New APA children’s book brings a pride parade to life
Hundreds of towns and cities host gay pride celebrations each
June, but do most people know the history of why they are held
this month? The timing honors the June 1969 Stonewall riots,
when the New York City police raided a gay bar in Greenwich
Village, the Stonewall Inn, and the patrons resisted arrest and
fought back over three days.
Answering that and many more questions about lesbian,
gay, bisexual and trangender history and culture is “This Day
in June,” a whimsical new children’s book from APA’s children’s
imprint Magination Press. The book, out this month, aims to
teach children respect and understanding of LGBT people and
families by showcasing a pride parade of facts on its pages.
Each vibrant spread of “This Day in June” illustrates part
of a parade tied to an event or group pivotal to LGBT history
or culture, such as one featuring the Sisters of Perpetual
Indulgence, a satirical order of LGBT “nuns” who promote
human rights and respect for diversity. In other spreads,
marchers carry banners and signs reading “Love Not Hate” and
“Proud Parent,” or people ride on elaborate floats followed by
cheerleaders and marching bands.
Geared toward preschool and school-age children, the book
includes a four-page reading guide that describes the historical
or cultural significance of each scene.
The book also includes age-specific advice to parents and
caregivers on how to talk to children and even teenagers about
sexual orientation and gender identity.
The timing is right for a book like this, says Magination
Press editor Kristine Enderle, who fast-tracked its production
in order to release it in time for June pride celebrations. “The
book reflects a climate that is changing and more accepting.
With more and more celebrities and athletes coming out and
restrictive and discriminatory marriage laws being challenged,
parents are eager for ways to talk to their children about the
LGBT community,” she says.
It’s also APA’s first children’s book to address sexual
orientation and gender diversity. Author Gayle E. Pitman, PhD,
a professor of psychology and women’s studies at Sacramento
City College, wrote the story after noticing students in her
psychology of sexual orientation classes knew very little about
“Many of them don’t know what the pink triangle means,
the significance of the rainbow flag, they don’t know what
Stonewall is,” says Pitman, who covers each in her detailed
reader’s guide. Pitman was also motivated by the lack of
children’s books about LGBT diversity or families.
Two major LGBT advocacy groups, the Human Rights
Campaign and Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and
Gays (PFLAG), have endorsed “This Day in June.” APA has also
sent advance copies to LGBT publications and community
organizations and PFLAG chapters throughout the country,
as well as to such magazines as the School Library Journal and
“This is a momentous first book for us,” adds Enderle. “We
are really proud and happy to be able to tell this important
— JAMIE CHAMBERLIN