When a change in the weather forces a little boy to change his safari adventure plans, he decides to instead take readers through the story of how he came to be. Zak is the child of two moms, who met, fell in love and decided to start a family just like couples everywhere. Babies come to be when an egg and a sperm come together, and different families bring these two elements together in different ways. With a focus on two-mom families, Zak’s Safari talks about what a donor is, how children like Zak are created with the help of a sperm bank, and how family created through sperm donation is just as full of love and zaniness as any other family.
What makes Zak’s Safari pretty neat, in addition to the fact that it deals with an underrepresented family dynamic, is the way in which the book came to be. The author, Christy Tyner, and her wife grew their family through sperm donation, and when the time came to talk to her children about where they came from, Tyner went searching for picture books to share with them. When she couldn’t find any picture books that reflected her family’s story she decided to write her own, and turned to Kickstarter to help fund the picture book’s creation. The book is now available on Amazon, but in a really fantastic move the author has made the entire book available to read for free on the book’s website.
The same-sex couple featured in Zak’s Safari is also mixed-race and features a lesbian woman of colour. LGBTQ literature is predominantly white, and finding books with characters of colour can be a struggle, making Zak’s Safari even more appealing as a truly diverse picture book. Diverse, positive and very cute, Zak’s Safari is definitely worth a look.