Although PRIDE Month is celebrated in the month of June each year, these inclusive texts promote self-affirmation, dignity, and equality that are perfect to read all year long! The increased visibility and representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and their experiences, in children’s books is essential when working against prejudice, but also fosters acceptance. By recognizing and affirming these parts of one’s identity, we celebrate everyone’s freedom to be themselves.
The following selections can be found on Epic, an award-winning subscription service, which gives millions of families and classrooms instant, unlimited access to thousands of books, videos and quizzes from leading publishers to help kids everywhere read, learn and grow. I call it the Netflix for books! Not only is this resource free for educators, but they are also offering a discounted rate for the summer– only $9.99 for 3 months!
So join me, and read with PRIDE today, and every day!
In love & solidarity,
Some People Do by Frank Lowe
As a parent, discussing diversity with your child can be difficult, especially if you have your own questions. Some People Do boils this topic down to provide the simplest of answers. By the time your child finishes reading this book, they will have been introduced to all facets of people, without any one being more revered than the other.
An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing
From A to Z, simple explanations accompanied by engaging artwork teach children about the world we live in and how to navigate our way through it. Each right-hand page includes a brightly decorated letter with the word it stands for and an encouraging slogan. On the left, a colourful illustration and bite-size text sum up the concept. Cheerful people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and abilities lead the way through the alphabet.
- L is for LGBTQIA. Find the words that make you, you.
- N is for No. No means no.
- P is for Privilege. Be aware of your advantages.
- X is for Xenophobia. Ask questions and you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of.
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, this title welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a reading guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a ‘Note to Parents and Caregivers’ with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways.
Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag by Gayle E. Pitman
Gilbert Baker always knew he wanted a life full of color and sparkle. In his small, gray, flat Kansas hometown, he helped his grandma sew and created his own art whenever he could. It wasn’t easy; life tried over and over again to make Gilbert conform. But his sparkle always shone through. He dreamed of someday going somewhere as vibrant and colorful as he was.
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. Today the flag is everywhere, even in the small town where Gilbert grew up!
Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman
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 and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as “Jack”?
Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle! She can’t wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together. But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug! Jackie also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman
Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer, and glitter. When his older sister, Jessie, shows off her new shimmery skirt, Casey wants to wear a shimmery skirt too. When Jessie comes home from a party with glittery nails, Casey wants glittery nails too. And when Abuelita visits wearing an armful of sparkly bracelets, Casey gets one to wear, just like Jessie. The adults in Casey’s life embrace his interests, but Jessie isn’t so sure. Boys aren’t supposed to wear sparkly, shimmery, glittery things. Then, when older boys at the library tease Casey for wearing “girl” things, Jessie realizes that Casey has the right to be himself and wear whatever he wants. Why can’t both she and Casey love all things shimmery, glittery, and sparkly? 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. Sparkly things are for everyone to enjoy!
Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack & Isabel Galupo
Once in a faraway kingdom, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but she’s not as excited to go as everyone else. After her mother convinces her to make an appearance, she makes a huge impression on everyone present, from the villagers to the king and queen, but she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn’t quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met.
While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
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. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn’t have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life.
Then Mom and Dad announce that they’re going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning–from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does “making things right” actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.
Jacob’s Room to Choose by Sarah & Ian Hoffman
When Jacob goes to the boys’ bathroom he is chased out because the boys think he looks like a girl because of the way he is dressed. His classmate, Sophie, has a similar experience when she tries to go to the girls’ bathroom. When their teacher finds out what happened, Jacob and Sophie, with the support administration, lead change at their school as everyone discovers the many forms of gender expression and how to treat each other with respect.
Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Ian & Sarah Hoffman
As Mrs. Reeves class plans for their school show, Life on the Farm, all of the students, including Jacob, find themselves unexpectedly trying to understand Ari’s identity as they. Ms. Reeves helps Jacob through his confusion by saying, “From the outside, we can’t see who anybody is on the inside. So we have to trust them when they tell us.” After the show premieres and is a hit with family and friends, Jacob comes to full realization of what he, she, and they means and embraces Ari as who they are and the whole class reaches a new level of identity comprehension. This book introduces young readers to concepts of gender diversity and pronoun use and encourages an understanding of what gender is and how it needs to be respected for everyone, as who they are inside.
Willow and the Wedding by Denise Brennan-Nelson
Willow is back! This time she’s so excited to be flower girl for her favorite uncle and his boyfriend’s wedding. Willow just can’t wait to help make it perfect. The beach ceremony! The dinner! The dessert! The dancing! But there’s just one hiccup. Uncle Ash refuses to dance these days. A wedding with no dancing?! Willow makes it her mission to remind him of the joy he found in dancing years ago. On the evening of the wedding, Uncle Ash surprises them all and everyone dances in just the ways they were meant to.
