Monstrous Tales by Edward Boyd
What’s it About?
Three enchanting children’s tales that feature princesses, witches and lost treasure while celebrating LGBTQ+ diversity.
The need for acceptance is a basic human instinct. It’s particularly acute for children trying to figure out who they are and whether their identity will help or hinder their ability to fit into peer groups.
What do children do? Do they acknowledge any perceived differences outwardly and openly? Do they let their true selves bottle up in insecurity, fear and self-doubt? And what is the impact in typical social settings where they might face the cruelty and insensitivity of other children?
Edward Boyd started writing and illustrating children’s books geared to exploring and celebrating diversity because he felt there were a lack of stories representing LGBTQ+ and wanted to help educate our youth on what it means. To add to the collection of children’s literature and to honor Pride Month, Boyd has come out with Monstrous Tales, three short stories that provide a clever and fun way to address the subject.
The book, geared for ages 9 to 12, provides three simple storylines, injected with terrific illustrations that will fully engage young readers. In each story, the protagonists confront other characters – uh, monsters – that share some of their same issues, making them comforting and relatable.
In the first story, Frankie knows he is unpopular, being a gay boy with one leg. He is a lonely boy who seeks activities to keep him away from his mainstream classmates. He stumbles upon a strange treasure map and sets out to discover the whereabouts of a hidden gem, guarded by a strange creature.
EXPLORES AND CELEBRATES DIVERSITY
As it turns out, the creature shares Frankie’s loneliness, and the two bond in a way that readers would least expect. The creature encourages Frankie to accept himself for who he is. The friendship that Frankie gains outweighs the need to even take the rare gem he sought out in the first place.
In the second story, a king had wanted a son to rule his kingdom but has a nonbinary daughter, the princess —the two feel they are just not understood by the other. She wants to practice magic but it is not allowed by her father. So she uses magic to create an island of her own where she can do as she pleases and be as she pleases.
The princess eventually confronts a witch and a whale. Will the adventure in some strange way help lead to a better understanding between daughter and father?
The third story focuses on a transgender child trying to come to terms with who she is. “Kris often sat up in her room where she stared off into the distance beyond the wall and into the forest. She would often think of monsters and how she felt like one sometimes.”
Eventually, she connects with a monster who shares some of the same experiences that were troubling Kris. A connection is formed – learning that she is not alone in her emotional struggles.
Monstrous Tales provides three enchanting journeys for children facing issues of inclusion and acceptance, helping them discover who they are and being at peace and comfort with it. It’s a book that is sure to both captivate and educate children at the same time – one that is worthy of consideration on your child’s bookshelf.
About the author:
Edward Boyd is an American artist and illustrator. He has written several LGBTQ+ children’s books that feature a classic style of hand-drawn artwork. Edward wanted to create books that are reminiscent of his ‘80s childhood. His books have a lot of color, heart, and inclusivity! Edward can often be found sketching new ideas in his sketchbook with his beloved miniature schnauzer trying to steal his colored pencils.
Author: Edward Boyd
Page Count: 67 pages