This celebration of individuality and inclusivity reminds young readers that what makes them different is what makes them special.
In this inclusive and heartwarming picture book by award-winning writer Jonathan Merritt, Henry Higgleston struggles with being deemed an oddball by the other kids at school. But when his fabulous gay uncle arrives for a weekend with his pup Jimmy Chew in tow, Guncle is on a mission to teach Henry that what makes him different makes him special. This joyful story that celebrates family and self-acceptance will make every kid feel seen and loved.
About the Author
Jonathan Merritt is an award-winning writer on politics, spirituality, and culture. He is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, a contributing editor for The Week, and has published hundreds of columns in prominent national outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and The Daily Beast. Jonathan has also served as a ghostwriter on more than 40 books, many of which became New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and WSJ bestsellers. Jonathan is a proud biological Guncle to five little ones in Georgia and a proud adoptive Guncle to ten nephews and nieces in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, where he resides.
Joanna Carillo is an artist and illustrator whose work utilizes mixed mediums and draws on her various experiences in animation, cartooning, and fine art to create whimsical worlds. Her debut children’s book on which she served as the illustrator is scheduled to release with HarperCollins in the fall of 2023. Joanna holds a BFA in Studio Art from California State University and resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
“Every parent needs this: a story of love that teaches children that they are never, ever alone. WE ALL NEED A GUNCLE!”—Kate Bowler, New York Times bestselling author of NO CURE FOR BEING HUMAN and host of the “Everything Happens” podcast
“Parents learn very quickly that two adults are not nearly enough to give a child everything he or she needs—kids need support & listening & care from a whole chorus of healthy, loving adults. I wish every family had the gift of a Guncle like ours.”—Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of I GUESS I HAVEN'T LEARNED THAT YET
“Jonathan Merritt has tapped into that same dimension of powerful inspiration which touches not only the hearts of children but also adults. This book is amazing!”—Marianne Williamson, #1 New York Times bestselling author and spiritual teacher
“In a moment when the world seems filled with hate, Jonathan’s book gives me reason to hope. This tender tale of self-acceptance could not be more urgent...I can’t wait to give this book to all my friends’ children.”—Kirsten Powers, New York Times bestselling author of SAVING GRACE
“Jonathan is giving the world a gift with his first children’s book. It’s a wonderfully thoughtful celebration of individuality and a heartwarming portrait of self-love that so many need in this moment...As an out gay man raised in a conservative Christian household, this is a book I wish I had growing up.”—Tony Morrison, Senior Communications Director for GLAAD
“Are there any children who don’t need to hear that God loves them and that they are beautiful just as they are? If there are, this book is not for them. But for all other children (and their parents) Jonathan Merritt’s charming new tale is a Godsend.”—James Martin, SJ, New York Times bestselling author and Editor-at-Large for America Magazine
“A boy's spirits are lifted by a visit from his guncle. . . The message to love and be true to yourself is evergreen."—Kirkus Reviews
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