"Love is never wrong."
— Melissa Etheridge
My Shadow is Pink
Author: 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.
“I wish this book had existed when I was a child. This book helps break down gender stereotypes that are both toxic and outdated. I love the way the author relates a universal matter to all children helping them understand that color has no gender. He also helps them to realize that toys shouldn't be used to enforce gender roles. If a child wants to play with a doll or a truck it really shouldn't matter they should be allowed to explore and understand who they are without judgment. Excellent book and read.” -Mery
Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero
Author: Ellie Royce
Review: “This is a really modern take on gender and how it is fluid. It is how Drag is not just "dressing up" but being who you are. The best part is how normal the situation is. Also, realistic. The child of the story is unsure if Leo's friends and Lotta's friends will like each other. While it might be a tad too much for the youngest crowd, all ages can find something about this book and enjoy it.” -Raven Black
Summary: Told from the perspective of their adoring nephew, Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero is the story of a courageous drag queen who saves the day, and brings two communities together.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
Author: Theresa Thorn
Review: “So cute! A great introduction to gender for young kids. I loved the artwork, which is done by a non-binary illustrator (and the words are written by the parent of a trans child). It includes two non-binary characters: ones who feels like both a boy and a girl, and one who doesn't feel like either. Very simple, clear, and gentle, with adorable illustrations showing a variety of characters with different gender expressions. Also includes a list of resources in the back.” -Danika at The Lesbrary
Summary: Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
Jacob’s New Dress
Author: Sarah Hoffman, Ian Hoffman
Review: “This is another book I really like, because it has a mix of reality and "fairy tell endings." When Jacob decides to wear his dress to school instead of just wearing it at home he got mix reactions. His teacher was at first hesitant that he would be picked on it for it, but jacob was head strong and knew what he wanted and decided to do it anyways. When she saw that, she quickly became accepting of it, and made sure to reassure him that its okay to dress how he likes. However, not everyone was okay with it like his fellow classmate who bullied him for it. This is where the reality sets in, because not everyone will be accepting, but that shouldn't change how you portray yourself. In the end, although someone didn't agree with how he chose to be, he was not changing for anyone and living his life to the fullest.” -Kaley
When Aidan Became a Brother
Author: Kyle Lukoff
Review: “Not only is this book desperately needed, but it's also packed with kid appeal, as well as illustrations SO adorably charming that I can barely handle it.” -Becket
Summary: When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.
Author: Lois Brandt
Review: “This is an interesting book. And one full of emotion. It’s hard to write a book about children helping other children with problems that are beyond their reach. A household where there is not enough money to buy food is one of such problems. Yet, Brandt manages to write a compelling story that is not a preachy one.” -Fran
Summary: This is an interesting book. And one full of emotion. It’s hard to write a book about children helping other children with problems that are beyond their reach. A household where there is not enough money to buy food is one of such problems. Yet, Brandt manages to write a compelling story that is not a preachy one.
And Tango Makes 3
Author: Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell
Review: “A great story about what really happened. As they say love is love. I love this book and I'm so glad this is out there for the LGBT children coming along in the world. This is a wonderful thing.” -Calista
Summary: At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own!
Different: A Great Thing to Be
Author: Heather Avis
Review: “I appreciate that this book creates a positive view of celebrating others' differences as well as accepting our own.” -Kayla Johnson
Summary: Macy is a girl who's a lot like you and me, but she's also quite different, which is a great thing to be. With kindness, grace, and bravery, Macy finds her place in the world, bringing beauty and laughter wherever she goes and leading others to find delight in the unique design of every person.
The Pronoun Book
Author: Cassandra Jules Corrigan
Review: “The Pronoun Book is a fantastic resource for teaching children of all ages about the correct gender terms and which means which. As an adult I myself have learned many different things from this book!” -Natalie
Summary: Welcome to The Pronoun Book! Join Ellie and Casey as they introduce you to the wonderful world of pronouns. Learn about what pronouns are, how they relate to us, and why it's so important to get them right!
Author: Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha
Review: “An amazing, beautifully told story of a community coming together to show love and acceptance to a child.” -Susan
Summary: Peyton loves to dance, and especially at pow wow, but her Auntie notices that she's been dancing less and less. When Peyton shares that she just can't be comfortable wearing a dress anymore, Auntie Eyota asks some friends for help to get Peyton what she needs.
They, She, He as Easy as ABC
Author: Maya Gonzalez
Review: “This is a great book that helps explain (some of) the different types of pronouns that people prefer to use.” -BiblioKel
Summary: They, She, He: Easy as ABC shows that including everyone is all part of the dance. It’s easy. It’s fundamental. As the dance begins the kids proclaim, “No one left out and everyone free,” in a sing-song rhyme about inclusion.
A Costume for Charly
Author: C.K. Malone
Review: “Clever and powerful! Great message! Highly recommend!” -Becky Walker
Summary: Halloween has always been tricky for Charly, but this year they are determined to find a costume that represents their feminine and masculine identities equally. Digging through their costume box, Charly finds many fun costumes that could be for either girls or boys, but they all miss the mark.
