Enter to Win the Ultimate Playroom Bundle to Celebrate Gabby’s Dollhouse!

Gymboree Play & Music recently announced a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation in support of the second season of Gabby’s Dollhouse, a live-action animated hybrid series about a girl named Gabby, her cats, and her magical dollhouse full of adventures. The new season premieres on Netflix August 10, 2021. 

The collaboration features two special events and an official sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes officially opens to families in the United States and Canada on August 1, 2021. Prizes include one play kitchen set; one teepee snooze pod; one kid’s tablet; one cardboard playhouse; one paints, brushes, and crayons set; and one science experiment kit. The value of the prize package is $535 US dollars, and there is no purchase requirement to enter the sweepstakes.  

The sweepstakes entries will close August 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm PDT.  

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About Gymboree Play & Music 

Gymboree Play & Music is the global leader in classes for kids, and the founding member of the Gymboree family of brands. Since its creation in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music has created developmentally appropriate play, music and art classes for parents and children ages newborn to five. Based on a blend of early childhood development theories complemented by 45 years of hands-on experience, Gymboree Play & Music classes are now available in over 30 countries.  Parents can find a location near them by visiting www.gymboreeclasses.com.  For a behind-the-scenes look at Gymboree Play & Music, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gymboreeclasses/.

About Gabby’s Dollhouse Season 2 

Gabby’s Dollhouse is back with more magical dollhouse deliveries with a surprise inside! Gabby, Pandy Paws and all their kitty friends embark on new adventures with creative crafts, cozy sleepovers, fun movie nights and a cat-tastic party for a very special birthday kitty! Anything is possible in the fantastical dollhouse where imperfection is celebrated and mistakes turn to growth, as Gabby and the meow-crew play, learn and discover new experiences every day! Gabby’s Dollhouse season one is now on Netflix with season two debuting August 10, 2021.

Special Episode with Teri Weiss, EVP, Television Development for DreamWorks Animation.

Episode Information

In this episode of the Parent Pod, we spoke to Teri Weiss of Dreamworks Animation.

Teri Weiss is EVP, Television Development for DreamWorks Animation reporting to Chief Creative Officer, Television, Peter Gal. In this role, she oversees the creative development of a rapidly growing slate of original television projects, including the content for DWA TV’s groundbreaking multi-year deal with Netflix as well as Peacock, Amazon,  Hulu, Universal Kids, and other leading broadcasters around the world. As part of the studio’s global initiatives, Weiss and her creative team are tasked with developing original animated programming inspired by characters from DreamWorks Animation’s iconic franchises and upcoming feature films, the company’s vast Classic Media library, and  Universal Pictures, as well as projects based on original and acquired IP. 

Weiss previously served as the EVP, Preschool Development and Current Series.  Recent projects that Weiss oversaw in this role include Archibald’s Next Big Thing from  Tony Hale, Dragons Rescue Riders and Where’s Waldo?, as well as the upcoming series Gabby’s Dollhouse, Rhyme Time Town, Go, Dog. Go! and Madagascar: A Little Wild. 

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation Television, Weiss worked at  NBC/Universal where she was hired to head up kids content for Universal Kids  Productions group after a 16-year stint at Nickelodeon where she served as EVP of  Preschool original programming. She launched a series of hits, including Shimmer and  Shine, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Dora and Friends, Paw  Patrol, and Wallykazam! She also helped solidify Nick Jr’s leadership position with series hits Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, and The Fresh Beat Band. Prior to Nickelodeon, 

Weiss was a producer on Sesame Street, as well as Where in the World is Carmen  Sandiego? and Square One TV

Raised in New York, Weiss graduated from John Hopkins University with a degree in International Studies. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and daughter.

About

The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music is a weekly conversation that features various experts who are willing to share helpful tips for parents and grandparents on how to support their little ones during the first five years of life. Our podcast drives conversations around early childhood development and parenting strategies, with topics ranging from sleep training, and minimalist living to maternal mental health and postpartum depression.

Gymboree Play & Music Announces Collaboration with DreamWorks Animation Series, Gabby’s Dollhouse

SAN MATEO, July 22, 2021 – Gymboree Play & Music recently announced a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation in support of the second season of Gabby’s Dollhouse, a live-action animated hybrid series about a girl named Gabby, her cats, and her magical dollhouse full of adventures. The new season premieres on Netflix August 10, 2021. 

