As you might’ve read on Bookstr, LGBTQ+ representation in fiction has come a long way since their first appearance in 1930s America. There was a time where the community couldn’t find reassurance regarding their sexual identity, as most publishing companies forbid authors from writing any such story.
But it’s 2021 and fortunately, there is representation in every genre, even children’s literature. Adhering to an audience whose ages range from newborn to tweens, these 10 books are perfect for any parent or individual looking to find a message about genuine love and support.
My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten
This 2019 board book follows the daily routine of a variety of lesbian moms and their children. From playdates with friends to being sung a goodnight lullaby in their arms, My Two Moms and Me is a sweet and simple story about children spending the day with their mothers in many different ways.
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack
After a vicious dragon attacks the castle, a prince and a knight come together in order to battle the monster once and for all. It’s during the fight that the two find something else shared between them: true love. This cute storybook gives readers a look at romance found in an unexpected situation.
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Love’s debut book is about Julián, a young child who comes to understand his identity after spotting three women extravagantly dressed up one day. As he thinks nonstop about their beauty, Julián finds himself wanting to dress like them but wonders what his Abuela will think when she finally sees him how he sees himself.
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
With illustrations done by Kristyna Litten, this book gives an easy-to-understand history lesson on the LGBTQIA+ community and the milestones they’ve reached in recent years. This Day in June also provides a short guide on how to talk to children about sexuality and gender identity.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn
Whether you consider yourself a girl, boy, neither, or both, sexual identity is something that should be your own and accepted. In a simple and straightforward way, Thorn’s picture book covers gender identity as a whole for the younger audience. With beautifully colorful art and understanding terms, children can learn about themselves and those around them.
Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
(TW: hate crime, transphobia). Bunker’s novel follows Zenobia July, who has just begun living openly as a girl when she starts a new school in Maine. As she is learning to grow comfortably into the person she always knew she was, Zenobia faces online bullying and must use her hacking skills to get to the bottom of it, finding a home to call her own along the way.
Stonewall: A Building. An uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders
Younger readers and parents can find a lesson on the Stonewall Inn and the history it holds for the LGBTQIA+ community in Sanders’ 2019 picture book. It provides a younger audience with an understanding of the importance this night holds, and how it paved the way for future generations.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
Little Jacob has just discovered he loves wearing dresses, despite his classmates saying he can’t wear ‘girl’ clothes because he’s a boy. Follow the kind story of a child (and his family) who is learning to break traditional gender roles in order to be happy as himself.
When Aiden Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
This winner of the 2020 Stonewall Book Award follows Aidan through his transgender journey. Follow Aidan from the moment he decides that he was born to be a boy to his parents announcing that he’ll become a big brother soon. Lukoff’s book is a sweet story that reassures trans children about their identity and anyone’s who’s worried about being the perfect older sibling.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
It doesn’t matter if you have one parent, two moms, two dads, or one of each, all that matters for families is one thing: love. This fun board book shows toddlers and parents the many different kinds of families in their happiest moments, surrounded and completely with love.
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