We love the new book from acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, entitled The Sleeper and the Spindle.
The novel, which features illustrations by Chris Riddell, features a description and image of a princess being awoken from sleep by a kiss from a queen.
Publishers Bloomsbury describe the work, which is published 23 October, as ‘a dark twist on classic fairy tales that puts strong female characters at the forefront.’ A spokesperson for Bloomsbury said to GSN, ‘While it is not a gay story in itself there is much to be said about having a female kiss not only described but illustrated in a book for young readers.’
Gaiman [pictured], who was raised in West Sussex, England, is one of the world’s best-known fantasy writers, having penned such international bestsellers as Stardust, Coraline and Neverwhere, as well as the Sandman series of graphic novels.
His new book follows the adventures of a young queen who, on the eve of her wedding, sets out to rescue a princess in a neighboring kingdom from a spell that has caused her to fall into a deep slumber.
Following the criticism that JK Rowling faced from some critics after she revealed that Harry Potter headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, was gay; Gaiman may find his new book prompts criticism from more conservative commentators.
However, its publication was praised by Suran Dickson, CEO of Diversity Role Models – an organization that aims to take LGBTI role models into schools to talk to school children.
‘Our primary school workshops show us time and time again that children understand love to be the most important aspect of a relationship.
‘In a society that has introduced equal marriage, it is important that our films, books, advertising and TV shows portray same-sex couples in a positive and loving light.
‘The Sleeper and the Spindle simply shows that not every princess will be awoken by a prince; this helps children understand different relationships, as well as giving representation to those young people with same-sex parents and can therefore reduce bullying.’
Neil Gaiman photo by Kimberly Butler.