As you know I'm a big fan of making a better world through kid's books. I also love helping to get the word out about wonderful books by former students. So today I want to honor friend and former student Gayle Pitman. But first I want to share a little about why I think Gayle has been so successful. Gayle is an academic who is used to writing, and writing a lot, but writing for kids and writing for academia are two very different beasts. Gayle has mastered the art of writing for both with two very different sets of language. For kids, she uses lots of poetic devices like rhythm and repetition and employs nifty page turns. Her books are bouncy and fun to read while she combines fiction with nonfiction information to tell heartfull, meaningful, and important stories that read effortlessly. Read as a body of work, the key message is justice and empowerment. While most of the younger books use simple language to convey complex ideas, her teen book, Feminism from A-Z packs a stronger age-appropriate punch. I was expecting it to start with A for Activism but instead I had to smile when it started with Anger! Way to go Gayle!
Anyway, I want to start with a video I made a while ago of Gayle's first book, This Day In June, which went on to win a prestigious ALA Stonewall award among other awards. It's a delightful book about LGBTQI rights, diversity and community. Gayle does a wonderful job of creating a fun and welcoming environment for kids and parents. Gayle is also a professor of psychology and in the back of this book she gives a sweet guide for parents on how to approach their children about these issues. The illustrator, Kristyna Litten, really brings a bright and sunny aura to the book with quirky, simple, and absolutely adorable illustrations. The rhyme and rhythm of this book is also just really wonderful. After reading this book you'll think to yourself, "How could anyone not support this community?" It's just a really cool book.
Since then Gayle has published these fabulous books
And rather than reinvent the wheel, and because I am crazy busy, I took the following descriptions from Gayle's website here:
When You Look Out the Window tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco's most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. Describing the view from Phyllis and Del's window, this book shows how one couple's activism transformed their community - and had ripple effects throughout the world. Includes a Reading Guide that provides helpful historical context, and a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Educators about the importance of teaching LGBTQ history and culture to children.
In A Church for All, inspired by Glide Memorial Church and other wonderful progressive churches, this book is yet another story about inclusion, acceptance and making a just and loving world told with simple beautiful language inviting children to enter the church for all. Here's the description from Gayle's website: This simple, lyrical story celebrates a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All are welcome at the church for all!
You can learn more about Gayle and her books on her website https://gaylepitman.com/books which I really encourage you to visit. Also, because Gayle has published several of her books though Magination Press, I also encourage you to think of purchasing her books there to give maximum benefit to the author, illustrator and publisher so they can keep publishing wonderful books like these.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.