It’s crucial that children have school access to stories “normalising LGBTQ families”
This LGBT History month Parakeet Books are relaunching their campaign to get more books normalising parents of the same gender into schools.
Relationships Education is compulsory in all schools in the UK now. That means primary schools are strongly encouraged, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same-sex parents.
As LGBT history month gets underway, Parakeet Books – a children’s publisher focused on making exclusively diverse books, is campaigning to get two of their flagship titles into all school libraries across the UK.
Director and founder of Parakeet Books, Sheju John says, “It’s great that government have implemented these lessons but it’s crucial that children have access to stories that back up the lesson. We looked on in horror at the parent protests in Birmingham a few years back and made a vow there and then to create books normalising LGBTQ+ families”.
The organisation has created a campaign where you can buy one or two of their books that feature same-sex couples and it will be sent straight to the school of your choice. Or they can choose one for you. Simply head to Parakeetbooks.com to donate to this cause.
Eve’s New Brother by Sheju Adiyatiparambil-John and Judy Skidmore
Eve’s New Brother explores something familiar to many of us: a child meeting their new sibling. This story follows the emotions of Eve as she tries to accept this new small person and the challenges she faces. This tale is nestled among the tangible closeness Eve shares with her two mothers. Her parents listen to her fears and encourage her to work around them, be patient and find a way to accept Stanley.
Eve’s parents are two women. There are few books featuring LGBTQ+ families or themes. And even less with same-sex parents included in the story. This book is not about the fact that these characters are ‘unique’ in any way, they are an ordinary family like anyone else’s.
Ready for an Adventure by Abbi-Jean Reid
Best friends and sisters, Gabby and Molly have got a free day to do what they please… Great let’s have an adventure.
Gabby has vitiligo and the sisters have two dads. These are facts in the background and not integral to the plot. Parakeet Books stories represent a diverse cast of characters, thereby reflecting our society as it truly is without dwelling on difference or struggle.
Every year more families consist of parents who are of the same gender. And education builds bridges. As Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman puts it, “Children need to know that some people have two mummies or two daddies.”
“The children absolutely loved the story of Eve’s New Brother. They loved the character of Stanley, they found him so cheeky and funny. It sparked lots of discussions in class and we actually used the text to support a lesson on big changes in the children’s lives.” Laura Cooke, Primary teacher in a South London School
For more information contact Parakeet Books
Parakeet Books was set up by Sheju John and his partner Judy Skidmore, two parents who didn’t see their mixed heritage family in the children’s books they read with their children. The company now create diverse and inclusive children’s books for families, schools and nurseries.
They make brilliant stories that feature BAME characters, characters with disabilities or visible difference, two mums, two dads, books that shun tired stereotypes and properly reflect our society.
They recently signed Abbi-Jean Reid. Her debut book Ready for an Adventure has received praise from The Vitiligo Society and parents and teachers alike.
The aim of the company is for all children to see themselves in the books they read and to feel validated but to also give kids insight into families and worlds that are different to theirs.
No Outsiders campaign: £7.99, £8.99 or £16.98 plus postage Our Campaigns
For more information visit parakeetbooks.com
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Original No Outsiders schools programme set up by teacher, Andrew Moffat https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/