Anna Day and the O-ring

anna day and the o-ring cover

Anna Day and the O-ring

Submitter: This book was recently weeded from a public library. Published in 1994 by Alyson Wonderland, the plot makes mention of a missing O-ring and the mild annoyance it causes. However, we first get a description of a sleepover with a best friend and the steps to take before going for a walk. What is an O-ring? Why is it in the title of the book? Who is Anna Day? Why is this story at all interesting for a child?

Holly: Alyson Wonderland was the first publisher of LGBT literature. Based on the pictures in the story, maybe Anna has two moms, but that’s not part of the story line. The story line is just that they went for a walk, then tried to put up a tent and it was missing an o-ring. I have no clue what an o-ring is, and children won’t either. Apparently it is so funny that the tent has a missing o-ring (apparently Anna was sitting on it) that Anna tells her friends at a school and re-tells the story every day during their walk. This kid needs to work on her sense of humor. Put a whoopee cushion under her next time. Now that’s funny.


findig the o-ring

Evan's birthday and the missing o-ring

going for a walk


  1. From Wikipedia: “An O-ring, also known as a packing, or a toric joint, is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus; it is a loop of elastomer with a round cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.” I doubt that any kid ever would have known that! Most would have said, “The tent is missing a little thingy.”

  2. Pretty sure Anna Day is the dog…but yes, Evan does seem to have two mommies. This is one of those “oh my gosh they’re just like us!” books

  3. It almost sounds like it was some sort of family story, the kind that’s only funny to the folks who were there. Doesn’t explain why they’d publish a book about it, though.

  4. Oh, THAT kind of O-ring got lost. Phew. For a moment I thought it was about a gynecological emergency.

  5. Perhaps it’s a true family story? Perhaps the story is secondary to publishing a book with two mommies? There is a comment on Amazon that reads as though Evan wrote it, and he makes it sound like the point of the book was to explain his “family situation.” And here we thought it was just a simple story of a missing 0-ring (sounds slightly pornographic). I wondered if he really called his mothers “Mama Dee” and “Mama Gee.” My daughter wondered about “Mama Bee” and “Mama Cee!”

  6. What an odd, disjointed little book. Hey! At least I learned what an O-ring is. Bonus!

  7. I have a theory that because there was a dearth of good LGBT fiction for a long time, standards were not always extremely high. Thankfully, I think that’s beginning to change now that the market is becoming more accepting (though there’s still a lot of progress to be made in the children’s literature). It’s cool to see a children’s book with lesbian mothers. But the story is…pretty dull. This is the type of story that might be mildly amusing in real life but that doesn’t make for good literature.

    1. I didn’t even mention the two mommies thing in my comments on the book initially because it is totally irrelevant to the story. It’s a good idea, making gay parents normal by not making the story all about it, but what a weird story!

  8. The first thing that comes to my mind when I see “O-ring” was the gasket that went bad and caused the Challenger space shuttle to explode on takeoff

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