What to Buy

Sick of Switching Genders on Their Daughter's Kids Books, These Moms Created Their Own

Keren Moran, co-founder of Mememe Press, created a customizable line of books that is inclusive of ALL families

Guest post written by Keren Moran Co-founder at mememepress.com

We spent the first 4 years of our daughter's bedtime cheerfully snuggled up reading books, swapping genders and pronouns, populating her picture books with little vignettes of happy gay families like ours. This worked fine until the day she realized Sally and Conrad, the kids in 'The Cat in the Hat' have a mom and a dad (not two moms like us) and was NOT impressed with our deception.

From that point on she took it upon herself to tirelessly police our reading in to the hetero normative narratives that matched the text (what she couldn't read she expertly deduced from the pictures) and most of the representations in the book-world around her.


Thankfully the physical world around her is a better reflection of her family context - our neighborhood in Sydney is beautifully eclectic. In the park near our house you're just as likely to see a gay family doing the family thang as you are seeing someone walking a dog. There is more visible and celebrated diversity than most places I've lived – hooray for that!

But the books… the books that would help her anchor her understanding and sense-making of the world mostly included just that Mom + Dad + kid(s) – triad and with mostly a boy protagonist at that.

When we looked around we noticed it wasn't just our family that wasn't in the stories – all the shapes and sizes that make the modern family – the blended families, the single parent families, those kids that were being raised by grandparents and the rainbow families like us – were all trying to squeeze in to that ever so narrow common denominator. A chat with a publisher friend confirmed the painfully obvious – books are hard to sell and the less risk the better.

Being passionate readers and firm believers in the power of books to convey values and validate a child's sense of self-worth - we decided to stop fibbing. We would create books that could reflect ANY family for the children that lived in it.

And so Mememe Press was born.

Having run a creative agency together for 14 years - Noa (my partner in life and in crime) and I knew we could make Mememe Press fly. We'd dreamt up major creative campaigns and built robust, complex systems for clients – it was time to turn our attentions to a venture of our own.

The technical part of designing and printing one-off quality books for each child was par for the course – but we also knew there are more than a few personalized books out there that snap up the low bearing fruit of a shoehorned personalized name - that's not what we were after.

What we had in mind was personalized children's literature - books that were told with grace and sparkle that could truly take pride of place on any bookshelf – with the added bonus of being so very personal. We approached Kate and Jol Temple, award winning Australian authors whose books have already been read by more than half a million kids to craft a tale that we knew would connect. We then roped in Christopher Cooper – a young-gun illustrator with a lavish illustration style and the organized mind of a detective. Together we worked to create a story that could be broken down to parts and seamlessly put together again - differently for each and every book.

The result - our first title - Ready or not here comes… your name! (for 1-6-year old's) is a heart-warming tale about a kid who looks up from their toys one Sunday morning to discover their family… gone! The story then leads the reader on a romp around the house to find one and all hidden in various places (my favorite is the family member found 'crouched on the couch like an old corn chip'). Both the protagonist and family are depicted as cute monsters in various shades of fur to provide an inclusive visual representation that shifts focus from ethnicity to expression.

So far, the book has been received with much excitement from ALL types of families all over the world. @twopoofsandapudding – a two dad family with their little son 'pudding' shared this delightful reading moment:

We absolutely love this book! Reading it with our son who is 2 is such a joy. Every time we read it and say his name he gets so excited and shouts his name too. Also when he sees that his two daddies are in the book he looks at us both with the biggest smile on his face. Reading it with his cousins is funny as they are shocked pudding has his very own book. They know he is special the way he came into our life through adoption but this book makes them think he is super special.

and… Kim Kardashian loved her copy with her 4 little ones as well as Kanye, Aunty Khloe and grandma (Lovey) so much she posted about it to her 140 million followers – there is just something so magical about finding your very own family in a book – and not just for the kids!

To buy your personalized copy of the book – head over to www.mememepress.com

And in honor of Pride last month - use ReadWithPride at checkout for 20% off

Recently, Mememe Press published the book with a number of different family structures as paperbacks on Amazon. Check them out below and see if they work for your family.

Two dads + Boy protagonist (James): James's family includes 2 Dads, a twin brother and a baby sister.

Two dads + Girl protagonist (Olivia): Olivia's family includes 2 Dads, an Aunt a big brother and a baby sister.

Two Moms + Girl protagonist (Emma): Emma's family includes 2 Moms, a little brother and a dog.