The collaboration features two special events and an official sweepstakes. The two events, hosted at local franchised locations in the United States, Canada, and the UK, will feature a Disco Party with DJ Catnip and Gabby, and Full STEAM Ahead with MerCat.  These featured events will be offered in their locations throughout the months of August and September. Guests and members of Gymboree Play & Music will explore themes related to the show, including growth mindset, music, confidence-building, and STEAM.

Disco Party with DJ Catnip and Gabby runs throughout the month of August and is suitable for children ages 1-5. 

Full STEAM Ahead with MerCat runs throughout the month of September and is best for children ages 3-5, however, all ages 1-5 are invited. 

Events will feature exclusive, original programming created by Gymboree Play & Music child development experts.  Through this collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, attendees of these events will enjoy activities that will encourage children to use their imagination and bring the show to life.

This collaboration also includes official sweepstakes, and two special episodes on The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music featuring Teri Weiss, Executive Vice President of Television Development of DreamWorks Animation, and Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey, the Creators and Executive Producers of Gabby’s Dollhouse. The two special episodes of The Parent Pod are set to air on July 28, 2021, and August 4, 2021. 

The sweepstakes officially opens to families in the United States and Canada on August 1, 2021. Prizes include one play kitchen set; one teepee snooze pod; one kid’s tablet; one cardboard playhouse; one paints, brushes, and crayons set; and one science experiment kit. The value of the prize package is $535 US dollars, and there is no purchase requirement to enter the sweepstakes.  

The sweepstakes entries will close August 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm PDT.  

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About Gymboree Play & Music 

Gymboree Play & Music is the global leader in classes for kids, and the founding member of the Gymboree family of brands. Since its creation in 1976, Gymboree Play & Music has created developmentally appropriate play, music and art classes for parents and children ages newborn to five. Based on a blend of early childhood development theories complemented by 45 years of hands-on experience, Gymboree Play & Music classes are now available in over 30 countries.  Parents can find a location near them by visiting www.gymboreeclasses.com.  For a behind-the-scenes look at Gymboree Play & Music, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gymboreeclasses/.

About Gabby’s Dollhouse Season 2 

Gabby’s Dollhouse is back with more magical dollhouse deliveries with a surprise inside! Gabby, Pandy Paws and all their kitty friends embark on new adventures with creative crafts, cozy sleepovers, fun movie nights and a cat-tastic party for a very special birthday kitty! Anything is possible in the fantastical dollhouse where imperfection is celebrated and mistakes turn to growth, as Gabby and the meow-crew play, learn and discover new experiences every day! Gabby’s Dollhouse season one is now on Netflix with season two debuting August 10, 2021.

Encourage Independence In Your Child With These 4 Tips


We all know our children will eventually take their place in the world, but long before they become Olympians, doctors, and teachers, they are just little tykes who are looking to us to understand the basics of life. Whether it’s confidence, grit, or independence, our small cues help them better understand how to approach these things and how to practically leverage them in their environment. Below are some proven tips to help you support your child develop their own independence as they grow. 

 

Give Them Tasks

One way to help your child understand independence is to give them tasks to complete on their own. Research supports that small tasks and chores for children are a way to building a sense of responsibility, teaching collaborative skills and nurturing empathy. Not only does it give the child the opportunity the finish things on their own, but it’s a subtle way to help them understand your expectations. Some simple tasks to try are: 

  • Putting away toys.
  • Let them select the bedtime story.
  • Let them determine their daily snack, get it out of the fridge and clean up.
  • Help make bed.
  • Select clothes for the day.

Ask Questions 

As parents, it’s common to step in and make decisions that we feel is in the best interest of our kids. But what’s not so common is to ask the child if they agree with what we’ve selected and why. By asking questions we get a sense of their preferences, and we help them think critically about what they prefer and why. Some simple questions to ask are: 

  • What kinds of snacks should we buy?
  • What kinds of shows do you want to see?
  • What kinds of places do you want to visit?

Let Them Struggle (A little)

No one likes to see their child struggle. But when it comes to their long-term success, sometimes allowing them to struggle temporarily is a good thing. Let your child to try things that are difficult (for them) to solve on their own. When children are first learning to walk, we let them fall. When they try something that’s spicy (that we told them not to), we wait for the tears and offer something to quell the burn. Leave room for your child to feel discomfort, learn and try again from their own learned experience.

 

Give Positive Feedback

It goes without saying that we should always support a job well done. But what’s important when it comes to independence, is to support all of the attempts and failures. Children need to know that their progress is a step in the right direction. When you provide the cue that some failure is normal, and they will get it right, they will thrive through those hiccups. 

 

Instill Independence in Your Child With Our July Book Recommendations


As parents, we love coddling our children.

