The Drag Queen Story Hour and Books: Additional Booklist Suggestions
By now you’ve probably hear of Drag Queen Story Hour (sometimes also called Drag Queen Storytimes). The concept is pretty simple. Basically you take a drag queen, preferably one who likes kids and is a good reader, and have them conduct a storytime. According to the official Drag Queen Story Hour website, the concept was created by Created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco, but you don’t need to be affiliated to conduct one in your own library. They’ve now become popular enough that they’ve been making the news lately with protests against them in places like Lafayette, LA, Mobile, AL, and other places.
So let’s say you have a library that would like to have a Drag Queen Story Hour of your own. After finding a good reader, you just need them to have some books to read. So where can you find a good Drag Queen Story Hour booklist? Turns out, this information is on the DQSH website:
“We generally use a mix of surefire readalouds and books that explore gender diversity and difference. Our friends at the Brooklyn Public Library helped us create these book lists for pre-schoolers and school-age kids. Make sure your drag queen readers have the books in advance so they have time to practice reading out loud.”
Good for them! I’m particularly pleased that the lists distinguish between preschoolers and older children. Squirmy three-year-olds have short attention spans, after all. Whatever librarians were charged with making this list, they must have had a blast putting it together. They even let you download PDFs (here and here)!
Of course, I’ve noticed that in all the Drag Queen Story Hours I’ve seen, clever librarians have suggested even more books for use. In that vein, here is a list of more great books for DQSHs, which haven’t yet shown up on the Brooklyn Public Library lists, and might be worth your time and attention. All images here have come from the DQSH Instagram hashtag:
So @pickledragqueen at @armoryarts read Feminist Baby by Loren Brantz. Might I also suggest the new board book My First Book of Feminism (For Boys) by Julie Merberg, illustrated by Michelle Brummer-Everett and out this month.
@hsunbeam reads Be Who You Are by Todd Parr at NYPL.
For School Age Kids:
Desmond Is Amazing at Brooklyn Public Library read Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” by Rob Sanders
Here’s one from my own library. Ms. Dakota read, amongst other things (don’t you like how we put the books on the poster?) Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis:
Not My Idea by Anastasia Higginbotham (to be read at McNally Jackson Books in NYC)
This one is particularly neat to me. One of the books being read by these Swedish drag queens is the fantastic (and desperately needs to be reprinted) is Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle by Pija Lindenbaum. Heck, people should read Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies, if they can get their hands on it. Worth it!
@ediecheezburger reads what is clearly Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty in Atlanta.
This one’s a treat. I had no idea that the Feminist Press did an edition of Tatterhood back in the day. This was apparently read at the very first Drag Queen Story Hour. Who knew? Read by @ona.louise
Can anyone identify this book?
What other books would you include?
Thank you, darlings.
Filed under: Booklists
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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