Worm Loves Worm
Author: J.J. Austrian
Review: “This one took me by surprise. Sweet and simple, it manages to discuss gender, sexuality and "changing the way things have always been done" in a way that felt entirely natural to me.” -Caitlyn
Summary: 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.
Oliver Button is a Sissy
Author: Tomie dePaola
Review: “I really enjoyed reading this book. The message behind the book is very strong and has an encouraging message.” -Ali Gregory
Summary: A little boy must come to terms with being teased and ostracized because he’d rather read books, paint pictures, and tap-dance than participate in sports.
A Family is a Family is a Family
Author: Sara O’Leary
Review: “If you think picture books are just for kids, you’re missing out on a great deal of life. I often find that young narrators hold greater self-awareness than the typical adult.” -Anne Marie
Summary: When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.
Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution
Author: Rob Sanders
Review: “Amazing! Is it perfect? No. But is it fantastic? Absolutely! And the illustrations- absolute winners! Definitely a needed book. Love it.” -Maggie Mattmiller
Summary: In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community--in and around the Stonewall Inn--began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States.
Author: Bao Phi
Rating: “Wonderful book with breathtaking illustrations! I found myself not being able to wait to turn the next page and see what it beheld! The story was beautifully told and dealt with many tough issues like bullying and being different in many ways.” -***BookLady***
Summary: Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels "double different." She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. Thuy walks home one winter afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully's taunts. Then a bird catches her attention and sets Thuy on an imaginary exploration. What if she could fly away like a bird?
I am Jazz
Author: Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings
Review: “I'm really glad this book exists and I hope it opens the door for more kids books with trans characters. What's great about it is that it's clearly one girl's story, so it's not universalizing her experience. She's just saying what it's like for her, which gives kids who are reading it a chance to think, "what about me? Is this my story too?" and to identify with some things and not with others.” -Dov Zeller
Summary: The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.
Author: Gayle E. Pitman
Review: “A sweet, tender ode to a loving, non-binary parent. I adored the illustrations and appreciated the note to parents in the back- it was really informative!” -Keely
Summary: A child celebrates her Maddy, who is neither mommy nor daddy but a little bit of both, like so many things in nature. Includes note to parents.
Rainbow: A First Book of Pride
Author: Michael Genhart
Review: “ It is geared towards a young audience, but it does something I haven't seen in many books about pride for children- it explains the meaning behind the various colors in the rainbow flag. The text is simple and positive and the illustrations are beyond adorable.” -Elizabeth
Summary: This is a sweet ode to rainbow families, and an affirming display of a parent's love for their child and a child's love for their parents.
Gracefully Grayson -
Author: Ami Polonsky
Review: “It's been a long time since a book has made me teary-eyed, but Gracefully Grayson had me sniffling at the end. The story is beautiful and authentic.” -Rick
Summary: Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body.
Jack (Not Jackie)
Author: Erica Silverman
“Bottom line I'm giving this five stars for representing an age group of trans people who obviously get little to no positive acknowledgement. Do I like the stereotyping? No. However, it completely encompasses my own experience with a trans child. - Kit Feral
Summary: In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn't like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as "Jack"?
A Tale of Two Daddies
Author: Vanita Oelschlager
Review: “This is a great dialogue between two children, a boy, and a girl, regarding life with two daddies. In the innocence of children, the clarity of parental love is expressed without gender bias. An easy way to introduce the idea of some kids having different kinds of parents.” -Mery
Summary: Intended for 4- to 8-year-olds, this book introduces a type of family increasingly visible in modern society. Neither favoring nor condemning, it reflects a child’s practical and innocent look at the adults who nurture and love her. It becomes clear that the family bond is unburdened by any cultural discomforts.
Julian is a Mermaid
Author: Jessica Love
Review: “There’s no getting away from the fact that Julian is a Mermaid is a gorgeous book filled to the brim with amazing watercolour style illustrations that capture what I believe is New York in perfect light.” -Whispering Stories
Summary: While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a periwinkle curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes?
Prince & Knight
Prince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow
Ratings: 4.44/5, 4.39/5
Author: Daniel Haack
Review: “This is an adorable kid’s picture book about a prince who can’t find the right princess, because what he wants is actually a knight. There’s also a dragon. It's utterly charming.” -Gail Carriger
Summary: In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place.
I’m a Girl
Author: Yasmeen Ismail
Review: “This is a lovely and very accessible look at gender stereotypes and the children who act as themselves and against societal expectations. I appreciate the book going beyond external trappings and looking at behavior and what a child finds fun. So girls can be noisy, messy, fast and exciting. This book can be used just as a dynamic picture book about gender but it could also be used in a classroom to discuss differences and similarities and why it is good to be yourself.” -Tasha
Summary: Meet a little girl who's spontaneous, fast, and strong and loves winning. Sometimes she's mistaken for a boy, but she definitely isn't one! When she meets a boy who likes wearing princess dresses and playing dolls, they quickly discover shared interests and a wonderful friendship.