For example, when our kids want to try the high slide alone, we hold their hands all the way down.

When they insist on dressing themselves, we step in to help them go faster. 

When they want to pour their own milk, we grab it and do it for them.

But when our overdoing becomes more than coddling, we inadvertently prevent our children from gaining a sense of independence. So how do we encourage kids to develop this skillset, while we also gain a better understanding the limitations of our “parenting”?

We read. 

Check out our July booklist for titles that will teach you and your kids about self-esteem, failure, success, and confidence. 

 

Recommendations for Children

Flight School

by Lita Judge 

A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of Red Hat and Red Sled.

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

 The Most Magnificent Thing 

by Ashley Spires 

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. “She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.

Ladybug Girl Series

by David Soman and Jacky Davis 

In the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series, which encourages independence and creative play, and celebrates imagination for every preschool child!
 
When Lulu puts on her ladybug costume, she becomes Ladybug Girl, a superhero who uses her imagination to have adventures right in her own backyard. Her dog, Bingo the basset hound, is always by her side and the two prove that they are not too little to explore nature, build forts, and make their own big fun.

I Don’t Want To Go To School

by Lula Bell and Brian Fitzgerald 

It’s Mouse’s first day of school. It’s Dinosaur’s first day of school. As each of them get ready for the first day of school, they definitely DON’T want to go! But when class begins, there is a very big surprise! A reassuring tale for those first-day-of-school jitters.

It’s Mouse’s first day of school, and she is so nervous. She can’t eat her cereal, and she wonders what the children will be like. And it’s Dinosaur’s first day of school, too! He is so nervous that he can’t eat his toast. He is afraid that the teacher won’t like him. And the school looks so scary! But when Mouse and Dinosaur arrive at school, they’re both in for a big, happy surprise!

A Little SPOT of Confidence

by Diane Alber 

Confidence plays an important role in a child’s future happiness, health, and success. Confident children are better equipped to deal with peer pressure, challenges, and negative emotions. A little SPOT of Confidence is a story that uses an orange spot to help a child visual there confidence spot growing or shrinking. It shows a child real-world situations on how they can grow their confidence SPOT.

Recommendations for Parents

How to Raise Successful People

by Esther Wojcicki 

The godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a superfamily shares her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness: TRICK. Wojcicki’s methods are the opposite of helicopter parenting. As we face an epidemic of parental anxiety, Woj is here to say: relax. Talk to infants as if they are adults. Allow teenagers to pick projects that relate to the real world and their own passions, and let them figure out how to complete them. Above all, let your child lead. 

Social Skills for Kids

by Keri K. Powers 

In Social Skills for Kids, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how social skills develop in children and what you can do to support their growth. In this book, you’ll find games to encourage them in group settings, activities that you (or another caregiver) can do alone with your child, and ways to make the most of virtual interactions for social skill development.

The Gift of Failure

by Jessica Lahey 

Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness: parents who rush to school at the whim of a phone call to deliver forgotten assignments, who challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children’s friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher and writer Jessica Lahey explains, even though these parents see themselves as being highly responsive to their children’s well-being, they aren’t giving them the chance to experience failure—or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

The Yes Brain

by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson 

In The Yes Brain, the authors give parents skills, scripts, and activities to bring kids of all ages into the beneficial “yes” state. You’ll learn

• the four fundamentals of the Yes Brain—balance, resilience, insight, and empathy—and how to strengthen them
• the key to knowing when kids need a gentle push out of a comfort zone vs. needing the “cushion” of safety and familiarity
• strategies for navigating away from negative behavioral and emotional states (aggression and withdrawal) and expanding your child’s capacity for positivity

The Yes Brain is an essential tool for nurturing positive potential and keeping your child’s inner spark glowing and growing strong.

The 4 Habits of Raising Joy-Filled Kids

by Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey 

Joy-filled kids aren’t always happy kids, but they do know how to work for and wait for what is truly satisfying in life. In The Four Habits of Raising Joy-Filled Kids you will discover a tool box full of skills that you can use with your children to help them grow in maturity and live with greater joy.

These tools help your kids, from infants to teens, build skills like:

Regulating upset emotions so they can return to joy.
Forming a stable identity that doesn’t change with each new emotion.
Developing discernment to distinguish between what is satisfying and what is only temporarily pleasurable.
Discovering heart values and not just living to please others.
Building “joy bonds” rather than “fear bonds.”

