Cov­er detail of “Sparkle Boy” It’s been near­ly three decades since Lesléa New­man ‘s pio­neer­ing children’s book, “Heather Has Two Mom­mies,” was released. Since then, a lot has changed — plen­ty of it for the bet­ter — for LGBTQ par­ents and chil­dren. New­man, mean­while, has con­tin­ued to pub­lish dozens of acclaimed books for both adults and chil­dren. But the fight for rep­re­sen­ta­tion, for ten­der, warm, relat­able sto­ries con­tin­ues. Now, New­man has a new children’s book, “ Sparkle Boy .” Illus­trat­ed by Maria Mola, it tells the sto­ry of young Casey, who, like his big sis­ter Jessie, adores “all things shim­mery, glit­tery, and spark­ly.” Casey’s tastes inspire a vari­ety of respons­es from the peo­ple in his life, but it’s Jessie’s trans­form­ing jour­ney that serves as the cen­tral thread of the tale. Salon spoke recent­ly to New­man about her work, and about her mes­sage to sparkle boys and girls every­where. What made you want to look at these issues about gen­der roles in a children’s book? I have two answers to that ques­tion. The first is that I’m a writer, and every morn­ing, I wait for three drops of blood to appear on my fore­head, and write what­ev­er comes out of […]