Dynamic Book Duos: Inclusion!

Image illustrating this week's Dynamic Book Duos blog focusing on inclusion and featuring the covers of the picture books The Wishing Flower and Molly's Tuxedo.

Please welcome authors A.J. Irving  and Vicki Johnson to Dynamic Book Duos– a blog featuring two books that pair together in a meaningful way along with coordinating educational activities to strengthen reading skills. This week’s Dynamic Book Duos pairing focuses on inclusion.


The Wishing Flower written by A.J. Irving and illustrated by Kip Alizadeh and Molly’s Tuxedo written by Vicki Johnson and illustrated by Gillian Reid are LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that celebrate self-understanding, bravery, and confidence. Birdie and Molly long to be seen for who they truly are. All children will connect with the themes of feeling accepted and understood. These stories offer LGBTQ+ children a wonderful opportunity to see themselves in books, and offer their classmates a window into their lives.

Book 1: The Wishing Flower

Image of the picture book The Wishing Flower written by A.J. Irving and illustrated by Kip Alezidah featuring an illustration of two children wishing on a white dandelion flower.

An LGBTQ-inclusive story about understanding your peers, your feelings, and yourself, The Wishing Flower is a love letter to longing, belonging, and longing to belong.

Birdie finds comfort in nature and books, but more than anything she longs for connection, to be understood. At school, Birdie feels like an outsider. Quiet and shy, she prefers to read by herself, rather than jump rope or swing with the other kids. That all changes when Sunny, the new girl, comes along. Like Birdie, Sunny has a nature name. She also likes to read, and loves to rescue bugs. And when Sunny smiles at her, Birdie’s heart balloons like a parachute.

From the acclaimed author of Dance Like a Leaf, with stunning illustrations by Kip Alizadeh, this book will inspire readers to honor their wishes and show the world their truest selves.

Book 2: Molly’s Tuxedo

Image of the picture book Molly's Tuxedo written by Vicki Johnson and illustrated by Gillian Reid featuring a young girl wearing a blue tuxedo with a red bow tie and gym shoes.

Molly wants to look her best for picture day at her school, and what looks better than a tux?

Molly’s school picture day is coming up, and she wants to have a perfect portrait taken to hang on their wall. Her mom has picked out a nice dress for her, but Molly knows from experience that dresses are trouble. They have tight places and hard-to-reach zippers, and worst of all, no pockets! Luckily, she has the perfect thing to save picture day–her brother’s old tuxedo!

But mom doesn’t want her to wear a tuxedo in the photo; she thinks Molly looks best in the dress. Can Molly find the courage to follow her heart and get her mom to realize just how awesome she’d look in a tux? This book highlights a gender nonconforming main character and is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.


The Wishing Flower:

Molly’s Tuxedo:


1. How would you describe Molly?

2. Why do you think Molly doesn’t want to wear a dress?

3. What is your favorite thing to wear? Why?

4. How do you express yourself when you don’t feel comfortable with something?

NOTE: A comprehensive educator guide will be available for download at the time of book launch in June, 2023 at www.vickijohnsonwrites.com    [All images ©Little Bee Books]

Both Books: Acrostic Poem and Rainbow of Differences (created by Molly Ippolito)

Image of an Acrostic Poem activityfor the word INCLUSION
Image of a rainbow and clouds to color in showing the beauty of differences.


Image of children's book author of A.J. Irving in front of a wood slat wall.
Image of children's book author Vicki Johnson in front of the front door of a log cabin.

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw is an award-winning nonfiction children’s book author and former elementary special education teacher who is passionate about growing young minds. Suzanne’s first nonfiction picture book, I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks, debuted in April 2019 from Warren Publishing. Her second book Mighty Mahi launched from Doodle and Peck Publishing in March 2022. Suzanne enjoys speaking to schools about writing, leadership, and how kids can make a difference in our world. The proud momma of two grown boys, Suzanne lives in Waterford, MI with her husband and furry writing companion Ziggy. When she’s not dreaming up new writing projects, you can find her kayaking on the lake, hiking the trail, practicing at the yoga studio, or comparing paint swatches at the local Sherwin Williams.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu