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Author: Isaac Maker and Betty Baker, local Drag Queen and star personality

Growing up, I loved fantasy books. Every night before bed, one of my parents would read me these amazing stories of other worlds, magical adventures, and hundreds of fantastical characters with many different experiences, families, and traits. Something I think back on now is the importance of family in fantasy stories, and how a lot of the time, family is a way through which the protagonist receives support, advice, and understanding. I am incredibly grateful to have members of my family who are queer, but when I was young, I didn’t realize exactly how lucky I was to be a part of a second generation of queer people in my family. I do now. Between not having to explain everything and having a family who was quick to accept me for who I am, I imagine life was much easier for me than for my predecessors.

When I read stories for Drag Story Time, these are the things I always remember. I choose my books with care and patience. I select stories that I wish I could have read when I was younger:  stories that promote acceptance, have wonderful characters, and are funny, fantastical, and most importantly for me, are about family. The families that I read about may not look like yours - they don’t look like mine for that matter - but that is the reason everyone needs to hear them. The families from the fantasy books I read as a child didn’t look like my own, but they helped me to realize that there isn’t one correct way to experience the world around you - there isn’t just one way to live a happy and fulfilling life.

For my story time in celebration of Peterborough Nogojiwanong Pride Week, I plan to focus specifically on families in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.  I have chosen two books that explore fantastical worlds, imagination, and love in many forms.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino book jacket coverMorris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant

Morris is a young boy who loves exploring fantastical worlds in his imagination and playing dress-up. This story is a favourite of mine, as imagination is such an important part of growing up and it’s something that we tend to lose as we get older.  As someone who gets to play dress up all the time, I think it is so much fun!


Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack book jacket coverPrince & Knight by Daniel Haack and Stevie Lewis

The second book I have chosen tells a different kind of fairy tale, but one that is equally as valid and beautiful as the time-honoured classics! As our Prince goes on an adventure in search of love, he finds it in an unexpected place. It is so nice to have a classic fantasy tale modernised to include queer people, and to celebrate queer love!

I am so thankful to the Peterborough Public Library for entrusting me with this wonderful opportunity to shareThe Rainbow Parade book jacket my art with families in the community, and for providing a positive space for learning about inclusivity, acceptance, and respect. I can’t wait to host Drag Queen Story Time at the Peterborough Public Library at 10:15 am on Saturday, September 24 - I hope to see you there!

Here are some other fabulous picture books for you to enjoy as we celebrate Pride Week in Peterborough Nogojiwanong: