“Sparkle Boy” author: “I’m into acceptance, respect and celebration”

Cover detail of "Sparkle Boy" It’s been nearly three decades since Lesléa Newman ‘s pioneering children’s book, “Heather Has Two Mommies,” was released. Since then, a lot has changed — plenty of it for the better — for LGBTQ parents and children. Newman, meanwhile, has continued to publish dozens of acclaimed books for both adults and children. But the fight for representation, for tender, warm, relatable stories continues. Now, Newman has a new children’s book, “ Sparkle Boy .” Illustrated by Maria Mola, it tells the story of young Casey, who, like his big sister Jessie, adores “all things shimmery, glittery, and sparkly.” Casey’s tastes inspire a variety of responses from the people in his life, but it’s Jessie’s transforming journey that serves as the central thread of the tale. Salon spoke recently to Newman about her work, and about her message to sparkle boys and girls everywhere. What made you want to look at these issues about gender roles in a children’s book? I have two answers to that question. The first is that I’m a writer, and every morning, I wait for three drops of blood to appear on my forehead, and write whatever comes out of […]

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