Maddy – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: Maddy

Author: Gayle E. Pitman

Contributor: Anne Paschier

Illustrator: Violet Tobacco

Publisher: Magination Press, 2020

Ages: 4-8

32 pages. 

Genre: nonfiction,

Themes: parents, gender nonconforming, intersex, transgender, transitioning, lgbtqia+

Most Mommies are girls.
Most daddies are boys.
But lots of parents are. neither a boy nor a girl.
Like my Maddy.


A child celebrates her Maddy, who is neither mommy nor daddy but a little bit of both, like so many things in nature.

Why I like this book:

This is the first picture book I’ve seen featuring a nonbinary parent. I hope there are many more in our libraries in the coming years. I had not heard the term Maddy before (combination of mommy and daddy). The first page brought tears to the eyes of a nonbinary family member. Seeing representation is so important for everyone. 

This is a must-purchase for your school library shelves for trans and non-binary representation. It’s a book that may not be your top circulator, but it’s a unique book that you’ll appreciate having when you need it for a family and a book great to include on displays and book lists about families because representation matters. A little girl reflects on her Maddy – a gender non-binary parent – as she thinks about things like the color hazel (a little brown, a little green, but also its own color), the changes in the sky at sunrise (not yet day but not still night), and other in-between things.

I probably wouldn’t use this in a story time, but I would certainly promote it and want to have it to offer to children and parents seeking books to develop this understanding. Comparing her Maddy to many things in our lives that are in-between things makes these parental differences super relatable for young children.

Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other, but in between, and kind of both, and something entirely fantastically their own.

Teaching/parenting info and advice in the back matter are from a psychologist.

I am super excited to see a book like this being published.


The back matter includes a double spread of information for caregivers/teachers about intersex people, transitioning and gender nonconformity, as well as a paragraph on navigating bias and a list of other resources.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

This entry was posted in Book recommendation, children's books, Children's literature, LGBTQIA, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Pride Month and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Maddy – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Thrilled that you’ve reviewed this book. I love seeing it get more attention. It was among my favorite books last year. I especially enjoyed your comments. It is a special book and one that would be helpful to many binary parents and their children! Love the quote you shared!

  2. Thanks for sharing – I’d really like to read it!

  3. Jilanne F Hoffmann says:

    Let’s hear it for making a bit of progress in picture books! This pick sounds great! An excellent choice, Joanna.

  4. Great review, Joanna. I’ve finally got it reserved at my library. Thanks.

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