign created an excellent guide of how to approach the topic of same-sex families when discussing it with young students. Teachers should also use quality literature selections as tools in teaching the concept to children, which many already do when teaching other concepts in social studies.

Here's a list of five excellent children's books that I reviewed about same-sex families. Not only do these titles represent same-sex families appropriately, but also communicate messages in ways that are accessible and relatable to young children:

1. "Stella Brings the Family" by Miriam B. Schiffer (Preschool - Grade 2)

"Stella Brings the Family" is happy and upbeat and includes a conflict that children can easily relate to: what should Stella, who is raised by two fathers, do when the class' Mother’s Day celebration rolls around? This conflict is resolved when Stella decides to invite members of her extended family to the party, and their presence reinforces the idea that the family members are supportive and proud of Stella's Dads. Multiple types of families are also represented toward the end of this book: same-sex, single-parent, custodial parent, and military families.

2. "A Tale of Two Daddies" and "A Tale of Two Mommies" by Vanita Oelschlager (Preschool - Grade 2)

These two books, written by Vanita Oelschlager, each depict the natural curiosities children have about same-sex families. They both have the same narrative style that involve adorable exchanges between a child (with two moms or two dads) and his or her friend, who asks question after question. The books' illustrations also aid in telling the story from the childrens' points-of-view, as you never see the parents above knee level.

3. "My Family: My Two Dads" and "My Family: My Two Moms" by Claudia Harrington (Preschool - Grade 3)

As I mentioned earlier, one way teachers could discuss same-sex families with young students is to create a larger unit of lessons about the different types of families. With that being said, if you're going to teach about each family type, the books in Claudia Harrington's "My Family" series serve as excellent tools for each lesson. Each book in her series follows the same plot formula: Lenny, the "class reporter", spends his afternoon at the home of a classmate with a specific type of family to write a report on what he learned about the student's family life.

The books are heavily tied to the theme of normalcy when depicting each family type, whether the student has two fathers, one mother, divorced parents, etc. You can view the full list of Claudia Harrington's books here.

4. "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson (Preschool - Grade 3)

"And Tango Makes Three" is actually based on a true story of Roy and Silo, two penguins at the Central Park Zoo who mated and a created a nest together. Obviously, they were unable to create offspring together, but remained loyal to one another. Instead, fate intervened: a zookeeper provided them with an extra egg from another penguin couple at the zoo, and instinct kicked in for each of them to care for the egg until it hatched.

Time passed, and they became the proud parents of a baby penguin named Tango. The book's message is clearly stated for children: Tango's family is no different from any other family at the zoo.

5. "In Our Mothers’ House" by Patricia Polacco (Grades 1 - 3)

While the other books listed here chose to depict their characters' experiences of being in a same-sex family in ways that communicated themes of normalcy, Patricia Polacco included bigotry in the narrative to portray some of the challenges that these families face. While it has become more and more socially acceptable for two people of the same sex to marry and start a family, there are still, of course, a number of people who feel morally opposed to this, and sometimes use hate speech to communicate such beliefs. In addition to teaching children about life in a same-sex family, Patricia Polacco included a scene involving a intolerant individual to teach children about bigotry as a social issue in an appropriate and comprehensible way.



Are there any similar titles that I didn't mention here? Tweet me your suggestions and thoughts @missjulia1207!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Why I Don't Believe In Religion

I used to be comfortable with religion, but now I'm uncomfortable.

1123
Rebecca Jarrett

I’m not one of those people who doesn’t believe in God because“if there was a God, why would He let such horrible things happen?” Saying that because sometimes bad things happen, there must be no benevolent higher power, to me, makes about as much sense as saying that because sometimes it gets dark, there must be no light.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

In Honor Of Mental Health Awareness Month

An open discussion on how much we need an open discussion on mental health awareness

2513
Ashley Wen

Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.

Keep Reading... Show less
6 Confessions Of The Celibate Christian Girl In College
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb2e_E-Hht5zoyCPBvqeHTMT91WxQwNcv34Iyg0/?taken-by=thejaniyawinchester

Do you endure a lot of persecution as a Christian but remember when you decided you wanted to "be like Christ"?

Didn't Christ suffer persecution? Didn't he suffer people talking about him, betraying him, determined to misunderstand him, and hate him?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

15 Affirmations To Remember During Mental Health Awareness Month

Let's lift each other up, because we are not our thoughts.

7177
15 Affirmations To Remember During Mental Health Awareness Month

Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.

It's a topic that needs to be talked about way more than it should, especially in today's world: mental health. Whether it be anxiety, depression or O.C.D. (or anything, really), we have come to learn as a society that it's okay- and even more beneficial than you think- to openly talk about experiencing what almost everyone does inside the complex mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

We Must Speak Up For Abortion Rights Despite The Supreme Court's Intentions

A leaked document revealed the Supreme Court intends to vote on overturning Roe v. Wade.

7131
We Must Speak Up For Abortion Rights Despite The Supreme Court's Intentions
https://twitter.com/TRF_Stories/status/1523595310593110016

When Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in by the Supreme Court, she insisted overturning Roe v. Wade wasn't on her agenda. That landmark case made it possible for pregnant people across America to legally choose whether to have an abortion. There are many reasons a person would want to terminate their pregnancy. Money, age, health and sexual assault are just some of the reasons a person would choose to get an abortion.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments