First Book, a non-profit which sells books in bulk to schools. Book companies selling large amounts of books for discounted prices are normally, this is how schools are able to fill a library, and the companies are typically reputable. However, First Book mixes the classic business method of selling books in bulk to schools ($21 for 24 books in some instances) with sending an ideology to children. The books contain imagery and lessons about drag queens, cross-dressing, and transgender ideology. It’s essentially drag queen story hour, however, the parents don’t even know it occurring because it’s facilitated within the schools.
There’s been a strong push for improved sexual education within the United States, and people are typically responsive to the conversation up until a point. The breaking point for most is not having the option to avoid it and keep your children away from lessons, graphic sexual imagery, a strong emphasis on things that are deemed inappropriate, and having the lesson at too young of an age. These books finding a home within the libraries and classrooms of children as young as 4 years old, with some books containing nudity for lesson-based reasons, as opposed to a light-hearted joke. Children at age 4 should be learning the alphabet, coloring within the lines, counting to 10, and other basic curriculum plans, not learning about Fred’s new-found fascination with his mother’s closet (see list of books below).
FIRST ON FOX – A nonprofit organization called First Book, which said it has partnered with Disney, the American Federation of Teachers and other entities, provides free and heavily discounted books to low-income schools. Some of those listed in its marketplace contain sex imagery or have been challenged by parents for promoting gender ideology.
First Book, which calls itself an “innovative leader in education equity,” has been partnered with Randi Weingarten’s AFT union for over 10 years. The AFT also promotes the First Book marketplace for its teachers.
Some of the titles they offer to educators in K-12 schools cover topics such as gender identity, sex, and drag queens. While First Book lists both Disney and American Federation of Teachers generally as its partners, it does not specifically list them as part of an initiative to promote the titles listed in this article.
Some of the books include, but are not limited to:
FRED GETS DRESSED (AGES 4-6)
“Fred Gets Dressed” is about a little “boy [who] loves to be naked. The book ends when Fred decides to dress up in his mom’s closet, which later becomes a family affair involving both his parents dressing up in feminine clothes.
“Fred is naked,” the book said. The illustrations depict the child naked 14 times.
“He romps through the house, naked wild and free,” the book said. “Fred might never get dressed.”
“Flamer” is a graphic novel that contains sexually-charged topics and imagery. The characters discuss erections, penis size and the illustrations depict naked teenage boys.
“Flamer” by Mike Curato appears in the First Book marketplace. (Mike Curato)
WHO IS RUPAUL? (AGES 7-9)
“Who is RuPaul?” is about the drag queen and reality TV star, RuPaul Andre Charles. The book contains images of drag queens in sexual positions.
A drag queen… [is] most commonly, a man who dresses up and performs as a woman,” the book said. “RuPaul says, ‘We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.’ What Ru means is that we’re all the same–and life is a performance.”
RuPaul hosts “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday, August 25. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
“RuPaul was once asked if he wished he’d been born a woman. No, Ru answered, he was happy to be a man. (It’s a common misunderstanding that drag queens are men who wish to be women,” the book said.
“Some drag queens, however, are transgender or nonbinary. For trans people, their gender (how they feel inside) is different from the sex (male or female) they were assigned at birth. Nonbinary people do not identify as entirely male or entirely female. These queens might prefer to be called ‘she’ or ‘they’ (rather than ‘he’) when not performing in drag.”
The book also delivers instructions on how to dress as a drag queen. “A drag queen’s character is typically an exaggerated, campy image of how women look,” the book said.
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DIVE INTO THE WATERS OF THE WORLD
“Aristotle and Dante” is about two teenage boys who fall in love. Many if not most of its pages discuss having sex, planning to have sex, sexual pleasure, and sexual desire.
“I’m thinking Dante could charm the pants off me. And my underwear too,” the book said. “All I can think about is sleeping next to you. Both of us naked.”
“Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” and “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Benjamin Alire Saenz)
Another book offered by the nonprofit, “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” discusses masturbation.
“Dante enjoyed kissing. And I suspected he liked masturbating too. I thought masturbating was embarrassing. I didn’t even know why. It just was. It was like having sex with yourself,” the book said. “Ari, Do you masturbate? I’m thinking…. I’m a little obsessed with this topic lately. Maybe it’s just a phase. But, Ari, if you do masturbate, what do you think about?”
PRONOUN BOOK (AGES 0-3)
Described as a “joyous introduction to pronouns” the book, which is geared for children of a very young age, discusses the pronoun “they,” and neo-pronouns such as “ze,” “zie,” “sie” and “questioning.”
“The Pronoun Book” is written by Chris Ayala-Kronos (Chris Ayala-Kronos | iStock)
JULIAN IS A MERMAID (AGES 7-9)
The book “Julian is a Mermaid” by author Jessica Love describes a boy who wants to become a mermaid. During the book, the boy repeatedly strips down to his underwear. Later, he puts on lipstick and dons a headdress. He is then given costume jewelry before being taken to the NYC Mermaid Parade where he can freely express himself.
“This beautiful book is one of the very few picture books about a gender non-conforming child,” a review of the book, posted to the author’s website, said.
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE YOURSELF: A BOOK ABOUT GENDER IDENTITY (AGES 7-9)
The book teaches children about transgender and cisgender identities.
“This is… Xavier. Xavier is a cisgender boy. That means when Xavier was born, everyone thought he was a boy, and as he grew older, it turned out everyone was right – he is a boy.”
“Everyone feels like either a boy or a girl,” except nonbinary children, the book explained.
This is Ruthie’s friend Alex. Alex is both a boy and a girl. When Alex was born, everyone thought Alex was a girl, but Alex is both boy and girl. This is Alex’s gender identity.”
Another character JJ, is neither a boy or a girl and has “they” pronouns. “Ever since JJ was very little, they never felt exactly like a boy or a girl – they just felt like themself. This is JJ’s gender identity.”
The children’s book further claims that “there are many different ways to be a boy or a girl… [or] non-binary.”
“Some kids feel that their gender identity isn’t always the same – it’s often changing.”
BEING YOU: A FIRST CONVERSATION ABOUT GENDER
“Different bodies have different parts… Some bodies have a vagina. Some bodies have a penis. Every person’s body parts look different,” the book, catered to elementary children, said.
The book advises that adults should teach children about their genitalia.
“Helping children to learn the anatomical names of different body parts–including genitals–empowers children, fosters their self-esteem, and helps to open up important conversations about health and identity. Talk about genitalia when you are naming other body parts, singing-body-part song, or while playing with dolls.”
This book is also offered in bulk to teachers. They can get 24 books for $21.
These books are graphic, use language that has no place in a school setting, and are overall inappropriate. Convincing children of gender spectrum ideology, transgender ideology, as well as sexual-based information has no place in a classroom, especially not a classroom of children younger than high school where sexual education typically takes place. The books also contain lessons, and imagery of drag-queen and other LGBTQ parts of culture, placed in the books so children can be made aware of them at a young age, hence normalizing it.
The books are sold for dirt cheap prices in bulk in an effort to flood classrooms with them and assure that this ideology becomes normalized. The curriculum should be left up to powers much higher than someone who can afford a book order, with also allowing parents to have their say, and allowing these books to enter a classroom without the knowledge of parents shouldn’t occur because it erodes the trust that parents should ideally have in their children’s schools.