Books are a great way of showing children just how truly diverse the world is! And diverse, LGBTQIA-positive books especially have something to offer to every kid and family. Children who come from homes that don’t fit traditional social stereotypes (i.e. nuclear families) can find their families in these stories, and children who don’t fit traditional stereotypes of gender or self-expression can find an example for themselves. For other children, books can help them explain people and relationships they may not see in their own home, opening a whole world of experiences to them. “Books centered around LBGTQ+ issues or LGBTQ characters teach children to be not just tolerant, but to be loving.”
So here are ten stories to share with your children, so that they can discover that there’s no wrong way to grow up!
The Boy & the Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera
A beautiful children’s picture book that showcases a young Indian boy’s fascination with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women.
Neither by Airlie Anderson
Because Neither is unlike both the rabbits and birds of the Land of This and That, it sets out to find a new place where all kinds of creatures are welcome.
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom and Kai Yun Ching, illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching
Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can’t decide what to be: A boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star?
All I Want To Be Is Me by Phyllis Rothblatt
Every child should have a chance to read Phyllis Rothblatt’s beautifully written picture book about learning to accept and express your own gender identity. Touching and inspirational, All I Want To Be Is Me encourages children to explore who they are and to honor their true selves.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
When Morris Micklewhite’s classmates won’t let him on the spaceship they’re building because of his love for a certain tangerine dress, his dreams inspire him to build his own. When he invites two of his classmates to join, they go on an adventure that shows Morris — and readers — that you can reach the stars just by being who you are. A 2015 Stonewall Award Honor Book, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is a testament to the importance of embracing each other’s uniqueness.
Sparkleboy by Lesléa Newman; illustrated by Maria Mola
Here is a sweet, heartwarming story about acceptance, respect, and the freedom to be yourself in a world where any gender expression should be celebrated.
Jack (not Jackie) by Erica Silverman, (2) illustrated by Holly Hatam
In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sibling doesn’t like dresses or fairies-but likes ties, bugs and the name Jack. Will the big sister and her family be able to accept Jack’s expression of his identity?
Timmi in Tangles by Shals Mahajan
Timmi’s life is full of tangles: Her mother expects her to go to school even though she’s a raja; Idliamma eats up all her idlis and everyone thinks Timmi ate them … and why can’t people understand that if you have a giant for a friend you can lift the roof to let the rain in? A chapter book made for older children, the story follows Timmi, an adorable child who only needs her wild imagination and her hard working mother.
The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith
A family-oriented treasury of stories from all different traditional and nontraditional homes, The Great Big Book of Families shows just how colorful the world can be. Different cultures, races, religions, family styles, and sexual orientations are incorporated into vibrant illustrations that kids will love poring over again and again.
One Family by George Shannon, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
From veteran picture book author George Shannon and up-and-coming artist Blanca Gomez comes a playful, interactive book that shows how a family can be big or small and comprised of people of a range of genders and races.
One Dad, Two Dad, Brown Dad, Blue One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dad’s by Johnny Valentine
In this witty and fun picture book, Lou, a young boy with two blue dads compares families with his friend who has a more conventional family. Lou’s friend has so many questions about the unfamiliar family, but Lou explains that his two blue dads are the same as any other dad and that their two families aren’t so different. The clever rhymes throughout help make One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dad both entertaining and accessible to kids, all the while demonstrating the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms.
Be Who You Are by Todd Parr.
In a brand-new companion to be loved classic It’s Okay to Be Different, author Todd Parr encourages kids to be proud of who they are inside.