10 books like Max

By Rachel Isadora,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Max. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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What Makes a Baby

By Cory Silverberg, Fiona Smyth (illustrator),

Book cover of What Makes a Baby

I have read a lot of sex-ed books because I used to be an educator for Planned Parenthood and I think this book is 100% perfect. It contains delightfully colorful illustrations about how a baby is made without ever making anyone feel that they are different for the particular way they conceived a baby.

Cory writes, “Not all bodies have sperm in them.” as opposed to “most men have sperm and most women have eggs, but…” like every other sex-ed book I have ever read, making trans, intersex, and non-binary folks feel that they are an exception to some rule. I love everything Cory Silverberg does very much! And not just because we had brunch once in New York City.

What Makes a Baby

By Cory Silverberg, Fiona Smyth (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What Makes a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2014 Lambda Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult

“What Makes a Baby is extraordinary! Cory is a Dr. Spock for the 21st century.”—Susie Bright

“A Truly Inclusive Way to Answer the Question 'Where Do Babies Come From?': The new book What Makes a Baby offers an origin story for all children, no matter what their families look like." —The Atlantic

"This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic."—School Library Journal

Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid.…


Colors of Aloha

By Kanoa Kau Arteaga, J.R. Keaolani Bogac-Moore (illustrator),

Book cover of Colors of Aloha

I love how you casually get introduced to the main character’s brother’s boyfriend, Peleke, while the children are on a scavenger hunt for natural things in all the colors of the rainbow. If I were a teacher and had to grade this, I would give it an A+++. The publisher, Flamingo Rampant Press, states, “we don’t publish books that have primary narratives about bullying, ostracization, harassment or violence. If your book is about a kid who is made to feel like their identity or family is a problem, that’s not going to be a book for us.” That is one terrific reason for me to love this book.

Colors of Aloha

By Kanoa Kau Arteaga, J.R. Keaolani Bogac-Moore (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Colors of Aloha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world is bursting full of beautiful colors, from the blue of the fish to the green of the leaves! Even more wondrous are the many names the different peoples of the world have for them. Join these Hawai’ian kids, their older brother and his boyfriend as they adventure around their island to learn their colours – and a little about love along the way.


Lots of Mommies

By Jane Severance,

Book cover of Lots of Mommies

This book was published by Lollipop Power Press, an iconic feminist publishing house formed in 1969. I have a soft spot for old-school one-color illustrations (these ones are forest green against an off-white background). Emily is raised in an intentional community of four women. One mom is studying to be an electrician. Another is a healer. Vicki drives a school bus. Annie Jo is a carpenter who loves to cook. No one at school believes that Emily has so many mothers, but that all changes when she falls on the playground and her amazing parents get called into school. Suddenly it's très cool to have so many moms. I want this book to have a revival. It’s so good.

Lots of Mommies

By Jane Severance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lots of Mommies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Gloria Goes To Gay Pride

By Leslea Newman, Russell Crocker (illustrator),

Book cover of Gloria Goes To Gay Pride

In 1992, the legendary Leslea came to my college and spoke in a splendid historical chapel about her work. I’ve never belonged to a house of worship. I am a children’s book author who writes about Queer people, so I kinda think this makes Lesléa Newman my minister. In this wonderful book, Mama Rose makes the sign “Gay Mechanic Healing the Planet.” Mama Grace’s sign reads “Gay Nurse Healing the Earth” and she has a tambourine in her backpack. It makes perfect sense that Andrea the mail carrier, the music teacher with the mustache, and nurse Richard are all in attendance at Gay Pride. They chant “2-4-6-8. Being gay is really great” at the parade while all the sidewalk people cheer.

Gloria Goes To Gay Pride

By Leslea Newman, Russell Crocker (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gloria Goes To Gay Pride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gloria and her two mothers join a parade celebrating Gay Pride Day.


The Ecstasy of Being

By Joseph Campbell,

Book cover of The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance

I am sure many of you already know this visionary philosopher from his ground-breaking The Hero With a Thousand Faces. You may not be aware that Campbell was married to Jean Erdman, one of Martha Graham’s principal dancers in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Campbell’s initiations to modern dance came at Sarah Lawrence College when witnessing Erdman as Graham’s student; and then at Bennington, where Erdman performed with Graham’s company. His own learned background in the archetypal ethos of C.G. Jung made Campbell a prime candidate for Graham’s deeply-digging, Nietzschean/ecstatic archaic/abstract movement vocabulary. The choreographer and the professor spoke the same kinaesthetic language, Erdman remembered. There were many late nights when “Martha would call Joe on the phone” with some arcane question about her mythographic pieces in progress – Night Journey and Errand into the Maze. Many of Campbell’s essays in this book were first published in Dance Observer…

The Ecstasy of Being

By Joseph Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ecstasy of Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Campbell’s collected writings on dance and art, edited and introduced by Nancy Allison, CMA, the founder of Jean Erdman Dance, and including Campbell’s unpublished manuscript “Mythology and Form in the Performing and Visual Arts,” the book he was working on when he died.

