Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mom’s Children’s Book Inspired by Her Son’s Princess Dress

With more and more families and schools grappling with how to respond to gender diversity among children and with gender issues increasingly in the news, a Berkeley, California mom has reached into her own experience with her son to write an affirming and beautiful bilingual children’s book about gender diversity.

Already receiving praise from book reviewers and LGBTQ community advocates nationwide, One of a Kind, Like Me/Único Como Yo is the first of a new series of diverse children’s books being issued by Blood Orange Press, dedicated to bringing diversity to children’s literature. The book is available now at, and retailers throughout the United States.

In One of a Kind, Like Me/Único Como Yo, first-time children’s book author Laurin Mayeno introduces us to Danny, a multiracial Latinx preschooler who wants to go to his school costume parade as a princess – so he and his mom head out in search of the perfect princess dress. As time runs out, the tension mounts: Will he find his dress in time? The book shows us a loving multicultural family, teacher, and friendships that embrace Danny for who he is.

Robert Liu-Trujillo draws the reader into Danny’s world with his charming illustrations and Teresa Mlawer retells the story beautifully in a Spanish translation that appears directly opposite the English text.

Serena Yates of Rainbow Book Reviews wrote, “There are very few children’s books that challenge gender stereotypes, but this one is a perfect example of what such books could look like. … The author has written Danny’s story based on what happened to her son, and he is a very lucky boy!”

Jean Hodges, National President of PFLAG said, “What a great way to show young children that they can be whomever or whatever they want to be. … I highly recommend this book to every primary, elementary educator and parents of that young princess!”

Ever since Mayeno’s son told her he wanted to dress up as a princess over 20 years ago, she has been learning about gender diversity and sharing what she has learned as an educator, writer, and self-taught film-maker.

“When I was growing up as a mixed-race child, I didn’t see people who looked like me in books,” Mayeno says. “And, when my son Danny decided to dress up as a princess, I didn’t know other children like him. Danny started to realize he was different and felt very alone. I also felt very alone as a mother. I wanted a book where children and families like ours could see themselves reflected back, know that they are not alone, and know that they are beautiful.”