Designer Daddy’s Favorite LGBTQ Children’s Books for EVERY Family

May 31, 2021 | By Brent Almond | LGBT STUFF, THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

LGBTQ Children's Books

As a gay dad, it should come as no surprise that I read LGBTQ children’s books to my son. But what about all of you awesome straight parents out there? How many kid’s books with LGBTQ characters or stories have you read to your children?

I asked this question in a Facebook group of 1,200+ parents, and was disappointed that the most common answer was none. Even more surprising was that many hadn’t even considered it. Further, the majority polled didn’t know what LGTBQ children’s books were available… or if they even existed at all.

Luckily, Designer Daddy is here to help!

The list below contains books that are about same-sex parents or LGBTQ people; others address gender expression or identity. Some simply include queer characters as part of the story, without directly focusing on them. All are valuable stories to help normalize LGBTQ people and to teach children (and parents!) empathy and acceptance. It also sends the message that should your child ever identify as LGBTQ, you will be there to celebrate and support them.

There are certainly more exhaustive lists to be found, but this one is unique in that it’s DESIGNER DADDY APPROVED™ — meaning the stories are great, but the pictures are also pretty fabulous. Happy reading!

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BOARD BOOKS

 

ABC of Equality

An ABC of Equality

0-5 years • Buy on Amazon

Simple explanations pair with whimsical artwork teach children about the world we live in and how to navigate our way through it. “L is for LGBTQIA. Find the words that make you, you.”

 

Baby's First Words -- LGBTQ Children's Books

Baby’s First Words

0-3 years • Buy on Amazon

Brief text relates the daily lives of a baby and her two fathers. Features terms for objects, actions, and sounds on tabbed, die-cut board pages. Mis Primeras Palabras (en español)

 

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender

2-5 years • Buy on Amazon

This read-aloud board book helps begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe and supported way.

 

Daddy Papa and Me - Mommy Mama and Me

Daddy, Papa, and Me/Mommy, Mama, and Me

0-3 years • Buy on Amazon: Daddy, Papa, and MeMommy, Mama, and Me

Rhythmic text and sweet illustrations show a toddler spending the day with their two fathers/mothers. Also great at showing how same-sex parents often don’t adhere to gender norms — a caring parent is a caring parent, regardless of the task!

 

Federico and All His Families

2-6 years • Buy on Amazon

Roof to roof, Federico the cat visits all his families everyday: Tadeo and his grandparents, Anna and her two Moms, Paula and her two Dads… All of them different, all of them loved. Unconditionally. Federico y sus familias (en español)

 

Kevin Keller’s Favorite Colors

2-5 years • Buy on Amazon

Archie’s gay pal, Kevin Keller shares why this particular rainbow is so important to him. Each spread of this board book explores a stripe from the Pride flag.

 

Love Makes A Family - LGBTQ Children's Books

Love Makes a Family

0-3 years • Buy on Amazon

This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family…and that’s LOVE.

 

Our Rainbow -- LGBTQ Pride flag

Our Rainbow

2-5 years • Buy on Amazon

This nifty flag-shaped board book teaches the youngest of readers about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! Published in partnership with GLAAD to teach LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

 

People of Pride: Harvey Milk, Ellen, RuPaul

People of Pride series 

2-5 years • Buy on Amazon: RuPaul CharlesEllen DeGeneresHarvey Milk

This beautifully illustrated board book series celebrates the accomplishments of LGBTQ heroes and introduces children to the trailblazers who have shaped the queer community and the world.

 

Pink is for Boys

Pink Is for Boys

0-3 years • Buy on Amazon

An empowering and educational picture book that proves colors are for everyone, regardless of gender. Also available as a picture book (4-8 years).

 

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PICTURE BOOKS

 

A is for Activist

A is for Activist

3-7 years • Buy on Amazon

For parents and caregivers who want their kids to grow up in a world that celebrates environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.