5 Ways to Resocialize Your Kids This Summer


Every parent wants their child to have a strong foundation early in life. Whether it’s through their child’s ability to excel in academic environments, meet milestones or even make friends, parents are constantly on the lookout to help their little one succeed. 

But what does a parent do when a global pandemic shifts their ability to control how their child develops outside of the home? They do what most parents did last year,  provide as much emotional and academic support in the home as possible, and hope for the best

But now that more businesses are re-opening, parents have found themselves facing new questions; how much did the pandemic really impact my child, and how do I resocialize my kids so they feel comfortable in the world again? 

We feel your pain moms and dads, so we set out to find answers to both of these questions.

To our surprise, researchers said the pandemic might not have impacted your littles as much as you think. A recent New York Times article revealed, “The majority of neurotypical kids will be able to socialize just fine… A lot of socialization happens implicitly through interactions with caregivers,” said Erika Hernandez a postdoctoral scholar of social development at Penn State. “Just having conversations with your kids, asking them about their feelings, and setting boundaries gets you most of the way to the socialization they need.”

But if you’re not completely sold on this theory, we did some research to identify the top 5 ways other experts are saying you should support your child this summer as they venture back into the world. 

In no particular order, experts say: 

Start Small 

In our excitement to get back into the swing of things, and re-start our “old-life,” we may inadvertently rush this process for our kids. We have to keep in mind that even though we’re comfortable spending time with new people in new environments, our children still need to operate at their own pace. Taking small steps with new interactions should also be managed with mini-milestones. Experts say setting small incremental goals can help children feel more in control about facing uncomfortable situations where their initial response may be to avoid.

Go at the Child’s Pace

Another way parents can ease the transition of re-socializing is to start with environments and people with whom the child may be more familiar. Pediatric psychologist Kate Eshleman, PsyD, encourages parents to remember kids need to go at their own pace. 

“Kids haven’t had to share with others, and they haven’t had to talk to unfamiliar adults,” Dr. Eshleman says, “so you may see some shyness or kids responding to other people in ways that aren’t typical of how they act around their families.”

A Routine Helps

Whether you want to re-start classes at Gymboree Play & Music, join a play-date group or head to the farmer’s market, other experts say it’s best to create a routine around the places your child will socialize in. Pandemic aside, when babies and toddlers are a part of familiar activities and routines, they establish relationships with familiar people who help them gain a sense of self-confidence. And as older toddlers and young children grow, a routine can help them demonstrate independence.

Listen to Them in Busy Environments

One of the positive benefits children experienced in the last year was more of their parent’s undivided attention. In many cases, they haven’t had to compete with other adults or people to get your attention. As social engagement for your family picks up, don’t forget to listen to your child when other people are around. They need to know you haven’t cut them off now that other adults are around. We found this proven research on the CDC website that gives some examples of how to actively listen to your child so they feel supported. 

Try the Scaffold Approach

The concept of Scaffolding is that a light framework helps to support new skills as the child is stretching beyond their current, stable abilities. It teaches kids to reach higher because the scaffolding provides extra support. When the child can do it themselves, the support is removed. And just like a building supported by scaffolding during construction, it stands on its own.

According to Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, author of The Scaffolding Effect, the three pillars of scaffolding are support, structure, and encouragement. At every stage, parents can model and teach positive, prosocial behaviors, give corrective feedback, and boost self-esteem. 

In practical terms, Scaffolding means: 

  • Support your children with empathy, and validation. Assure your child that you understand their fears and concerns. 
  • Provide security through scheduling. Many of our structural norms — like having breakfast and going to Gymboree Play & Music were upended during the pandemic. You can ease a child’s anxiety by reestablishing old household routines and reinforcing rules more than you have in the past. 
  • Encourage your kids to put themselves out there. This can be as simple as taking them to the park and encouraging them to play with other kids, or arranging play dates where the kids can interact with other kids to watch a movie, bake or engage in a shared interest or activity. 

Helping Your Toddler Thrive with MFT Michelle Tangemen.

Episode Information

In this episode of the Parent Pod, we spoke to Michelle Tangemen the founder of the Thriving Toddler.


Michelle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She specializes in working with children & families by applying her experience in developmental psychology and behavior analysis. She has over a decade of experience using evidence-based practices to decrease undesired behaviors and increase adaptive/desired behaviors in order to strengthen the relationships between parent and child. Her goal is to support parents as they navigate the challenges that come with parenting.

Learn more at https://www.thrivingtoddler.com/.

About

The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music is a weekly conversation that features various experts who are willing to share helpful tips for parents and grandparents on how to support their little ones during the first five years of life. Our podcast drives conversations around early childhood development and parenting strategies, with topics ranging from sleep training, and minimalist living to maternal mental health and postpartum depression.

