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'Families Like Ours': Authors Of Katy Has Two Grandpas Talk About LGBTQ Representation In Children's Lit

Julie Schanke Lyford and Robert Schanke's new children's book "Katy Has Two Grandpas" came out in 2021

Host Charity Nebbe talks with the authors of the children's book "Katy Has Two Grandpas"

Katy is a young girl preparing to introduce her married grandpas to her classmates on Grandparents Day, but she has a speech impediment that makes her reluctant to speak in front of others. In "Katy Has Two Grandpas," Julie Schanke Lyford and her dad Robert Schanke tell the story of how Katy overcomes her fears.

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, the authors tell host Charity Nebbe that the book came out of a want for families like theirs to be seen too.

"There was nothing out there that showed two gay grandparents, and so we felt that that kind of representation was needed in a children's picture book," Robert Schanke said.

Julie Schanke Lyford remembered reading books to her own two children and thinking she wished those children's books reflected families like her own.

"That's one reason we wanted to specifically say (they were married) so that it was obvious," Julie Schanke Lyford said. "There are pictures where they have their arms around each other, where they have their rings on to make it very obvious."


  • Julie Schanke Lyford and Robert A. Schanke, co-authors of "Katy Has Two Grandpas"
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa