When I first saw Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack, my first thought was, “This is a board book. Are kids that age ready for this theme?” And then I thought, “Why not?” However, we need to introduce the idea of same sex couples on a level that a child can understand. And this book does that by creating a story that is straight forward and does not preach its message. It is a simple (but not simplistic) story about a same sex couple.
Kids know people have partners. After all, the odds are they have parents; grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. And they probably know people get married. And this just shows that a Prince and a male Knight can be that partner whom someone wishes to marry. Everything is normal (the Prince even needs to be rescued). Boy meets Boy and they find that spark. The end. I did wonder (for a moment) if maybe it was going to be a Girl Power story (the Knight is female) but in the end it does not matter who the Prince loves, but that he does fall in love.
Stevie Lewis created illustrations that are reminiscent of the familiar fairy tale. Bright colors, bold images, castles, gowns, crowns, kings, queens, princesses, knights and dragons. They are there for the eye to enjoy. That familiar imagery combined with a (mostly) familiar story, helps normalize everything. And that is my favorite part. Showing all couples are normal regardless the situation (a female-male couple with the King and Queen and a male-male couple with the Prince and Knight. And while it is not shown, a female-female couple can then be said is normal, too). It stays within gender norms, but it is a good start for other conversations to come.
My personal preference would have preferred both the Prince and Knight to be clean shaven (the Knight is bearded in a modern manner) but that is just one more thing that shows who these people are: Two people who are going to tackle the Dragons of Life together.
This book also comes in a traditional picture book size and Haack has Maiden & Princess as well (currently only in a picture book size). And it was translated into (or from) Japanese as well (though I am not sure if either title is currently available in this format).