Missouri Democrats Celebrate National Reading Day by Reading Transgender-Inclusive Book to Children

Quinton Lucas, Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, was joined by city council members and other officials in a public reading of “Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship” to celebrate National Reading Day. A video of the event was posted to the popular YouTube account Libs of TikTok and mirrored to Twitter/X in early March.

The children’s book, which promotes transgenderism, provoked Missouri Freedom Caucus members to stage a public reading of “Johnny the Walrus,” a book by Daily Wire host Matt Walsh. Both books are targeted to readers between the ages of 3 and 6.

“Introducing Teddy” tells the story of Errol, who is informed by his teddy bear Thomas that, contrary to Errol’s expectations, Thomas feels as if he is a “girl teddy” and wants to change his name to “Tilly.” Errol reassures Thomas that all he cares about is their friendship, and that Thomas’s self-professed gender doesn’t make a difference. Thomas celebrates by moving his bowtie to his hair, making it into a bow and helping him feel feminine.

“Johnny the Walrus,” on the other hand, focuses on Johnny, who believes himself to be a walrus. His mother, in a desire to support her son, plays along with the Walrus game. According to Walsh, the book advances a lesson that one’s body is an important part of their identity, and can’t be ignored.

The response reading of Walsh’s book was spearheaded by Missouri State Senator Rick Brattin. A video of their event was posted to Twitter/X by the Missouri Freedom Caucus.

This isn’t the first time Walsh’s book has courted controversy. When it topped the charts in Amazon’s LGBTQ+ category in December of 2021, Amazon employees staged a die-in to protest it along with other “transphobic” books, prompting Amazon to manually remove the “Johny the Walrus” from the bestseller lists.

Walsh maintains that his book promotes self-acceptance, a message in short supply in today’s climate.