 

And Tango Makes Three - LGBTQ Children's Books

And Tango Makes Three

2-5 years • Buy on Amazon

A longtime favorite in our family, And Tango Makes Three is the true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo. They’re observed coupling like their male/female counterparts, yet face challenges when trying to hatch an egg.

 

Harriet Gets Carried Away

Harriet Gets Carried Away

2-6 years • Buy on Amazon

When Harriet dons her special penguin costume to find the perfect party hats, she winds up on an adventure with real penguins! Can she find her way back to her dads in time for the party?

 

Heather Has Two Mommies - LGBTQ Children's Books

Heather Has Two Mommies

3-7 years • Buy on Amazon

One of the very first LGBTQ children’s books, originally published in 1989. This 2016 update features new illustrations and a more positive take on a young girl realizing her family is different from everyone else’s.

 

I Am Jazz - Trans books for kids

I Am Jazz

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for trans kids everywhere.

 

It Feels Good to be Yourself - LGBTQ Kids Books

It Feels Good to be yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others.

 

Julián is a Mermaid - Trans books for kids

Julián is a Mermaid

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

In this exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy filled with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. A radiant celebration of individuality.

 

Little People, BIG Dreams - LGBTQ

Little People, BIG Dreams series 

4-7 years • Buy on Amazon: Billie Jean KingMegan RapinoeRuPaulElton John

These books make the lives of these LGBTQ role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Also available, queer artists and icons Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Georgia O’Keeffe, Josephine Baker and David Bowie.

 

Prince and Knight / Maiden and Princess - LGBTQ Children's Books

Maiden & Princess/Prince & Knight series

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon: Maiden & PrincessPrince & KnightPrince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King

In these twists on classic fairy tales, iconic characters find true love in unexpected places… and people.

 

Niether - LGBTQ Children's Books

Neither

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

This colorful, simple and touching story promotes diversity and offers a valuable lesson to the youngest of audiences: it is our differences that unite us.

 

Papa, Daddy and Riley

Papa, Daddy, & Riley

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

Families are made of love in this heartwarming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one.

 

Todd Parr -- LGBTQ Children's Books

Todd Parr books

3-6 years • Buy on Amazon: The Daddy BookThe Family BookThe Mommy BookIt’s Okay to be DifferentWe Belong Together: A Book About Adoption

Todd Parr books are a staple in many a family library (including ours), and for good reason. Parr illustrates life through a child’s eyes using the simplest of words and pictures, always finding ways to be the most inclusive, regardless of the topic.

 

Peanut Goes for the Gold - Jonathan van Ness - trans - nonbinary

Peanut Goes for the Gold

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

A charming, funny and heartfelt picture book that follows the adventures of Peanut, a gender nonbinary guinea pig who does everything with their own personal flare. Written by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness.

 

Pride Harvey Milk - LGBTQ Children's Books

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

5-8 years • Buy on Amazon

Stirring text and evocative images combine to tell this remarkable story of the beginnings of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

 

Purim Superhero

Purim Superhero

4-9 years • Buy on Amazon

Nate loves aliens and he really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. What will he do? With the help of his two dads, he makes a surprising decision.

 

Real Sisters Pretend

Real Sisters Pretend

6-8 years • Buy on Amazon

Told with simple words and playful illustrations, this book touches on the topics of adoption, two moms, and multiracial family life.

 

This Day in June - LGBTQ Books for Kids - Pride

This Day in June

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

A whimsical and validating reflection of the LGBT community that welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.

Also included is a note to parents and caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways, as well as a reading guide full of facts about LGBT history and culture.

 

Uncle Bobby's Wedding

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding

3-6 years • Buy on Amazon

Produced in coordination with GLAAD, this adorable picture book is a positive example of same-sex marriage and a celebration of family.

 

When Aiden Became A Brother - Trans books for kids

When Aiden Became A Brother

4-7 years • Buy on Amazon

This sweetly poignant picture book celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming out to becoming a big brother.

 

Worm Loves Worm - LGBTQ Children's Books

Worm Loves Worm

4-8 years • Buy on Amazon

When a worm meets another 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?