Dance was one of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s wide-ranging passions. His wife, Jean Erdman, was a leading figure in modern dance who worked with Martha Graham and had Merce Cunningham in her first company. When Campbell retired from teaching in 1972, he and Erdman formed the Theater of the Open Eye, where for nearly fifteen years they…


Entwined

By Heather Dixon,

Book cover of Entwined

This is my favorite The Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling! Heather Dixon includes all twelve princesses, named after various plants, and gives them distinct enough personalities that not only can you keep them straight, you care about each one. This story follows Azalea, the eldest of the twelve sisters, and the mysterious Keeper, who invites the princesses to dance every night in his silver forest. But the Keeper likes to keep things, and can Azalea bear to pay the cost? Eerie and gorgeous, romantic and masterful!

Entwined

By Heather Dixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Entwined as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls. "Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon's debut is both suspenseful and rewarding."—ALA Booklist

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.…


Erotic Triangles

By Henry Spiller,

Book cover of Erotic Triangles: Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java

Erotic Triangles returns to a part of the world I know well, though the topic is alien to my own natural resource emphasis. Yet I found it fascinating for its symbolic analyses of West Java’s musical and art worlds – intertwined intimately with the relations between men and women and among men. Its emphasis on triangles was the inspiration for me to structure my own analyses as a harp (another ‘triangle’), within which the strings signify traits that men value in a given culture. Spiller’s analysis inspired my own analogy between the creation of harp music and the clusters of values that influence men’s identities, their personal and cultural ‘songs.’

Erotic Triangles

By Henry Spiller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Erotic Triangles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In West Java, Indonesia, all it takes is a woman's voice and a drumbeat to make a man get up and dance. Every day, men there - be they students, pedicab drivers, civil servants, or businessmen - breach ordinary standards of decorum and succumb to the rhythm at village ceremonies, weddings, political rallies, and nightclubs. The music the men dance to varies from traditional gong ensembles to the contemporary pop known as dangdut, but they consistently dance with great enthusiasm. In "Erotic Triangles", Henry Spiller draws on decades of ethnographic research to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, arguing that…


The Electric Slide and Kai

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Electric Slide and Kai

I don’t know if this book necessarily takes place in summer, but it’s centered around one of my favorite ‘African-American Joy Rituals’ - the Electric Slide! Kai agonizes over his failure to get a dance nickname from his very cool grandfather because of his two left feet. When his aunt gets married, he’s determined to conquer the Electric Slide at her reception.

Who doesn’t love a good, all-inclusive line dance? I still remember learning the Electric Slide when I was 6– to this day if I’m at a party and it’s playing, you’ll know where to find me (the dance floor!). Fun book.

The Electric Slide and Kai

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Electric Slide and Kai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

Kai is the only member of his family who can't get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of Black families.

Kai's aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding ... except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide--a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can't quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn…


Sensational Knowledge

By Tomie Hahn,

Book cover of Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture Through Japanese Dance

It concerns the complex and demanding process of becoming proficient in dance procedures. The stages involve becoming deeply mindful of the body. The novice has to become attached and subordinated to a ‘master’ who can of course be a woman. Through these rituals the novice becomes enculturated into the dance aesthetic and the wider culture. The core energy required by dance comes from the abdomen to empower the dancer. The training involves self-cultivation. Eventually the mind no longer hinders the expressivity of the body.

Sensational Knowledge

By Tomie Hahn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sensational Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do music and dance reveal the ways in which a community interacts with the world? How are the senses used in communicating cultural knowledge? In Sensational Knowledge, ethnomusicologist and dancer Tomie Hahn uncovers the process and nuances of learning nihon buyo, a traditional Japanese dance form. She uses case studies of dancers at all levels, as well as her own firsthand experiences, to investigate the complex language of bodies, especially across cultural divides. Paying particular attention to the effect of body-to-body transmission, and how culturally constructed processes of transmission influence our sense of self, Hahn argues that the senses…


Keeping Together in Time

By William H. McNeill,

Book cover of Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History

I selected this book because it finally offered me some answers to questions I’d asked myself all my life: Why am I so driven to dance? Why does dancing make me feel so euphoric? McNeill found himself asking this last question when forced to go through endless military close-order drill (a sort of dance!) as a young draftee. Whence these surprisingly positive effects of “keeping together in time”? Over the course of his later life as a historian, he tracked down a fascinating array of anecdotal and cognitive answers.  The relation of this phenomenon to unique details of how the human brain is put together was then further addressed by Oliver Sacks toward the end of his book Musicophilia, where I first learned of McNeill.

Keeping Together in Time

By William H. McNeill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Keeping Together in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Could something as simple and seemingly natural as falling into step have marked us for evolutionary success? In Keeping Together in Time one of the most widely read and respected historians in America pursues the possibility that coordinated rhythmic movement--and the shared feelings it evokes--has been a powerful force in holding human groups together.As he has done for historical phenomena as diverse as warfare, plague, and the pursuit of power, William H. McNeill brings a dazzling breadth and depth of knowledge to his study of dance and drill in human history. From the records of distant and ancient peoples to…


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