Why LGBTQ Children’s Books Aren’t Just for LGBTQ Families: a Guest Post by Mighty May Won’t Cry Today Co-Authors Kendra and Claire-Voe Ocampo

Today I’m delighted to welcome to the site Kendra and Claire-Voe Ocampo, the (married!) co-authors of Mighty May Won’t Cry Today, “a story about a determined girl who tries not to shed a tear on her first day of school, but with the help of her two moms learns why it’s OK for her (and adults!) to cry.” Here’s the info on the book, which is illustrated by Erica De Chavez and released on June 1!

Pride and love win in this relatable story celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, kids with same-sex parents, and diversity and inclusion.

This vibrant children’s picture book features May, an imaginative and determined girl who tries not to shed a tear on her first day of school but with the help of her two moms, learns why it’s okay to cry. Young readers will delight in how May cleverly navigates the unexpected, resolves challenges with positivity, and utilizes mindful techniques to work through her emotions and feelings. But when May comes across an insurmountable challenge, will she be able to hold back the tears?

Poetic rhymes, colorful designs and lovable characters elevate the story’s positive message about embracing nontraditional families and being mindful when dealing with emotions like sadness, fear, embarrassment and frustration.

This inclusive book is perfect for gay, lesbian and new parents with preschool kids, toddlers, or babies, as it encourages the future generation to embrace and celebrate the differences and emotions in all of us.

Buy it: Amazon

And here’s the post!

When we first decided to write and self-publish an LGBTQ children’s picture book featuring two moms and their daughter, it was a no brainer. Every week’s trip back from the library with our daughter, we brought bags full of books—ALL featuring a traditional family structure (mother, father, and child). We are a family of two moms with two daughters. When we went hunting for LGBTQ children’s books, we found only a handful of them available, but they were in short supply and we needed to order through the library database. Even our local bookstores didn’t have much stock or options. It was clear that there needed to be more LGBTQ books available that represented our two mom family.

When we began writing the book and talked to our non-LGBTQ friends, colleagues and community, what we didn’t expect and what surprised us the most was how many of them wanted an LGBTQ book to read to their kids too (especially since they had friends who were two moms!). Time and time again, they talked about how their kids were not exposed to many LGBTQ families and how their books did not show the diversity of families that really exist.

When it came to writing Mighty May Won’t Cry Today, it was important for us to not only show our family structure, but also to show how not-different our lives are from others: to bridge the gap of what might be perceived as “different” and show instead the commonalities. In today’s society we see that it’s more important than ever for books and literature to teach and educate and illuminate the lives and stories of marginalized groups, but not only in terms of how they are different but really what connects all of us.

Mighty May Won’t Cry Today is an “everyday story” about May, an imaginative and determined girl who tries not to shed a tear on her first day of school but with the help of her two moms, learns why it’s okay to cry. We hope our young readers will laugh, smile and cry with May, as they ultimately learn with her how it’s OK to cry: an important lesson for all kids to learn: whether that is from two moms, two dads or any other important person in their lives.

***

L->R: Kendra, Claire-Voe

Claire-Voe and Kendra Ocampo have cried many tears together since falling in love in Boston and getting married in 2014 in New Jersey, just months after same-sex marriage became legal in the state. They’re two moms to two mighty daughters, Xiomara and Violet, who cry often (and that’s okay!) about spilled milk, a wet diaper, or going to school. When they’re not writing, you might find Kendra and Claire-Voe eating Spanish tapas, video gaming, or watching sappy rom-coms which often brings them to tears.

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