Top LGBTQ+ Children's Books: Celebrating Pride
Representation matters. It's never too early to teach children about diversity, love, and tolerance. Below are our favorite children's books to read in honor of Pride Month.
This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman
This story walks you through a Pride Day Parade using simple rhymes and colorful images. The illustrations are detailed, and really make you feel like part of the celebration. At the end of the story is a Reading Guide with TONS of facts about LGBT history and culture, including directions for caregivers that demonstrate how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age appropriate ways.
This was the first book we read when conducting our Pride Day research, and it helped in ways I didn't even know were needed. The depth of information in the back of this book was extremely supportive when explaining Pride Month to my 6 year old. We definitely learned a LOT about LGBTQ history!
Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, the supermarket, and most certainly to dress-up parties. But when Harriet and her dads head to the store to pick up the last of the supplies for her party, Harriet's penguin costume gets a bit of attention she didn't expect. She embarks on a journey across the sky and sea, introduces us to several animal friends, and returns just in time for the party.
Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love
Julian and his abuela are going to a wedding! In this story Julian meets the brides, their puppy, and a new friend. They set off on an adventure together, and have some wardrobe malfunctions, so Julian puts his design skills to the test. Of course, Abuela helps him finish the job.
(also see our blog post titled Top 5 Children's Books to Read In Honor of Black History Month to read our entry on Julian is a Mermaid)
Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
Once upon a time in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince who would soon take the throne. His parents travel far and wide with their son as he searches for a bride, but soon find that the prince is looking for something much different in a partner. This book has all the classic makings of a fairy tale, straight down to the fire breathing dragon, with just one minor little twist. At the end of this story, the prince marries the knight, and they all live happily ever after. That is, until the sequel The Prince and The Knight: Tale of the Shadow King, which is even MORE exciting!
The author of this story also writes a story for the girls (Maiden and Princess), starring a young maiden who was invited to a ball to meet the prince, but falls for his sister instead.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, his Narwhal family will accept him just the way he is.
This story stands in as a metaphor for the LGBT journey. Kelp finds his tribe, comes home to share with his family, and is pleased to have them accept his "news" with open arms. After all, they always knew Kelp was a unicorn, it just took Kelp a little while to figure it out for himself.
Stella Brings the Family Miriam B. Schiffer
Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a kid with two daddies supposed to do? She tries to explain to her classmates that it isn't that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework and tucks her in at night and makes her feel special. She has her Daddy and her Papa, and a whole gaggle of others. She just doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. In the end, Stella considers the people in her life who fill the more traditional role of "mom," and decides to invite them all. Of course, her classmates and teacher are 100% supportive, and Stella goes home knowing her family is absolutely perfect just the way it is.
This book is perfect for children with non-traditional families. Sure, the family in question is one with two dads, but the BIG feelings highlighted in this story are fairly commonplace in classrooms. By giving kids examples of other children who experience this type of isolation, we are giving them the tools necessary to process their familial differences in a productive way.
My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart
My Shadow Is Pink is a beautifully written rhyming story that touches on the subjects of gender identity, self acceptance, equality, and diversity. Inspired by the author’s own little boy, the main character likes princesses, fairies and things "not for boys." He soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide. This book exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect, and positive parenting.
There is also another book in this series called My Shadow is Purple in which the reader is introduced to a child who is struggling to choose between pink and blue. They feel these choices are a bit too limiting, so instead choose to settle on a color in between: PURPLE.
Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate
Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. Gramps just made everything extra special. But after Gramps died, granddad hasn't felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again.
This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
This story traces the history of the Gay Pride Flag. The text begins with Harvey Milk's decision to enter politics, Gilbert Baker's design of the first flag, and connects that to the flag's modern appearances as a symbol of equality and pride. The narrative includes references to opposition to Milk's dream of equality, and covers the assassination of Milk and George Moscone, but moves decisively on to tell a story of enduring hope. The story ends with beautiful illustrations depicting the candlelight vigil and the persistence of the rainbow flag as an icon.
Rainbow Boy by Taylor Rouanzion
In this story, a little boy attempts to answer one of grown-ups' all-time favorite questions: "What's your favorite color?" But with so many wonderful colors to choose from, he doesn't know how to answer. He loves his pink sparkly tutu, bright red roses, soft yellow baby doll pajamas, and big orange basketball. How will he ever pick? In the end, his mother gives him a giant hug, loving him all the more for having a heart that is too big to choose just one.
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian
When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?
The answer is: It doesn't matter. Because worm loves worm.
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