 

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EARLY RADERS / CHAPTER BOOKS

 

Marlon Bundo - John Oliver - LGBTQ books

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

6-8 years • Buy on Amazon

HBO’s Emmy winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a children’s picture book about a very special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

 

Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate Than Ever

9-13 years • Buy on Amazon

Nate leaves his small town with dreams of starring on Broadway. His adventures include gradually discovering that he is gay.

 

The Breakaways -- LGBTQ books for kids

The Breakaways

8-11 years • Buy on Amazon

A beautifully honest graphic novel that looks into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids (including LGBTQ characters) learning to make room for themselves in the world.

 

Drama -- LGBTQ Children's Books

Drama

10-14 years • Buy on Amazon

Callie joins the middle school drama production, and drama ensues — both onstage AND offstage. In the process she befriends a pair of brothers, one of who is gay and the other bisexual.

 

George

George

8-12 years • Buy on Amazon

George knows she’s a girl, not a boy — though others don’t see her that way. She hatches a plan to get a part in the school play that will help everyone see who she really is.

 

Kid Activists

Kid Activists

9-12 years • Buy on Amazon

Moving, relatable and totally true childhood biographies of 15 changemakers, including gay politician Harvey Milk, trans activist Janet Mock, and author James Baldwin.

 

Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes

9-12 years • Buy on Amazon

Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?! This long-running series of graphic novels freatures LGBTQ characters amidst the otherworldly summer camp adventures. A recent family favorite!

 

Totally Joe

Totally Joe

9-13 years • Buy on Amazon

Twelve-year-old Joe shares his private thoughts (including a secret boyfriend) for a school assignment in a book that is both funny and heartfelt.

 

Two Grooms on a Cake - LGBTQ Children's Books

Two Grooms on a Cake

6-9 years • Buy on Amazon

The story of the first legally married gay couple in the United States. This beautiful book celebrates the love story of two pioneers of marriage equality, all through the baking of their wedding cake!

 

Who Was series -- LGBTQ Children's Books

Who Was/Is series 

8-12 years • Buy on Amazon: StonewallHarvey MilkElton JohnRuPaul

This wildly popular biography series (192 books and counting!) covers several key figures and events in LGBTQ history, including Harvey Milk, Stonewall, Elton John and RuPaul. LGBTQ artists and authors Frida Kahlo, Maurice Sendak, Walt Whitman and Leonardo da Vinci are also part of the series.

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While LGBTQ children’s books are becoming more common, they’re still not always easy to find in bookstores or libraries. This is where the work of being an ally comes into play. Buy these books for your kids, for your nieces and nephews, for birthday parties and Christmases. Request them to be stocked at the public library or your child’s school. Donate them to your church, synagogue or childcare center. Yes, this is part of the Gay Agenda — thanks in advance for your help!

Have a book to suggest for my list? Post it in the comments or shoot me a message!

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DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links — meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and purchase one of the books.

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comments

3 responses to “Designer Daddy’s Favorite LGBTQ Children’s Books for EVERY Family”

  1. […] Read books with LGBTQ characters and stories to your kids. While queer-positive children’s books are becoming more common, they’re still not always easy to find or carried in many libraries. While it’s also great to introduce your kids to LGBTQ TV shows, movies, music, etc., books are often the first and most important influence a parent shares with a child. Here’s a good starter list. […]

  2. There are so many amazing books in this post. Just 20 years ago when I had my daughter, it was much harder to find these incredible stories to share. The Todd Parr books are fantastic, love PINK IS FOR BOYS (bought it for BOTH of my nephews) and one that’s not in here is the King and King Series by Linda De Haan that we loved, as well. THANK YOU for such an exhaustive list – I’m so happy to see, “When Aidan Became a Brother” on here. Keep sharing lists and your own stories….our world is better when people understand their world better!!

  3. […] donations, find out what the policy is for getting new books approved and get involved. Here’s a list of some great books to get you […]

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