What if reading picture books that positively depict children’s lives may benefit kids? Do you want to do it?

You would, of course!

Every kid benefits from seeing the variety of the world reflected in the books they read, and every child deserves to see themselves and their family depicted in good ways in picture books. As you may be aware, LGBTQ kids have far higher rates of bullying, despair, and suicide than their heteronormative classmates. (The Human Rights Campaign has further information.) Children who read picture books depicting LGBTQ kids and families as thriving community members will feel more appreciated and live in a safer society. That is what we want for all children, right?

Here is a list of some of my favorite LGBTQIA picture books to get you started. Why not simply say LGBT instead of LGBTQIA? As more people become aware of the variety in gender and sexual orientation, the acronym continues expanding! Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual/allied are LGBTQIA. Will it ever get even longer? Maybe!

Remember that everyone can enjoy these novels.

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman. This is a quick, cute, and happy glimpse at the Pride festival and parade that occurs every June during Pride Month. It is the ideal novel for preschoolers since it rhymes, and an endnote provides further information and suggestions on how to approach young children about LGBTQ problems.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders. This wonderful picture book biography of Milk, a campaigner who wished to create a more equitable and hospitable environment for all people, tells her story. The story’s emphasis is on Milk’s unwavering goal and message of optimism, as well as the tale of the rainbow flag as a perpetual reminder that love is love.

A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary. The instructor asks pupils in a diverse classroom to describe their families. They are all distinctive. Some people have a mother and father, whereas others live with a grandparent, have divorced parents, or have step-siblings. LGBTQ families, parents with disabilities, foster families, and more exist. As a young kid listening to all of the descriptions, the narrator concludes that all families are unique because they are made up of individuals who love one another.

A Church for All by Gayle E. Pitman. I find it tragic that so many individuals continue to discriminate against others based on their faith, particularly the LGBTQ community. This book throws that justification for prejudice in the trash with its brief and straightforward words. The pictures show happy churchgoers of various sexes, sizes, colors, and orientations. The inside of the church is decked with rainbow flags and banners that declare that everyone is welcome and that God loves them all.

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack. Your new fairy tale is this! The narrative, which is told in a cheery rhyme, describes the royal family’s hunt for a wife for the prince. But nobody doesn’t appear to catch the prince’s attention until the prince receives assistance from a knight to slay a terrible monster that threatens the realm! The images will make you think of some well-known animated fairy tale films! Read Maiden & Princess, the companion volume, as well.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn. This straightforward book introduces kids to various gender identities, such as transgender, cisgender, binary, and more. “My name is Ruthie, and the girl is transsexual.” Age-appropriate and easily understood, the text. The overarching theme is acceptance; being who you are and feeling comfortable about who you are is OK. Definitions of the terminology used in the book are provided in a glossary at the conclusion.

Jerome By Heart by Thomas Scotto. This book was fantastic! Jerome and Raphael get along well. Raphael enjoys the way he and Jerome laugh together, the way his buddy stands up for him, and the tales he tells. His parents don’t understand the relationship, however. It is simple to adore Jerome, according to Raphael. Because readers may recognize the value of having kind, same-gender companions, the book is very adaptable. Others could infer a subliminal message regarding the legitimacy of LGBTQ partnerships. The tone of the narrative is often one of pleasure. Lovely.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, this charming tale is ideal for non-cisgender siblings. Everyone assumed Aidan was a girl when he was born, but when he learned he was a transgender male, his understanding and caring parents made the necessary changes to allow him to live his best life. Now that Aidan is set to become a brother, he wants to ensure that everything is just as ideal for his new sibling as it is for him.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall. Although Red is listed as a red crayon, he is a blue one. Everyone tries to make him “red” for him, and despite their good intentions, Red is sad. Even coloring things like strawberries and fire engines don’t seem to help. Berry then advises that he try coloring anything blue, and it succeeds! Now that Red can totally and completely be Blue, he feels content and true to himself.

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. Julián is inspired to get dressed up after seeing several fancy-dressed ladies on the metro. At home, he transforms his grandmother’s drapes into a mermaid’s tail and her fern into a magnificent cap. But rather than becoming angry with Julián, his grandmother invites him to a party where everyone is as well-dressed as he is. A nice and comforting tale about acceptance and personal expression.

Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman. Casey likes everything sparkly. He enjoys playing with trucks and blocks, but he also wants flashy skirts and jewelry for himself when he sees them. The adults are all welcoming and let Casey be himself, but his sister Jesse is dubious and maintains that guys shouldn’t wear glittery things. But when a different youngster makes fun of her brother one day at the library, Jesse defends him. This is a fantastic book about not attempting to force kids into one certain image of who they should be.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer. Stella is not aware that she is different from the other children, but she is aware that her parents are distinct from many of the families she is familiar with. Stella finds a way to incorporate her two fathers in the Mother’s Day event that her school class is organizing. The book provides a good message that families may vary in appearance, but the love is the same by depicting how schools can embrace families of all sorts.

What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg. You may be shocked to discover this picture book about how babies are produced on a list of LGBTQTIA children’s books, but it’s still great! This is a fully age-appropriate explanation of how things function, not one that has been dumbed down. The book normalizes all of the ways that families are formed, including the “typical” methods of adoption and surrogacy, and embraces the diversity of parents.

In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Polacco. I’ve said previously that if you turn to Polacco’s large body of work, you can always bet on finding a book to meet your requirements. A young black girl tells the tale while describing her wonderful family life. She was adopted into a multicultural household and had two mothers. They have warm, devoted families and beloved customs. Unfortunately, a neighbor approaches the family and expresses her disapproval of them directly. Use this book to discuss with your children how people are fearful of what they do not understand—a valuable lesson one of the moms in the story teaches her child—and to encourage them to consider how we may end prejudice and close hearts.

Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine. This little picture book is wonderful. Every weekday, several families engage in routine activities. However, there is always a unique event that allows families to interact with one another throughout the day. Children, parents, and other loved ones gather to enjoy the weekend together. Different types of families are shown in the images!

Choose your Reaction!