Howie Blend Playdate Adventures with Family and Friends is a ‘six stories in one’ children’s book that is filling a much need gap for blended and diverse families.
Unlike other children’s books which tackle just the hetero-normative or LGBTQ+ family dynamic, Howie Blend incorporates six children from a multitude of diverse backgrounds and family dynamics into one book.
“As a lesbian step-mother of two incredible young children, I couldn’t find anything in children’s books that represented our family, or the families of most of our friends,” said Jennie Guay, first-time author of Howie Blend Playdate Adventures with Family and Friends.
It was walking up and down the aisles at a children’s toy store searching for a child’s birthday present, that Jennie realised her family and the families of millions of others, weren’t represented on any of the toy or bookshelves.
It’s a very hard realisation that this massive portion of today’s society isn’t being reflected or represented in children’s everyday reading and play. This was the push that Jennie needed to make the change in her life and was the birth of Howie Blend.
“Howie Blend was created out of love and need. This is the first storybook of many to come. Gone are the days of the hetero-normative nuclear family. I am determined to normalise ALL families, so that all children and parents are seen and validated. We can and must do better,” added Jennie.
This is not a book filled with fantastical stories or make-believe which attempt to promote sameness through unrelatable storytelling and caricatures.
Rather, Howie welcomes children to join in his everyday playdates with each of his five friends; validating ALL family dynamics and experiences and providing a mirror for millions of children who cannot currently see themselves in their everyday reading and play.
It provides the readers with a visualisation of each character’s family tree, so that children can get a deeper understanding of the connectivity of different family dynamics and see just ‘how we blend.
Image: Howie Blend Playdate Adventures with Family and Friends (supplied)