New Publisher Offers Custom DEI Kids' Books

Customizable Popinjay Press books represent modern family dynamics.


DES MOINES, IOWA, 2022 — For the first time ever, nontraditional families can choose how they see themselves represented in children’s literature. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, Popinjay Press has created colorful, imaginative children’s stories that can be customized to portray various family structures, including same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents, foster families, blended families, interracial families, non-binary characters and more. 

“Customers can choose who the characters are, what they look like and how they’re related,” said founder April Pearson-Decklever. “Maybe a family has a single mom and three boys, and they all look similar. Or maybe it has a dad, stepdad, sister and foster brother, and they all look different. All loving families are special, and we want them all represented in our books.”

Popinjay Press is different from other progressive publishing companies because it focuses on the story instead of the unique family dynamic. Loving nontraditional family members are present in the books and play an important role in the main characters’ lives, but they’re not central to the story. The main character’s modern family is treated as a non-issue instead of the issue. This accomplishes three things:

  • Children can enjoy books that promote acceptance rather than “othering” (labeling individuals as not fitting in with the norms of a social group).
  • They’re subtly encouraged to take pride in their unique family.
  • They see themselves and others represented in popular culture.

“We chose Popinjay Press for our company name because popinjays are proud, vibrant creatures with light hearts and quirky personalities,” said Pearson-Decklever. “And we know many wonderful families like that, too.”

Popinjay Press books are all customizable and available for $15-$25 plus shipping at

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Popinjay Press was founded by April Pearson-Decklever, a proud mom and stepmom who wanted to see diversity and inclusion in the children's books she read to her stepson. When she couldn’t find any books representing her unique family dynamic, she decided to create her own.

Sharing a creative vision, love of children and passion for social justice, the authors and illustrators at Popinjay Press are proud to offer families a growing library that celebrates diversity and inclusion in children's books.