After the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, yanked a children's book showing animals in different forms of families from pre-school libraries in his city, the publisher of The Little Egg was surprised to get an enthusiastic letter on behalf of Pope Francis in response to the book and several others with LGBT themes sent to the Vatican.
"His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values," wrote Monsignor Peter Brian Wells of the Vatican Secretary of State in a letter to The Little Egg's author, according to a report in The Guardian.
On her Facebook page, Pardi wrote that she sent copies of books published by her company, Lo Stampatello, to the pope along with a cover letter explaining that she started the company for the sake of her four children, which she is raising along with her partner, Maria Silvia Fiengo.
"The book, 'Why are there two mothers?' is simply our (their) story, and the book "Why are there two dads?" is the story of a family that we personally know," she wrote. She said conservative groups have distorted the books in a campaign against them in Italy, saying "we support the teaching of masturbation to children in schools, inciting people against us."
"In most cases, homosexuals are good people and face the task of parenting with great responsibility and competence," she wrote. "Many put their hopes in a church that is not fundamentalist and inhuman as we have known in other historical eras ... which is why I persist in trying to reach you with my voice."
Here are several pages from the most popular and controversial of her books, The Little Egg, who encounters families led by lesbian cats, gay penguins, interracial dogs, and single-mama hippos:
Adam Serwer provided translations for this post.