Two Moms + Boy protagonist (Lucas): Lucas's family includes 2 Moms, a big sister, a little sister, Grandma and Grandpa.

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What to Buy

"The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" Is Being Turned Into a 5-Book Series

Will Mason has launched a kickstarter to turn his children's book "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart" into a 5-book series

Guest post written by Will Mason, author of "The Boy with the Rainbow Heart," which he wrote in honor of his lesbian sister, her children, and all children who find themselves feeling different in some way.

I, Will Mason, kindly ask you to support my Kickstarter, to help launch the latest book in the LGBTQ Rainbow Heart children's series, "The Invasion of Big Angry Red." 5% of sales will go to GLSEN, in honor of Jamel Myles, the 9-year-old student who took his life this past August after he was bullied for being gay.

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What to Buy

8 Children’s Books About Surrogacy For Kids with Gay Dads

Check out our favorite children's books about surrogacy for gay dads and their kids

Foreword by BJ Barone, author of Milo's Adventures: A Story About Love

It's important for our kids to read books about surrogacy featuring two dads so they can see themselves and their family in the literature we read to them! All children should be reading stories that show families are created different and that love comes in many forms. There is no right or wrong way to be a family!

***

Milo's Adventures: A Story About Love

Told from Milo's perspective, Milo's Adventures is a story of surrogacy, love and becoming a family. The hoping, waiting, excitement, and love are universal experiences of a loving family but Milo's story is unique as he has two daddies, a surrogate and a whole world who celebrates his birth on World Pride Weekend. We hope that this story helps everyone understand that Family is About Love!


Gal and Noa's Daddies

Noa and Gal have two fathers, Itai and Yoav. They call them by their nicknames, Daddy-Yo and Daddy-I. Noa and Gal were born to gay parents in a process called surrogacy, with the help of two special women that enabled the arrival of the twins into the world. In this unique book, the writer, Shosh Pinkas, shares the story of many same-sex families around the world. Gal and Noa's Daddies describes in a simple, clear, and humorous way, without any apologies, a loving and caring same-sex family. This is a brave and important book for children, and it also provides an appropriate answer for the needs of adults, as well. Family members, teachers, and friends will learn how to cope with the questions of curious children who seek to know more about the different types of families they see around them.


The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, a Gay Parenting Story

A sweet children's story of how two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, have their own baby by means of an egg donor and surrogacy. Using kangaroos in the story enables children to easily understand the methods related to their conception in a simple and loving way.


The 2 Boys Who Wanted to Become Daddies

The best way to explain surrogacy to kids. The 2 boys who wanted to become daddies introduces young children to the concept of surrogacy. The story gently guides the reader through the love of the parents and their desire to have a child, the surrogate's decision-making process, the egg donation, the pregnancy, and the resulting baby that is then given back to the biological parents. When two boys wish to have a baby, it takes a fabulous recipe and an amazing adventure to gather three treasures. Follow them in their exciting journey to create a magical family! This book has been reviewed by both a child psychologist and a behavioral specialist to ensure that the story answers questions that a typical child would have and that it is communicated effectively.


Why I'm So Special Surrogacy

Why I'm So Special, A Book About Surrogacy With Two Daddies, tackles a very difficult, complicated subject in a sweet, whimsical way. It is a lighthearted picture book on surrogacy with two daddies. The book is a story that all parents who used a surrogate may share with their young children to let them know just how special they are. This story is ultimately about hope, perseverance, and lots of love.


Daddy and Pop

Daddy and Pop is the heartwarming story of Jessie, a little girl with two fathers. Jessie doesn't realize that her family isn't 'typical' until a girl in her class asks about her mom. Jessie's Daddy and Pop tell her about the amazing journey they took to have her, by using an egg donor and a surrogate, in this fun-filled musical book! Daddy and Pop is part of the Love Makes a Family book series by Guess Who? Multimedia (in association with Pacific Fertility Center, Los Angeles), celebrating families made possible by egg and sperm donation, surrogacy, and adoption. *The book has an accompanying musical CD, which is sold separately.


Sophia's Crayons

Sophia's Broken Crayons is a book for young children, recommended for children ages 2 to 6 years old which tells a story of surrogacy from a young child's perspective in a practical way that children can understand and grasp. A little girl by the name of Sophia is heartbroken after she discovers all of her crayons are broken. Sophia's friend's share their crayons with her as she experiences seeing her parents choose to give the gift of surrogacy to their friends. Sophia's Broken Crayons is a very easy and understanding way to help explain surrogacy to a young child which include questions such as why can't everyone have a baby? Why would someone choose a surrogate to help grow their family? Why would someone choose to become a surrogate? Follow the story of Sophia as she learns about sharing and helping out friends in need as well as why moms and dads choose surrogates to help grow their families and why surrogates choose to help other families that way.


