Author sells out of LGBTQ+ children’s book after store returned all 100 for breaching ‘policy’

Paul Castle has sold out of his book The Secret Ingredient after a bookstore returned all 100 of them for breaching their “policy”. 

A bookstore contacted the TikToker-come-author (known for his interabled couple content with husband Matthew) to order two boxes of his inclusive children’s book, The Secret Ingredient

The 2023 book by Castle is a follow-up to the writer’s first book in The Pengrooms series, which champions queer and diverse families and follows two married penguins, Pringle and Finn.

“They deliver birthday cakes to their LGBTQ animal friends. Along the way, Pringle and Finn discover the ‘secret ingredients’ to a loving family,” the synopsis reads. “The story culminates with a final birthday party: The literal ‘birthday’ of their own adopted baby penguin!”

However, the bookshop soon returned their order, notifying Castle — who is blind — that the person who placed the order “wasn’t entirely up to speed on our policies”.

“We have returned the boxes to you,” a text-to-speech audio, which Castle shared in a reel, hears. “While I think your book is very charming, it’s just not something we can carry in our store at this time.

“We’ve taken care of the shipping cost,” they added. “Be well.”

After fans dubbed the bookstore’s callous decision — which happened during Pride Month, no less — as “heartbreaking”, followers rallied to purchase the book from Castle.

Following the video, Castle’s husband told his partner that he had “sold out” of The Secret Ingredient

“This is not a prank,” Matthew reassures his partner. “Hundreds of people are rallying behind you,” adding that 11 bookstores have “written to ask if they can carry it”.

Taking to the caption beneath the video, Matthew wrote: “Thank you for turning this really sad moment into something wonderful and magical and full of love.

“We are both truly blown away by the response. The books that were returned have been purchased, plus a LOT more.

“In fact, we are temporarily out of stock but another shipment is on its way (you can still place an order).

“Thank you for supporting his dreams and making him smile. We are both so grateful.”

You can purchase Paul Castle’s book, The Secret Ingredient here, and The Pengrooms here.

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