Conscious Untigering and Peaceful Parenting with Author with Iris Chen

Episode Information

In this episode of The Parent Pod, we spoke to Iris Chen, Iris Chen is an author, unschooling mom, deconstructing tiger parent, and founder of the Untigering movement. As an advocate for peaceful parenting and educational freedom for children, her mission is to inspire generational and cultural transformation, especially among Asian communities.

She spent 16 years living overseas in China (land of the tiger parent!), but now resides in her native California with her husband and two sons. You can read more about her adventures in parenting and unschooling at www.untigering.com.

About

The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music is a weekly conversation that features various experts who are willing to share helpful tips for parents and grandparents on how to support their little ones during the first five years of life. Our podcast drives conversations around early childhood development and parenting strategies, with topics ranging from sleep training, and minimalist living to maternal mental health and postpartum depression.

Postpartum Plans and Parent Education with Julia Mitchell

Episode Information

In this episode of The Parent Pod, we spoke to Julia Mitchell, the founder of Gather and Bloom. Julia Mitchell is a life-long family advocate and the founder of Gather + Bloom. With hundreds of families assisted, Julia combines research-based methods with over twelve years of time-tested experience to provide custom postpartum plans, parent education, and newborn care.

Learn more about her company at www.gatherandbloom.co.

About

The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music is a weekly conversation that features various experts who are willing to share helpful tips for parents and grandparents on how to support their little ones during the first five years of life. Our podcast drives conversations around early childhood development and parenting strategies, with topics ranging from sleep training, and minimalist living to maternal mental health and postpartum depression.

15 Books That Will Teach Your Child About PRIDE, Family Love, and Embracing Their Identity


Now more than ever, parents want to teach their children to be kind, inclusive, and compassionate. They also want to make sure that the books they bring in their home are representative of values that validate, affirm, and dignify all people. 

In celebration of Pride Month, Gymboree Play & Music has curated a list of books that will support these efforts for families everywhere. Feel free to see which books made our list below. 

 

 

 

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride

by Michael Genhart PhD and  Anne Passchier 

This is a sweet ode to rainbow families, and an affirming display of a parent’s love for their child and a child’s love for their parents. Readers will celebrate the life, healing, light, nature, harmony, and spirit that the rainbows in this book will bring. and sharing. “A great choice for the beginning of the school year.”*

Except When They Don’t

by Laura Gehl and Joshua Heinsz 

This rhyming picture book encourages children to celebrate their individuality and lets them know that it’s okay to play with whatever toys they want to!

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

by Theresa Thorn and Noah Grigni 

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

Pink Is For Boys

by Robb Pearlman and  Eda Kaban 

Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up.

Mommy, Mama, and Me

by Lesléa Newman and Carol Thompson 

Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Share the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children in this heartwarming story of family.

Daddy, Papa, and Me

by Lesléa Newman and Carol Thompson 

Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its daddies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Share the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children in this heartwarming story of family.

Love Is Love

by Michael Genhart and Ken Min 

When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn’t have a real family, he discovers that his friend’s parents―a mom and a dad―and his two dads are actually very much alike.

Dr. Michael Genhart’s debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with kids. This sweet and straightforward story shows that gay families and straight families and everything in between are all different kinds of normal. What makes a family real is the love that is shared.

Julián Is a Mermaid 

by Jessica Love 

When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Our Rainbow

by Little Bee Books 

Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, Our Rainbow can teach toddlers all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

Born Ready

by Jodie Patterson and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow 

In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea

by Kai Cheng ThomKai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li 

In this captivating, beautifully imagined picture book about gender, identity, and the acceptance of the differences between us, Miu Lan faces many questions about who they are and who they may be. But one thing’s for sure: no matter what this child becomes, their mother will love them just the same.

When You Look Out the Window

by Gayle E. Pitman and Christopher Lyles 

When You Look Out the Window tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco’s most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. Describing the view from Phyllis and Del’s window, this book shows how one couple’s activism transformed their community — and had ripple effects throughout the world.

Love Makes a Family

by Sophie Beer 

Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.

Families Belong

by Dan Saks and Brooke Smart 

This deliciously warm board book is an appreciation of the unconditional love and comfort shared within a family. Through a handful of specific yet universal scenarios, from singing songs together to sharing food together, from dancing together to lying still together, this book invites the youngest readers to celebrate what it means for a family to be truly together.

I Am Jazz

by Jessica HerthelJazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas 

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.