This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman is an easy way to introduce a child to the joy motivating people to celebrate in Pride Parades every year. Easy to follow, simple, two line rhymes in inconspicuous locations on the pages, which seem to overflow with vibrant illustrations, describe the many sights common in a Gay Pride Parade. Not a part of the sparse text, but present in the illustrations are many of the political messages that are commonly seen at a Gay Pride Parade. While the illustrations are fun, this isn’t like the books we normally review, which represent LGBT-parents leading a family. There are children in a few of the illustrations but most of the illustrations feature adults having parade fun, which means that in addition to images of people with rainbow colored hair, parade floats, flags and Carnivalesque costumes, there are illustrations of men without shirts and adults kissing. When I saw the images of bare chested men, bikini-top wearing marchers and adults kissing, I had a strong oppositional reaction to the idea of showing this to a child however reading the discussion guide in the back of the book helped me to see that a child looking at these illustrations would not read the same sexual context that I see, into these images.
The most overt physical intimacy is a kiss and the book presents the parade world in a way that children will be engaged through colorful illustrations, with an overall message of “unity,” communicated through the joy expressed, the banners, and signs. Following the story, there is an extensive reading guide which reads like a glossary to the illustrations –explaining the historic and contemporary relevance of many of the scenes. Then, there is a discussion guide for parents of children ages 5-18, to help the adults have age appropriate conversations about the parade, the scenes illustrated in the book, LGBT politics and sexual orientation. This seems like a fun read for any child, and since the illustrations are imbedded with specific meaning for adults, the discussion guide at the end helps the adult give children the room to enjoy the text on their level instead of feeling the necessity to answer children’s questions with too much information.
Recommendation: Recommended largely as a fun way to discuss LGBT cultures and Pride Parades with children of all ages.
Reviewer: Omilaju Miranda