A Little Bit Different by Claire Alexander
Meet the ploofers. The ploofers have been practicing something special that they all want to do at the exact same time—but wait! What’s that? One of them does something different! When one little ploofer goes against the usual flow of things, the rest of them turn their backs on him. But all it takes is for one person to recognize the beauty in being different to spark a change in attitude of everyone.
Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart
A must-have primer for young readers and a great gift for pride events and throughout the year, beautiful colors all together make a rainbow in Rainbow: A First Book of Pride. 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. With bright colors and joyful families, this book celebrates LGBTQ+ pride and reveals the colorful meaning behind each rainbow stripe. Readers will celebrate the life, healing, light, nature, harmony, and spirit that the rainbows in this book will bring.
I Love My Purse by Belle Demont
Charlie loves the bright red purse that his grandmother let him have. One day, he decides to take it to school. First his father, then his friends, and even the crossing guard question him about his “strange” choice. After all, boys don’t carry purses. They point out that they, too, have things they like, but that doesn’t mean they go out in public wearing them. But Charlie isn’t deterred. Before long, his unselfconscious determination to carry a purse starts to affect those around him. His father puts on his favorite, though unconventional, Hawaiian shirt to go to work; his friend Charlotte paints her face, and the crossing guard wears a pair of sparkly shoes. Thanks to Charlie, everyone around him realizes that it isn’t always necessary to conform to societal norms. It’s more important to be true to yourself. With its humorous, energetic illustrations, this book is ideal as a read-aloud or as a text for emerging readers. It can also be used as a starting point for a discussion about gender roles.
Jamie is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way by Afsaneh Moradian
There are so many fun things to play with at Jamie’s new preschool—baby dolls to care for, toy cars to drive—and Jamie wants to play with them all! But the other children are confused by Jamie’s gender expression . . . is Jamie a boy or a girl? Some toys are just for girls and others are just for boys, aren’t they? Not according to Jamie!
Join Jamie’s new friends as they learn the importance of cooperation, creativity, and empathy. Jamie Is Jamie is a great way to start a conversation with children about gender expression by:
Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst
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.
Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson
A young child and their family are having a wonderful time together celebrating Pride Day―meeting up with Grandma, making new friends and eating ice cream. But then something terrible happens: their dog gets lost in the parade! Luckily, there are lots of people around to help reunite the pup with his family.
This rhyming alphabet book tells a lively story, with rich, colorful illustrations that will have readers poring over every detail as they spot items starting with each of the letters of the alphabet. An affirming and inclusive book that offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year.
Julián at the Wedding (Epic! video) by Jessica Love
Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side.
Riley Can’t Stop Crying by Stephanie Boulay
Riley is inconsolable. He can’t stop crying and nothing is making him feel better. His sister, Regina, tries her best to help him figure out what’s wrong, but four-year-old Riley isn’t sure. It’s not his tummy, or his head, or the monsters under the bed. Regina and their dad try everything they can to make Riley smile, but nothing works until one day Regina has an idea. Maybe it’s Riley that is making Riley upset.
Regina knows what it feels like to be uncomfortable in her body, but she also knows that she’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things. So how can she help Riley see that he’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things? A charming story about a child’s search for his true self under the compassionate eye of his older sister.
Except When They Don’t by Laura Gehl
Children are often told by many different people about what toys they’re supposed to play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be simply because of their gender. This stereotype-breaking book invites children to examine what they’re told “boy” and “girl” activities are and encourages them to play with whatever they want to and to be exactly who they are! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Jamie & Bubbie: A Book About People’s Pronouns by Afsaneh Moradian
Jamie is excited to spend the day walking around the neighborhood with great-grandma Bubbie. They meet so many friends and neighbors throughout the day along the way . . . but Jamie has to correct Bubbie when she incorrectly assumes Ms. Wallace is a he and their server is a she.
“You can’t always know if someone goes by he or she or something else. Sometimes a person will tell you. If they don’t, you can use the person’s name or you can say they.”
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses. One day when Morris feels all alone and sick from their taunts, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo. Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.
Princess Kevin by Michael Escoffier
This year, Kevin is going to the school costume show as a princess. His costume is perfect but he knows that the best costumes are authentic. So he is outraged that none of the knights will partner with him and complete the look. Things don’t go quite a smoothly as he planned. Next year, there is only one thing for it. He will just have to be something even more fabulous.
Rainbow Boy by Taylor Rouanzion
A little boy attempts to answer one of grown-ups’ all-time favorite questions: “What’s your favorite color?” But with so many wonderful colors to choose from, he doesn’t know how to answer. He loves his pink sparkly tutu, bright red roses, soft yellow baby doll pajamas, and big, orange basketball. How will he ever pick?
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