This Day in June


Image Credit: Magination Press (American Psychological Association), Gayle E. Pitman/Kristyna Litten

What a cool book. The story is very simple but there’s quite a lot to experience if you soak in the illustrations and take time to read the guides at the end. This Day in June celebrates LGBT Pride celebrations and is a vibrant depiction of unity, love and acceptance. From “This day in June, Parade starts soon!” to “All Invited, All Excited” each page shows an aspect of a LGBT pride parade and all the fun, excitement and inclusion that it involves.

Rainbow colors, all types of families, confetti, “Born this Way” signs, people embracing, smiles galore and vibrantly dressed parade goers fill the pages and Litten’s illustrations are so happy and diverse. At the end of the book, there’s a Reading Guide that breaks down every page to give readers more context and information about the history of the parade. I recommend reading these notes because they’re interesting and some references in the story will make more sense after reading them if you weren’t previously knowledgeable. Parents might even consider reading the notes to themselves before reading the story to children to fluff up the presentation while reading aloud.


Image Credit: Magination Press (American Psychological Association), Gayle E. Pitman/Kristyna Litten

Because this book is published by the American Psychological Association, there’s also a Note to Parents and Caregivers in the back of the book. It discusses how This Day in June can be helpful in promoting discussion about the LGBT community AND there are notes about how to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity to children of various ages. Picture books are always great catalysts for discussion and learning but with these extra tools included, teachers and parents have an extra guide. Get ready for great discussions about important issues of identity, love, expression and celebration!


Recommended for: All Ages
Great for: Diversity, We Need Diverse Books, Celebration, Parades, LGBT Community, Discussion, Pride Parade, Family, Friendship, Colors, Read-Aloud, Non-Fiction
Book Info: This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman/Illustrated by Kristyna Litten, 2014 Magination Press (American Psychological Association), ISBN: 9781433816581


Billy and Goat at the State Fair

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), Dan Yaccarino

Image Credit: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), Dan Yaccarino

An outgoing goat and a timid young boy go on an adventure at a State Fair. Ah, this is a good one. Honestly, I’m a little biased because I really enjoy Dan Yaccarino’s stories and art style. So when I saw this book on the shelves, I made “grabby hands” and made it my staff pick, naturally.

This story is so very sweet. Billy is a very introverted boy but his goat friend is quite the opposite; he’s a little dude who loves adventures! Goat is excited to go to the big State Fair but Billy is afraid…yet he goes to support his friend in the Best Goat Competition. Goat gets a little distracted though, and explores the fair while Billy scrambles to find him. Goat gets Billy out of his comfort zone and before he knows it, they’re both enjoying all the State Fair has to offer. When friends support each other (and give a little nudge of encouragement), great things happen.

Oh let’s talk about the art! Something about Yaccarino’s style sings to me. I’m also a big fan of the Doug Unplugged books and Every Friday (so sweet). I love his use of color, shape and line and the retro feel of his art. I often place him in my mind with Bob Staake and Stephen Savage. I love the little details in his art for the State Fair; a simple white outline for a glass bottle with a black ring, yellow teacup rides with black shadowed figures. It’s about the little things and Yaccarino excels at them. I can’t recommend this story of friendship enough. 🙂

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Friendship, Colors, Discussion, Animals
Book Info: Billy and Goat at the State Fair by Dan Yaccarino, 2015 Alfred A. Knopf (Random House) ISBN: 9780385753258