Monday, June 4, 2018

Sewing The Rainbow - the story of the man who designed the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag: A Picture Book I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was A Little Kid

Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag by Gayle E. Pitman, Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

I'm a big fan of this sparkling picture book, that tells us about Gilbert's journey: from a childhood in a small, gray town in Kansas where he didn't fit in, to not fitting in while in the colorless military, to moving to San Francisco and finally being his authentic, sparkling self, creating an artistic career and life... and coming up with the iconic Gay Pride Rainbow Flag!

Today the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag that Gilbert designed is everywhere, even in the small town in Kansas where he grew up.

The kid-friendly message: This book shows that when you see a rainbow flag, you'll know it's okay to be your colorful self.

Here's a peek at the interior pages:

It's fun to see another picture book about our LGBTQ community's flag, and while Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag tells part of this same story, Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag is just as essential: History is only understood when we hear multiple voices and view it from multiple perspectives.

Includes a "Note to Parents and Caregivers" with more about Gilbert and the flag's history.

It's a perfect book to share with kids about LGBTQ pride, and absolutely a picture book I wish had been read to me when I was a little kid.

Add your review of "Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag" in comments!

1 comment:

Matthew C. Winner said...

I have to admit that I've been struggling with this one. I've read it several times and I can't get over that the text doesn't refer to gay and queer individuals as such anywhere except to say that Gilbert and others are filled with "color and sparkle and glitter". The feeling that the author choses intentionally to not use the word "gay" felt wrong and I personally think that PRIDE by Rob Sanders is a much stronger entry on the topic. Using accurate language with children is important and it can help break down negative connotations kids and adults may have (such as how I still see a number of children using "gay" as a derogatory word). It's such a beautifully illustrated book and I was happy to add it to my collection, but I look forward to books going a little bit further with our youngest readers in the future, knowing that the space inside a picture book is often such a valued place for our readers to explore themselves and know others and others' experiences better.