The Day You Begin
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Review: “This is a very sweet children’s book which would be great for kids who feel different from their peers in some way. It discusses what it can be like to feel like you’re different and like you’re an outsider, and how friendships can form through finding commonalities.” -Kate
Summary: There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Author: Airlie Anderson
Review: “At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own!” -Raina
Summary: Neither tries hard to fit in, but its bird legs aren't good for jumping like the other bunnies, and its fluffy tail isn't good for flapping like the other birds. It sets out to find a new home and discovers a very different place, one with endless colors and shapes and creatures of all kinds.
Love Makes a Family
Author: Sophie Beer
Review: “I enjoyed this picture book because it’s very lighthearted, but it holds an important message. The illustrations are bright and lively.” -Deyavion Washington
Summary: Whether you have two mums, two dads, one parent, or one of each, there's one thing that makes a family a family... and that's love.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding
Author: Sarah S. Brannen
Review: “I liked this book specifically because gay marriage was not the central issue. This is a story about Chloe and her Uncle Bobby who happens to be gay. I think it's important for children to see that gay people are just like any other people.” -Danielle
Summary: Bobby and Jamie are getting married, but Bobby's niece Chloe is worried that she won't be his favorite person anymore. Will Uncle Bobby still think she is special?
Ho’onani Hula Warrior
Author: Heather Gale
Review: “This book is just amazing, it teaches younger children to comprehend gender identity. And that is okay if some people have feminine traits or male-like hobbies.” -The Nerdy Weeb
Summary: Ho'onani feels in-between. She doesn't see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She's happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way.
Author: Trinity Neal
Review: “This was such a heart-warming, brilliant, powerful, inclusive story that kids and adults alike can learn so much from. I loved how the family was so supportive. I loved the colourful artwork too.” -Prabhjot Kaur
Summary: A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.
Pink is for Boys
Author: Robb Pearlman
Review: “The simplicity of this book is fantastic for all ages. Not only is the text on each page minimalistic, the pictures speak 1000 words. I love the diverse amount of characters within the illustrations and how inclusive they are” -Erin Murray
Summary: Pink is for boys... and girls... and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids – and their grown-ups – to express themselves in every color of the rainbow.
Author: Henry Cole
Rating: “my coworker read this book to me at work today and i was using every ounce of my strength to not burst into tears while standing at the register” - Emma
Summary: Henry Cole masterfully weaves together two tender storylines that result in a heart tugging wordless picture book that celebrates love, kindness, and compassion for animals.
Red: A Crayon’s Story
Author: Michael Hall
Review: “Well, this is freaking adorable.” -Kimberly
Summary: Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
Author: Rob Sanders
Review: “What a wonderful way to introduce tiny humans to the world of Pride! Beautifully illustrated and of course a true story. I see this being my new go to gift for tiny humans. It's educational and real without being boring.” -MissBecka Gee
Summary: In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world.
All Are Welcome
Author: Alexandra Renfold
Review: “Kindness and inclusiveness trump hate. I love this book. The art and text sing! Children will enjoy all of the detailed illustrations that bring the story to life. An uplifting book for anyone who needs a spark of hope.” -Dorthia Rohner
Summary: Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Stella Brings the Family
Author: Miriam B. Schiffer, Holly Clofton-Brown
Review: “The story shows a very diverse classroom and Stella discovers that she is not the only one with non-traditional family guests, as one classmate has two mothers and another brings his grandmother since his mom is deployed with the military” -Dolly
Summary: Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night.
Heather Has Two Mommies
Author: Lesléa Newmman
Review: “This children's book was one of the most challenged books of the 1990's. It has been banned from both schools and libraries because of same-sex relationships and same-sex parenting. When the book was published, same-sex couples were not accepted. It was challenged due to homosexuality, but it played a powerful role in talking about same-sex relationships. Towns across the country were attempting to ban this picture book and some critics going further and burning their copies. Some readers mentioned this book was the work of the devil. Some parents remarked, "if my kids read this once, they'll grow up to be gay". This is very illogical.” -Addison Moore
Pap, Daddy, and Riley
Author: Seamus Kirst
Review: “Papa, Daddy, and Riley is a beautiful and forceful book to read about the importance of cherishing unique family structures. The book poses the question, “What makes a family if every family is so different?”” -Alex D
Summary: Riley is Papa's princess and Daddy's dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley's classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn't want to have to pick one or the other.
This Day in June
Author: Gayle E. Pitman
Review: “Bursting with color and energy, this book captures some of the flair of a pride parade. It is a simple story about a pride parade and all the lovely people you meet there.” -Calista
Summary: In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.
Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag
Author: Gayle E. Pitman
Review: “Hooray, another picture book that shows that even though you feel as though you don't fit in, it is not you, it is the world around you that isn't letting you fit in.” -Laura
Summary: Set against the backdrop of San Francisco during the gay rights movement of the 1970s, Gilbert's story unfolds just like the flag he created: in a riot of color, joy, and pride.