Dakota Fine, HRC Family Project, Sept. 19, 2006
The Different Dragon, a children's bedtime storybook authored by Jennifer Bryan and illustrated by Danamarie Hosler, exemplifies a creative resource that parents can use to demystify and normalize GLBT families. The book tells the story of Noah, a young boy with two mothers, and his fantastic encounter with a dragon. Rather than focus on the composition of Noah's family, the book utilizes these details as background information, enriching the tale with a narrative that is non-traditional without straying from conventional bedtime storytelling. On his journey, Noah encounters a "different dragon" - a dragon who doesn't wish to be fierce - a not-so-subtle nod toward the deconstruction of static gender roles. The book, taken as a whole, does a great job of decompressing the "traditional" family model, inspiring children to create a different view of what "parents" means.
Danamarie Hosler's illustrations make the book a visual wonderland, the kind of storybook any child would be excited to thumb through. Her sweeping, colorful renditions of the dragon and animated depictions of animals make the book an adventure for the eyes and bring it to life with a sense of purpose.
Whether you're just looking for a good bedtime story, or a children's book that teaches a tale of alternative design, The Different Dragon accomplishes both. Bryan and Hosler's book is an excellent addition to any child's library and will make a great gift for all children who are curious about the composition of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families. This book is a resource that can help dismantle the heteronormative presumption for young people, in a context that is thoughtfully and wonderfully designed.
Recommended Ages: 3-8
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