GLAAD—the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization—and Bonnier Publishing USA have announced a partnership committed to increasing positive representation of diverse gender and sexual identities in children’s books. At least four titles for young readers up to age 14, in a range of genres and formats, will be published each year as part of the program.
The debut title to emerge from the partnership is Prince Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis, which was released in May by Bonnier’s Little Bee imprint. In the book, a prince searches near and far for a bride. Over the course of his journey, however, he meets and falls in love with a knight as they work together to vanquish a dragon.
A second picture book will follow in October, titled Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Holly Hatam, in which a big sister learns to accept that her little sibling prefers to be called “Jack” instead of “Jackie.” Additional titles will be announced in the upcoming months.
Shimul Tolia, CEO of Bonnier Publishing USA, said in a statement, “The Bonnier Publishing USA kids’ group, now in its fourth year, continues to grow and evolve. With that growth comes the responsibility to produce meaningful, socially conscience books for every reader. We’re proud to be partnering with GLAAD to authentically and accurately tell LGBTQ stories, and do our part to make classrooms, bookstores, and even the playground a more inclusive environment.”
Publisher Sonali Fry said in a statement, “Children need to identify with the characters they’re reading about. The importance of children recognizing themselves, their family, and their friends in media cannot be overstated. We strive to create stories that not only empower, but ensure that no child feels invisible.”
The collaboration with Bonnier Publishing USA marks GLAAD’s latest initiative to elevate LGBTQ representation in the realm of children’s and family media. The organization has previously partnered with the Disney Channel on an episode of Doc McStuffins, and on the series Andi Mack, for example. This year, GLAAD also introduced the “Outstanding Kids Family Programming” category in its GLAAD Media Awards.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, stated, “GLAAD is committed to advancing positive representation of LGBTQ lives, experiences, and stories at every stage of our lives, and books are a natural progression to encourage awareness, kindness, and acceptance at an early age. Our partnership with Bonnier Publishing USA represents an important step in our firm commitment to reach a day when all diverse families are included and accepted.”