Review of the Week – This Day In June

this-day-in-junePitman, Gayle E. This Day in June. Kristyna Litten, Illus. Picture Book.
Magination, 2014. 32p. $14.95. 978-1-4338-1658-1.
OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-2.

     With vibrant color, simple phrases, and beautifully diverse characters, This Day in June is a first of its kind: a cheerful, exuberant read-aloud about a gay pride parade. This parade has Dykes on Bikes, Leather Daddies, drag queens, a cameo by San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and above all, lots of love. Women hold hands with women, men dance with men, and children are hugged and kissed by same-sex and heterosexual parents as the parade rolls down a city street (San Francisco is hinted at, but not specified). The signs held by parade participants are an extra joy, “Born This Way,” “I [Heart] My Dads,” “Equal Love, Equal Law,” and others float alongside the book’s minimal narration: “Loving kisses/ so delicious/ All invited/ all excited.” Litten’s bright digital illustrations radiate charm, and every spread contains people of a variety of skin tones and body types. An appendix includes a reading guide that explains who some of the figures depicted are and a note to parents and caregivers on talking to kids about sexual orientation and gender identity at various ages. Lovely, happy, and informative, this title is a must purchase. Amy Martin, Oakland PL

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