families

Celebrate Fathers and Father Figures

Celebrate the father figures in your life! Whether you call him Dad, Papa, Father, Gramps, Opa, Abuelo, or Maddy—and no matter which pronouns they use—these people are an important part of families. Check out our stories about dads and father figures: My Maddy by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD explores what it’s like to have a gender-nonconforming parent from a child’s perspective.  “Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are like my Maddy. My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. The best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.” Read an excerpt from My Maddy’s Note to Readers here. Pockets Full of Rocks by Yair Engelberg presents a young daughter’s questions to her depressed father. He offers direct answers and promotes the hope that he will become his old self again. This gentle, hopeful book will help kids cope with a parent’s mental illness. Read an interview with the author here. Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst explores Riley’s experience when one of her schoolmates asks which one of her dads is her real father. It celebrates the special, unique relationships children have with each of their parents and the love that makes a family. Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud here.  Read a piece by Seamus Kirst about the power of inclusion here. Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD, tells the story of two musical grandfathers and a boy who uses their shared love of accordions to help them connect, even though they don’t speak the same language. It explores families’ rich cultural diversity and how, while we may be different, we all have much in common as well. Hear Accordionly read aloud here. Read a piece Dr. Genhart wrote about writing the book here.

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Celebrate Fathers and Father Figures 2021-06-14T18:51:24-04:00

Celebrate Pride Month with Great Books

In June, we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with Pride Month. Magination Press celebrates LGBTQ+ kids and families year-round with these books for LGBTQ+ kids and teens. Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Ian and Sarah Hoffman In his third book, Jacob, a gender-nonconforming kindergartner, prepares for a school play. A classmate, Ari, uses “they/them” pronouns, and Jacob finds it confusing. Jacob’s teacher helps him understand what it means to identify as nonbinary and why Ari uses “they.”  Read an interview about the school play with Jacob here. Read an interview with Jacob about his second book, Jacob’s Room to Choose, here. My Maddy by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are like Maddy. Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. The best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own. My Maddy explores what it’s like to have a gender-nonconforming parent from a child’s perspective.  Read an excerpt from My Maddy’s Note to Readers here. Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst This book explores Riley’s experience when one of her schoolmates asks which one of her dads is her real father. It celebrates the special, unique relationships children have with each of their parents and the love that makes a family. Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud here.  Read a piece by Seamus Kirst about the power of inclusion here. Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Karen Rayne, PhD and Kathryn Gonzales, MBA This all-inclusive, uncensored guide is for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or gender fluid. Read an interview with Karen Rayne and Kathryn Gonzales about writing Trans+ here.  Read an excerpt from Trans+’s dictionary to learn about accurate and respectful language to discuss gender identity here. Our Rainbow Collection has stories about  the rainbow flag, and LBGTQ+ community leaders, various aspects of LBGTQ+ history, and the LBGTQ+ experience for young readers and teens. 

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Celebrate Pride Month with Great Books 2021-06-15T10:38:28-04:00

They Only See the Outside: Interview with the Author

In honor of National Poetry Month, we've interviewed Kalli Dakos, author of a new collection of poems, They Only See the Outside. We ask her about the process of making this book and how poetry can help children better understand their feelings and feel less alone. Magination Press: What inspired you to create this poetry collection, They Only See the Outside? Kalli Dakos: I was asked to do a collection of poems that deal with emotional issues and I thought it was a wonderful idea. I’ve been sharing poetry with children for many years now and I know that poems can help them deal with problems at so many levels – both reading and writing poems. Reading poems helps children to feel that they are not alone with their difficulties and writing poems helps to give a voice to their problems and to share their own stories.  Reading poems helps children to feel that they are not alone with their difficulties and writing poems helps to give a voice to their problems and to share their own stories.  MP: You’ve written many books of poetry. What makes this one different? KD: This is my first book that has both previously published poems and new poems as well. I was able to share some of my favorite poems from other books and to add poems on brand new topics.     MP: Are there any poets who have inspired or mentored you?  KD: There are many poets who have inspired me over the years – from William Wordsworth to Shel Silverstein to the wonderful children’s poets today who are my friends. MP: The poems in They Only See the Outside can raise many different emotions and reactions from page to page as you cover incredibly different topics, from serious to ordinary to amusing. Can you explain why this approach benefits readers? KD: Poems help children to develop empathy and compassion for the struggles that their peers face, and covering all different topics helps this exposure. And then there are the poems that strike a chord with individual children because they have experienced the feelings in the poem. I love to include longer free verse poems that can handle topics that require more text, and it is always important to include humorous poetry that gives children a break from the deeper issues, but also helps them to realize they are not alone with embarrassing situations.   MP: In this collection of poems, you explore all kinds of feelings a kid might have in diverse life experiences. In your picture book Why Am I Blue?, you explore feelings, too. How is writing a book of poetry different from crafting a picture book?  KD: I feel that most of my writing is poetry even if it is in a picture book. I always begin a picture book as a poet, with either free verse or rhyme. In the original versions, the stories are written as poetry, and then changed to picture book format, as in Why Am I Blue?

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They Only See the Outside: Interview with the Author 2021-04-06T11:39:22-04:00