cover image The ABCs of Queer History

The ABCs of Queer History

Seema Yasmin, illus. by Lucy Kirk. Workman, $18.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-5235-1854-8

Through rhyming couplets, this informative book explores a whole alphabet of LGBTQ concepts and figures, from A (“abundant,” “always,” “ancestors”) to Z (“zero tolerance,” “a zillion queer stories”). Though proper nouns don’t always clearly align with the abecedarian format, an intersectional range of figures both historical (Josephine Baker, Osh-Tisch, Sylvia Rivera) and contemporary (Blair Imani, Lil Nas X, Michael Sam) populate Kirk’s bright, flat illustrations of lively, joyful crowds. Yasmin’s lengthy text, meanwhile, explains broad conceits including “love” and “knowledge,” as well as delving more specifically into activism, identity, and more. A hopeful tone (“what battles we’ve won!”) doesn’t sugarcoat political realities (on the legalization of gay marriage, it urges, “Don’t close your eyes—this fight is not done”) in a conceptual work that’s a good starting place for discussing queer history. A contextualizing glossary concludes. Ages 5–up. (Apr.)