A study of LGBTQ+ children's literature recommended for use in Manitoba early years curricula

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Morin-Fournier, Philippe
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In this qualitative research study, I investigated current LGBTQ+ children’s literature that was recommended for early years students (K- Grade 3) by five local organizations for use in Manitoban schools. This study is significant to the field of education, since it shows how the recommended texts may support the acknowledgment of LGBTQ+ people and families. I provide a list of 22 LGBTQ+ children’s literature books recommended from five local organizations that are responsible for selecting, recommending, and purchasing books for teachers and parents: 1) The Manitoba Learning Resource Centre, 2) The Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre, 3) The Winnipeg Public Library, 4) The Rainbow Resource Center, and 5) The Direction des Ressources Éducatives Françaises. The research questions guiding this study were: (1) What LGBTQ+ literature is most often recommended and made available to teachers in Manitoba for students from Kindergarten to Grade 3? Has the availability of LGBTQ+ children’s literature increased or changed in response to the implementation of Bill 18?; (2) What is the readability level of this literature?; (3) How do the language and illustrations in the recommended books voice, silence, or shape the following values and messages: a) homonormativity; b) ally or inclusive stances; c) conceptualizations of LGBTQ+ people and families? There were three implications that emerged from the findings from this research project. First, publishers seem more comfortable publishing homonormative narratives and they continue to omit certain members of the queer community, for example, bisexual parent. Second, suggested readability levels related to LGBTQ+ children’s literature seem to be determined by the content of the story instead of the linguistic criteria. Finally, there are differences in the portrayal of LGBTQ+ families between the English and French language books.
LGBTQ+, families, primary schools, children literature