‘Miss Kitty Popcorn & Cheese’ Spread the Love for Drag Queen Story Time
Ian Morrison's new book will have you stepping into your power, yelling "Cheese!" and supporting future Drag Queen Story Times!
Drag Queen Storytime leaves kids with a warm feeling that whoever you are, you deserve to be that person and you deserve to be loved. As his alter ego Brittany Lynn, Ian Morrison launched Drag Queen Storytime in Philadelphia, and it has only grown in popularity– selling out crowds at the Please Touch Museum, and packing in families at Free Library events that include crafts, dress-up, and uplifting stories with themes like embracing your individuality, standing up to bullies, and more. Now, Morrison has added to that canon, with his first children’s book The Adventures of Miss Kitty Popcorn & Cheese.
Complex and sweet, this book tells the story of a girl named Sam who is having trouble fitting in at her witch school because she isn’t “like the other girls.” While Sam’s family is made up of strong, supportive witches (inspired by members of Morrison’s own family) who are “just fine” with Sam wanting to “dress like the boys” and play sports, the girls at her school bully her–except one named Brittany. More on that later, because just who are Miss Kitty Popcorn and Cheese? Sam’s popcorn-loving pet cat and her mouse best friend (because Miss Kitty Popcorn is no bully!), of course!
Feeling low, Sam tries to concoct a potion to make her more stereotypically girly but ends up unknowingly making her animal sidekicks magical and able to talk. By the end, these unlikely animal friends have helped Sam step into her power, embrace the magic she had made all along, vanquish trolls (both literal and figurative), become her confident beautiful self, and even gain a girlfriend along the way.
With charming illustrations by Ven Schmidt, Miss Kitty Popcorn is sure to be a staple at future Drag Queen Story Time– and really, it is best read aloud, where the littlest kids will be yelling “Cheese!” over and over again along with the mouse who can only say that one word. Even better, proceeds from this book will help fund future Drag Queen Story Times, and expand into even more libraries and communities!
What is beautiful about this book and the story behind it, is that it works on so many levels. To a very little girl like my own daughter who embraces all things princessy and magical, this was a sweet fairytale that held her attention and heart. But while kids hear this fantastical story, they are learning that there are people in the world who may not look, feel, or dress like them—or quite possibly, that there are those that do. Along with glitter and heels, events like Drag Queen Story Time bring visibility and representation to the reach of children. Seeing ourselves and our loved ones reflected back at us and celebrated makes us all feel a little more accepted.
The Adventures of Miss Kitty Popcorn & Cheese is now available online (or if you prefer, you can even get it on Kindle). You can also get the book in person this Saturday, January 11, at Fumo Family Library, where Morrison and Schmidt will be doing a book reading and signing!
Photographs by Laura Swartz. Book cover artwork by Ven Schmidt.