11 great LGBTQ books for kids
Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or you are an ally, you probably know the frustration of looking for inclusive children’s books and finding a scant selection. It can be difficult to find kids’ books that show LGBTQ+ characters or families.
That is why we have put together this list of 11 children’s books that are inclusive, diverse and question the heteronormative status quo. Each one is a fun yet meaningful read that will help you celebrate Pride Month with your kids and honor love in all its many forms.
Here is our list of 11 children’s books that celebrate LGBTQ+ stories.
“And Tango Makes Three”
“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson might seem like any other colorful board book about animals, but this is actually a special tale that is based on a true story. Richardson writes about two male penguins (Roy and Silo) who pair-bonded at the Central Park Zoo. They performed mating rituals together and even tried to hatch an egg together (which was actually a rock!). The zookeepers then gave them an egg of their own to hatch, and Roy and Silo later raised the little chick together. This sweet board book proves that love is love, even in the animal kingdom.
“Two Grooms On A Cake”
“Two Grooms on a Cake: The Story of America’s First Gay Wedding” by Rob Sanders is a good introductory book for kids who are starting to ask questions about gay marriage. What does it mean to have two moms or two dads, and why don’t all families look the same? This is a beautifully illustrated book about the power of love.
“A Day Of Pride”
Your kids may have noticed Pride decorations or Pride activities happening in your town, but do they really know why Pride Month is so important? “A Day of Pride: A Children’s Book that Celebrates Diversity, Equality and Tolerance!” by Roy Youldous-Raiss is a wonderful way to start this conversation with younger kids and introduce the idea of self-worth and celebrating other people’s differences.
“Sylvia And Marsha Start A Revolution!”
Many of us didn’t learn about any LGBTQ+ activists in school, and unfortunately, today’s kids still don’t receive much information about the heroes who helped to make the world a more welcoming place for everyone. “Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History” by Joy Michael Ellison can help younger kids learn about the origins of the Pride movement and how brave activists and allies enacted lasting change in the face of overwhelming odds.
Explaining gender to little ones might seem complicated, but kids actually comprehend ideas about gender expression and identity much more easily than we might realize. The book “Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship” is a good primer for discussions about what it means to be transgender and how to support someone in your life who is transitioning.
“Mommy, Mama, And Me”
“Mommy, Mama, and Me” by Lesléa Newman was one of the first children’s books to ever feature gay parents, and this board book is a classic for a reason. With lovely, comforting illustrations and rhyming text, it’s a board book that celebrates love and family in an inclusive way.
In the beautiful book “Neither,” author Airlie Anderson explores the idea of feeling like you just don’t belong. This thought-provoking story is shown through the eyes of Neither, a half-bunny, half-bird who struggles with their identity and finding a place that welcomes them. Finally, they find the “Land of All,” a place where diversity and differences are welcomed and celebrated. This book tells a gently humorous and engaging tale that helps kids explore important concepts.
“Julián Is A Mermaid”
The book “Julián Is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love is a must-read for kids and adults alike. This book introduces the idea of gender expression and shows how important it is to allow kids to dress and identify as they wish, rather than trying to fit everyone into the same one-size-fits-all box. Kids of all ages will feel Julián’s excitement over his glamorous dress — and his fears about how his loved ones will react to it.
“Prince & Knight”
Most fairy tales feature a man and a woman falling in love and riding off into the sunset together. It can be difficult to escape this narrative, whether we are talking about Grimm’s classic fairy tales or Disney movies. That’s why “Prince & Knight” by Daniel Haack is such a welcome respite. The book tells the story of a young prince whose parents keep trying to push him to marry a princess. But the prince isn’t interested in any of the beautiful maidens they present him with, and it isn’t until he meets a brave knight that he finally finds true love. A must-have for any young reader who enjoys a good tale of adventure! (And check out “Maiden & Princess” by the same author, which shows a love story developing between two women.)
“The Every Body Book”
If you’re looking for a book to help introduce and demystify topics relating to puberty, sex, consent and more, then “The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families” is a good place to start. Written by Rachel E. Simon and illustrated by Noah Grigni, this book would be ideal for middle-schoolers and tweens who are starting to have questions about their bodies, sexual orientation and gender. This age-appropriate guide tackles these big topics in a compassionate, affirming way.
“Pink Is For Boys”
“Pink is for Boys” by Robb Pearlman needs to be on every child’s bookshelf. The book promotes gender expression and allows kids to question society’s rigid beliefs about how boys and girls should behave. This book teaches kids to lean into their own truth and refuse to be afraid to stand out.