'Twas the night before Pride by Joanna McClintick. Illus. by Juana Medina

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Parodying the well known ‘Twas the night before Christmas, this warmly entertaining book about the gay community and their celebrations at the Pride march, will inform and captivate younger readers who may well know of this celebration but with this offering are given greater awareness of this group within our community and what has happened in the past.

It is Sammy’s first Pride and his older brother is keen for him to know about why it is celebrated. He gives a potted history of the Stonewall march which in 1969 developed from action because of the frustration with the way the gay community was being treated, to an organised event celebrated over the whole world. The hundreds who gathered in New York at the Stonewall Inn grew as more people joined in.

Today the Pride march is a celebration for all, and this is shown in the illustrations, as many people gather to march. A rainbow collection of all sorts of people, couples, singles, parents, children, all as diverse as any world group, line the street to show support and encouragement to those who march. From those who spend hours dressing up to the ones in their shorts and tees, all are welcome on this proud exhibition of solidarity.

Younger readers will enjoy scanning the pages and particularly the end papers with the its range of peoples included in them, while older readers may be able to look at how the illustrator has incorporated images of New York and the Stonewall march in the pages.

Accessing the video will enable readers and parents alike to come to an understanding of why McClintock wrote the book. She like all her family and friends are captivated by the glam and glitter, fun and comraderie, but wanted to show younger children the background and why it started; its more serious side. And this she has done well, children reading this book will understand that once gay people were not tolerated, and they had to take a stand. That stand was echoed around the world, culminating in marches everywhere. An activity kit is available.

Themes: LGBTQI, Gay pride, Pride, Stonewall, Diversity.

Fran Knight