We’re Kendra and Claire-Voe Ocampo, authors of the new LGBTQ children’s picture book, Mighty May Won’t Cry Today.
What inspired us to create the book?
We were inspired to write Mighty May Won’t Cry Today after our first daughter was born and we began reading her children’s books. We quickly saw that most of them featured a traditional family. We created Mighty May Won’t Cry Today because we wanted to see a children’s book that reflected a two-mom family like ours, and to bring more visibility and representation of other types of families to children’s literature.
Our Writing Journey
Our writing began with us coming up with the right idea. We already knew we wanted to feature an LGBTQ family, but we didn’t want to duplicate other books that already existed. That’s how we came to the important part of our story: it’s about MAY and not about how her family is different from other families.
Drafting the manuscript took quite a few months, and through that process, we reached out to our friends and family network for creative inspiration. We asked friends what topics would be unique and new and eventually landed on CRYING and how critical it is for children to learn it’s okay to express themselves this way. Some of our most powerful moments in the book (when May misses her bus stop on the way home) happened to one of our best friends’ kids! We also reached out to teachers and school psychologists for their input which was very useful in learning more about kids’ behaviors.
A LGBTQ Children’s Book
Mighty May Won’t Cry Today tells the story of May, an imaginative and determined girl who tries not to cry on her first day of school. May’s first day of school is filled with many adventures and emotions as she is faced with unexpected, embarrassing, and overwhelming moments. Young readers will relate to the experiences of May’s day—riding the bus for the first time or forgetting her favorite drink at home. At last, May will face the ultimate challenge and she cannot hold back her tears.
With the help of her two moms, she finds out why it’s okay to cry and that even adults cry both happy and sad tears!
About the Authors
Claire-Voe and Kendra Ocampo have cried many tears together since falling in love in Boston and getting married in 2014 in New Jersey, just months after same-sex marriage became legal in the state. They’re two moms to two mighty daughters, Xiomara and Violet, who cry often (and that’s okay!) about spilled milk, a wet diaper, or going to school. When they’re not writing, you might find Kendra and Claire-Voe eating Spanish tapas, video gaming, or watching sappy rom-coms which often brings them to tears.
Left to right: Kendra, Claire-Voe
Marilyn Bricklin Lebovitz says
I’m so excited for you and the families that will be blessed to have your book. One of our grandchildren is gay and another is transgender, so we are very sensitive to materials that are available. I have 5 children’s books out all of which are multi-ethnic, and two are definitely bridge the needs for grandparents of traditional and LBQTQ families. Your Mommy’s My Daughter and Your Daddy’s My Son have a sweet spot for grandparents to show their love with illustrations and words that span multiple family dynamics. There’s another that I’ve purchased for our family and for schools where I’ve worked as a speech/language therapist. It’s a book written by Michael Hall: Red- A Crayon’s Story. I recommend it highly. I think it’s a brilliant way to address children who feel different in so many ways.
I’m 75 now, so I’m retired but still thinking of ways to make these years count. The book that I’m trying to bring together now is: Welcome My Love. It is another picture book geared to adoptive families.
In the meantime, I’m sending the title of your book over to my friend whose daughter and her wife have twins.
Thank you for adding to the blessings that all love deserves.