RuPaul, one the world’s most renowned and best-known drag queens is the latest famous figure to join the Little People, Big Dreams series. This collection of illustrated children’s books created by Spanish author, Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, examine that lives of outstanding public figures throughout history.
Originally, the series focused on profiling influential female figures from history including; Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Austen, Rosa Parks, and Frida Kahlo, in order to breakdown stereotypes for young girls and show them that they can aspire to any dream. However, in more recent years, Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara has branched out because “boys have kind of the same problem. They are supposed to play football, they are supposed to like fighting and all these things that not all of them like.”
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara explained that she researched the new RuPaul book by watching every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the hit reality TV series which sees other drag queens compete in challenges to become the next drag superstar. This much-loved show combines fabulous fashion, hilarious reads, and tear-jerking moments as the contestants share their stories as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. “I didn’t really know him that well because here in Spain he’s not that well known,” the author said but now the author is a big fan.
RuPaul represents diversity and self-love, declaring “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else” at the end of each show. RuPaul joining this series aims to teach children to love themselves as they are, be themselves and, of course, breakdown stereotypes.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara explained why she was so excited to add RuPaul to her series, she said, “It makes me think of so many of my friends who are LGBTQ, and many of my friends who went through a very similar story when they were kids. And this is so important to break all these stereotypes that are related to boys.” Vergara also believes it is important to let children “know naturally we are all different and that uniqueness is what makes us special and that is the cool part of all of us”.
Wednesday Holmes, illustrator of the book, added: “Illustrating Rupaul’s story has been such a gift and dream combined. I have always strived to paint queer and [gender non-conforming] stories, as I’m so passionate about young people being able to see themselves in the books around them. I believe that many people will be touched by little Ru’s story of persistence, authenticity, creativity, and love.”
While Katy Flint, the commissioning editor of the series said, “It’s hugely important what RuPaul represents to kids because you have a sense of fun and creativity and dress up and theatre. But there are also the themes of self-acceptance, self-expression and of also valuing diversity and self-love.”
She also explained that, “A lot of time, people say ‘You can’t put that in a kids’ book’ and people are quite patronising towards children, not realising that a lot of damage can happen in childhood if kids don’t see themselves on the page and if kids feel left out.”
RuPaul (Little People, Big Dreams) will be published May 4th 2021 and it is available to pre-order now.