Author and clinical psychologist, Michael Genhart, Ph.D., is back with illustrator, Anne Passchier in Rainbow: A First Book of Pride (Magination Press). Genhart is known for tackling tough or more mature topics in relatable ways through his children’s books. In the past, he has covered topics including the bullying, friendship and learning differences. Rainbow: A First Book of Pride celebrates everything that makes the LGBTQ rainbow flag the important symbol that it is.
Genhart starts Rainbow: A First Book of Pride off by introducing the rainbow flag and noting that every color means something different. His words are accompanied by Passchier’s beautiful artwork. They illustrate a diverse group of children of different ages and cultural backgrounds waving the rainbow flag, visually promoting inclusivity.
Genhart then unpacks the meaning of the different colors on the flag. Starting at the top with the color red and continuing with orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, the author explains how each color is associated with an important aspect of being. These facets include life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony and spirit. Each color is again accompanied by Passchier’s artwork. Passchier emphasizes the color at hand in their illustrations of different beautifully unique, non-traditional families.
Following the explanations of each of the colors, Genhart reminds us that everyone loves seeing rainbows and that rainbows can be seen around the world. He also emphasizes the importance of love, happiness and being proud. The book ends with a few short words from Genhart diving a little further into the meaning and importance of the rainbow flag.
This book is so important for many reasons and Genhart does an amazing job. Genhart also offers a unique perspective on this particular topic, as he is a respected clinical psychologist and has a “rainbow family” of his own. This book is a great way for children of “rainbow families” to see that love is love and that their unique family is to be celebrated. It is also an important book for children of any and all types of families, as a reminder that these differences exist and should be accepted as part of each individual’s identity. This is a book that all families, schools and bookstores should have on their shelves.
I believe this book is an important step in changing the way that people perceive “normal,” especially when it comes to family life. I did not come from a “rainbow family” myself, but my family was often seen as non-traditional. This break from the norm was something that I was always somewhat self-conscious of as a child. As an adult, I now know that there was nothing to be embarrassed about and that my family shaped me into the person I am today. This book reminds us that all families should be celebrated.
Rainbow: A First Book of Pride is available for purchase.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Michael Genhart, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco.
He is the acclaimed author of many picture books, including Love is Love, I See You, Ouch! Moments, So Many Smarts!, Cake & I Scream!, Mac & Geeez!, Peanut Butter & Jellyous, among other titles.
He lives with his rainbow family in Marin County, California.
Anne Passchier is an illustrator and designer from The Netherlands. They are currently living in Cleveland, Ohio.