Leslea Newman Board Books

Newman, Lesléa (Author) and Carol Thompson (Illustrator). Daddy, Papa, and Me. New York: Tricycle Press, 2009.

Newman, Lesléa (Author) and Carol Thompson (Illustrator). Mommy, Mama, and Me. New York: Tricycle Press, 2009.

Two board books by Leslea Newman. On the left, book titled "Daddy, Papa, and Me" shows two happy fathers playing with a toddler. One father appears to be East Asian and the other appears to be white. On the right, book is titled "Mommy, Mama, and Me" and depicts two happy mothers cuddling a toddler. One mother appears to be Black and the other appears to be white.

These appealing board books depict same-sex, interracial-appearing parents with toddlers engaged in typical family pastimes. Warm, lively watercolor paintings accompany playful, accessible rhymes. I especially appreciated how the toddlers participate in both “masculine”/active and “feminine”/nurturing activities. We see them (and the parents) cooking, playing, running, and more. A sweet example: “Daddy shows me how to sew / Papa shows me how to throw.”

It is so important for children to see their family structures reflected in books from an early age, and it is equally important for children with normative family structures to have exposure to queer family structures. I highly recommend these board books for early childhood educators, parents, family therapists, and public libraries.

About Charlie McNabb

Archivist, Folklorist, and Legend Tripper
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