The Twin Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, a Gay Parenting Story

This children's story is ideal for gay parenting. The story is about two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, who have their own twins by means of an egg donor and surrogacy. Using kangaroos in the story enables children to easily understand the complicated methods related to their conception in a simple and loving way.


Every book or product on Gays With Kids is independently selected by our staff, writers and experts. If you click on a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Change the World

Finding No Children's Books in Brazil That Represented His Family, This Gay Dad Decided to Write His Own

Alexandre de Souza Amorim wrote "The Knight and the Werewolf - A Story of Courage" to provide his daughter with a children's story that reflected her family

Guest post by Alexandre de Souza Amorim.

My name is Alexandre de Souza Amorim. In 2016, my husband and I became parents of a beautiful baby princess. The following year, our story was posted here in "Gays With Kids".

Today we return to tell a second part of this story. Sara, our daughter, has always loved books or "booklets" as she calls them. And since she arrived, we started looking for children's books that represented our family, our love and LGBTQI characters. In Brazil there is a very small number of these publications.

"Facing our greatest fears, we may come across great surprises." - Alexandre de Souza Amorim

One day I was talking to another gay couple, who are also parents, and they complained about the lack of books with LGBTQI characters in Brazil.

I am a father and also a psychologist, and I know that the representativeness of our families and our love in the following of culture (cinema, books, theater, music, etc.) are important weapons in the fight against homophobia and violence of all kinds. I have already written chapters of books and articles on psychology, and I soon thought: Can I write a children's fairy tale? I wish my daughter would grow up in a world with fewer differences and more love. And from this desire was born my first children's book: "The Knight and the Werewolf - A Story of Courage"

"Every parent should remember that with their support their children can find the path of their happiness faster." - Alexandre de Souza Amorim

But that dream has only become possible because I have met people who also believe that we need more representation. Lea Carvalho, publisher at Metanoia Publishing House agreed to publish the book as soon as she read it. And Bruno Guimarães Reis, from Studio Bonnie & Clyde, is the illustrator who gave life to my characters.

The official launch of the book will be on November 1, 2018, but it can already be purchased on the publisher's website.

"Some adventures can be full of great surprises." - Alexandre de Souza Amorim

The book tells the story of young Kevin, who dreams of becoming a knight of his kingdom. When that dream comes true, Kevin is named the bravest knight in his kingdom. But being brave does not mean that you are not afraid of anything, but that you can face even your greatest fears. And it is facing his fear of Werewolves that Kevin meets Prince Noah. Friendship soon becomes love. It is a book about courage, love and with a great sensitivity to teach children that there are many possibilities to exist and to love.

I'm really glad this dream came true. And I am happier to know that my daughter and other children may have a book that shows that the knight can fall in love with the prince and that there is no problem in that. Love is love. And love is a beautiful thing.

Gay Dad Photo Essays

Pics of the Moment Before and After Gay Men Become Dads

Dig through your phones — what was the last pic taken of you BEFORE you became a dad?

We all have THAT photo: the one taken moments after we become fathers for the first time. For some of us, we're doing "skin to skin" in a delivery room. For others, we're standing proudly alongside our newly adopted child and judge in a courtroom. However or wherever it happens, though, we make sure to snap a picture of it.

But what about that last photo BEFORE you first became a dad? What does that image look like, we wondered? Well, we asked our Instagram community to dig through through phones and find out. Some of us are enjoying a last carefree meal or glass of wine, others of us are captured nervously contemplating our futures. Whatever it is, we've decided these BEFORE pictures are just as meaningful.

Enjoy some of our favorites! Want to play along? Dig through your phones and send us your pics to dads@gayswithkids.com!

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Entertainment

Gay Dad in Sundance's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' is Relatable AF

Sundance hit "Brittany Runs a Marathon" stars a gay dad trying to get in shape.

Who would make for the best marathon training partner for an overweight, overly boozed 27-year-old woman? A gay dad, of course!

The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

Expert Advice

Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

We asked our Instagram community for their biggest questions about adoption. Then asked Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network to answer them.

As part of our new "Ask an Expert" series on Instagram, our community of dads and dads-to-be sent us their questions on adoption in the United States. Molly Rampe Thomas, founder of Choice Network, answered them.

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Popular

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded in the last month or so a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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