The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. June was Pride Month, so the project highlighted books about the LGBTQ community. The project has been extended through July. July’s theme is own voices. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the books that were read for the project in June:
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Summary: In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day in June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.
Reflective Question: What does Pride Month mean to you?
The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf
Summary: Yellow hates Red, so does Green, and no one likes Orange! Can these crayons quit arguing and learn to cooperate? Shane DeRolf’s deceptively simple poem celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. In combination with Michael Letzig’s vibrant illustrations, young readers will understand that when we all work together, the results are much more colorful and interesting.
Reflective Question: How can we work with someone that is different from us?
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
Summary: Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same.
Reflective Question: When have you felt different from other kids? How does this compare to Heather’s experience?
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Summary: While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?
Reflective Question: How do you like to or want to express yourself?
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton
Summary: One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can't figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: "In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas." And Errol says, "I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend."
Reflective Question: Is there something important about Errol and Tilly doing the same activities together at the beginning and end of the story? What do you think the author is trying to tell us?
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
Summary: In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango's family is not like any of the others. This illustrated children's book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.
Reflective Question: Who makes up your family?
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom
Summary: A child is born one night to a mother in a little blue house on a hill. This child is neither a boy nor a girl but can change into any shape they can imagine! The only problem is they cannot decide what to be. From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea is an exploration of gender, love, and learning to be yourself.
Reflective Question: Have you ever wanted to be more than one thing? What do you want to be?
Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima
Summary: Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There is just one thing missing—party hats! But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead—real penguins! Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she is not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dad's (and the party hats!) in time for her special day?
Reflective Question: Have you ever gotten carried away?
I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown
Summary: In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.
Reflective Question: What makes you unique and perfectly designed?
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
Summary: A white child sees a news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a person with brown skin who had their hands up. “We don’t see color,” the child’s mother says, but the child senses a deeper truth. An afternoon in the library uncovers the reality of white supremacy in America. The child connects to the opportunity and their responsibility to dismantle white supremacy–for the sake of their own liberation out of ignorance and injustice.
Reflective Question: How can you affect change as the person that you are?
*The summaries provided above are from the publishers of each book.