Rainbow: A First Book of Pride

illus. by Anne Passchier. 24p. American Psychological Association (APA)/Magination. May 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781433830877.
Toddler-PreS–Clinical psychologist Genhart's latest book introduces some of the youngest readers to the symbolism behind each stripe of the famous rainbow flag. Confetti endpapers lead to an opening scene with a cluster of flags held aloft. A page turn reveals an exuberant, racially diverse group of kids each holding up a rainbow flag of their own. Subsequent spreads go through the colors one after the other. Each spread also depicts same-sex couples (some interracial) lovingly interacting with their children. The result is a joyful celebration of rainbow families and the way the day-to-day brings out the six meanings of the flag: life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony, and spirit. Passchier's colorful cartoon style casts many characters in the same simplistic mold. Still, the scenes shine a noteworthy and positive light on LGBTQIA+ parenting. The illustrations also augment Genhart's economical text to expand the story, striking a good balance between depicting families in isolated scenes and as part of a larger, not exclusively LGBTQIA+ community. A final page goes further to suggest global pride via several flag-waving individuals in front of cultural landmarks. Though excellent for anytime sharing, the text functions as a wonderful bridge between Stevenson's Pride Colors, Sanders and Salerno's Pride, and Pitman and Clifton-Brown's Sewing the Rainbow —the latter two of which expand on the flag's origins for older readers.
VERDICT A win for LBGTQIA+ families and libraries seeking to diversify their shelves.

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