This Day In June

Summary: This Day in June, by Gayle Pitman is a childrens book that follows a Gay Pride parade. With its bright and colorful illustrations, readers everywhere can enjoy this simple, yet powerful book.

Cultural Markers: This book is written by Gayle Pitman, a psychology professor, and also published by the American Psychological Association, something you don’t see everyday when it comes to childrens books. But this book was written for a reason. It was written to not only celebrate the LGBQT community, but to teach an understanding of it for children at a young age. Even at the end of the book, there is a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” on how to properly teach the concepts of this book to young children. In the illustrations of the book, we see common sayings associated to the LGBQT community like “Born this Way” and “Love Not Hate.” And of course, we see vibrantly dressed individuals and rainbow colors, also associated with their community. But something interesting I noticed was how diverse the people in the book are. You see people of all ages, genders, and races to celebrate in the parade. Perhaps this was the illustrators way of showing that you can have pride regardless of your background.

Personal Reflections: I would have never guessed that such a book existed. When I think of the theme, I always imagined that these kinds of books belonged in a high school health class. But now I can see that this book is a milestone for the LGBQT community and this could work well in an elementary setting. The only concern is that one has to properly teach the book and not just read it to the class and expect them to understand. The “Note to Parents and Caregivers” however, is best left to the parents and should not be discussed in the classroom.

Awards:

WINNER OF THE 2015 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION STONEWALL BOOK AWARD
WINNER OF THE 2015 NOTABLE BOOKS FOR A GLOBAL SOCIETY AWARD
NAMED A TOP TEN TITLE ON THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION RAINBOW LIST
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY THE ADVOCATE’S “40 UNDER 40” LIST

Review Excerpts:

“Pitman, in her first book for children, salutes the LGBT parades that take place across the U.S. in June. Her couplets keep things marching steadily forward, but it s Litten s artwork that creates a sense of joyous excitement and showcases the diversity on display.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“This beautifully illustrated book is a great addition to a school or personal library to add diversity in a responsible manner without contributing to stereotypes about LGBT people.” –School Library Journal

Similar Books: Here is a list of other Stonewall Book Award winners, that recognizes the LGBQT experience.

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/5959.Stonewall_Book_Award_Winners#18615267

Lesson Plans: This book would be excellent to use as an to teach the understanding, respect, and acceptance of the LGBQT people to a younger audience.

Pitman, G. E., & Litten, K. (2014). This day in June. Magination Press (American Psychological Association). ISBN: 9781433816581
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