Wendy rated it - it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book. We try really hard to find books for our six year old and two year old that show the importance of representation and accepting people. Katy has Two Grampas does that in so many ways. It’s a sweet story from the beginning - siblings supporting each other, friends accepting each other, grampas (that are married to each other!) encouraging Katy to do hard things. I loved how obvious it was that the authors and illustrator worked hard to make sure each character was so uniquely different. I had an advanced digital copy but I can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy - I think it’s one my kids will be pulling off the bookshelf time and time again.
Ann Visser rated it it was amazing
What a joy it was to read this children's book that focuses on relevant and timely issues! As more children have two grandfathers or grandmothers (or other relatives) who are married or in a relationship, the book offers a positive look at Katy and her relationship with her grampas. The story also deals with the trepidation Katy feels about speaking in front of others due to a lisp, something many children can understand. Both issues are handled in a realistic and sensitive manner.
Beautifully illustrated, the book highlights diversity in the classroom along with its other messages.
The authors have taken their personal experience and have woven them into a delightful read.
We talked with Julie Lyford to learn more about Katy Has Two Grandpas:
Why did you want to write this book?
Several children’s books focus on children with their gay parents. Few, if any, however, deal with their gay grandfathers. This book, a true story, with dozens of colorful, original images, tells the story of a first-grade girl with a lisp who is always misunderstood by her classmates and teacher. One day when she talks about her two ‘gay grampas,’ she becomes very frustrated when they think she means ‘grampa and gramma.’ With the help of her big sister, she is able to let her teacher know what she is trying to say. Finally, because she has such love for her gay grandpas and so much trust in their understanding her, she unexpectedly shines when introducing them at a classroom party for grandparents.
How long has the book been in the works?
My dad and I have talked about writing this book for at least five years. I never seemed to have time—I was the PTA president at Heritage E-STEM for many years so that took most of my free time. Then COVID-19 hit and I was stuck at home. So I decided now was the time.
What has the response been?
Response has been fantastic. It seems like this is the time for our book.
Why is it so important for your girls to see their family represented in books? What does it mean to your family to see that?
Being a mother, I have read thousands of picture books to my children. However, there were none that showed our family unit, a family with gay grandpas. There aren’t any children’s books that actually identify the grandpas in the story as being gay. What’s surprising is that our book will be the first to use the word gay and make it clear the grandpas are married. Not just hinting at it. We are proud to be bringing the story to life.
This is the second year that West St. Paul has officially recognized Pride Month. What does it mean to have that kind of city proclamation?
The proclamation made me very proud to be in West St. Paul—things like that really help LGBTQs in the community know they can feel safe and accepted.
What’s your favorite thing about West St. Paul?
So many things… I love how supportive the community is. I have friends I made in ECFE that I am still close friends now, 17 years later. Everyone has been so supportive of the book and helping us get the story out there. We also really love that we are near everything—sports, theatre, jazz, etc.
Thanks to Julie Lyford for sharing her pride and spirit with West St. Paul.