A pair of Austin dads have written their first ever book together after they were inspired by their son and his love of stories.

Ricardo Gattas-Moras and Rob Jackson met in 2013, got married three years later, and made the decision to start a family through an adoption agency. Their son, Cy, came into their lives after a year and a half of marriage.

“Surprisingly it hasn’t been very difficult,” Jackson said in an interview with KXAN Austin. “You get looks every now and then when you’re out and about with your kiddo but for the most part, I would say, we’ve felt very comfortable. Everyone’s been so accepting and loving towards [our son].”

The couple noticed that when they read to Cy, he would pick up on the words they were saying “like a sponge”. That’s when they realised it was important for them to choose books that would help shape their child’s ideas and values.

“We know he’s gonna feel different from most people so we just wanted to put out that message of embracing our differences and wanting to teach him from an early age how beautiful that can be,” Jackson said.

 In the years that followed, The Rainbow Bee was born, telling the story of a little rainbow striped bee in a hive full of black and yellow that haven’t ever had to deal with someone who was different.

“It’s not just about exposing [kids] to differences, it’s about explaining what it means to have a diverse background, to look different, to be different and the conversation is really up to the parents and educators,” Gattas-Moras said. “We wanted to create something that opened up the opportunity for parents to have that conversation and say, ‘Hey, look… we live in a world that’s diverse and we need to understand that there are differences.’”

The couple have said the book made Cy “light up”, and they hope every child has the same experience.

The Rainbow Bee is available for pre-order on Amazon and is set to officially be published on April 3.

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