May 30

A Pride Month Book List for Kids of All Ages

by Casie Smith

June is Pride Month, and one way to teach kids about the important history behind this commemoration and celebration of LGBTQIA+ rights is through reading. In addition, children’s books can be used as a tool to highlight the beautiful diversity in families and identities.

These books, listed according to age group, are a mix of fiction, non-fiction, history-focused, and inclusive, and many highlight diverse family structures and gender identities and have characters who are racially diverse, too.

If you’re wondering how to choose books on the topic of gender and family diversity, Welcoming Schools, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, offers some guidance, such as avoiding books for the youngest kids that focus on family and individual diversity as posing a problem for the main character.

You’ll also find some books in here that are written by LGBTQIA+ authors, about LGBTQIA+ characters. These “own voices” books, in which the protagonist and the author share a marginalized identity (as defined by writer and activist Corinne Duyvis), are an important part of diversifying bookshelves.

Infants and Toddlers

Pride 1,2,3 by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Wednesday Holmes

This sweet counting board book about the Pride Parade and its origins will teach your little one math in brilliant color.

Daddy, Papa and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

Two dads play, giggle and snuggle with their toddler in this 2010 Stonewall Honor book.

Mommy, Mama and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

Two moms and their toddler go from playtime to bedtime in a classic board book.

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

The families in this read-aloud may look different from each other, but they all have one important thing — the most important thing — in common.

Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang

Some children have two (rooster) dads, while some have one (octopus) mom. This book’s fanciful drawings will produce giggles and an introduction to a variety of family structures..

Baby’s First Words by Stella Blackstone and Sunny Scribens, illustrated by Christiane Engel

With labels for sounds, feelings, household objects and more, this book featuring a toddler and her loving dads can be your child’s first adventure in word play.

Preschoolers

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

“Don’t get carried away,” Harriet’s two dads tell her as they set out to find the perfect party hats for her birthday celebration. But that’s a tall order for an imaginative kid.

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Anne Passchier

Do you know the meaning of each stripe in the Pride rainbow? If not, learn along with your kids as you celebrate family love.

This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

The Pride Parade is full of energy, sound, joy and color, and this book captures it all. Winner of several awards including the 2015 Stonewall Book Award and was cited as a life-changing book in The Advocate’s “40 Under 40” list, it features a guide to talking to kids about sexual orientation and gender identity.

What Riley Wore by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Linda Davick

Riley wears something different every day. One day it’s a construction hard hat, the other, a tutu. When a child on the playground asks whether Riley is a boy or a girl, Riley’s answer is as authentic as Riley’s style.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

On a subway ride with Abuela, Julian sees three gorgeous mermaids with flowing hair and glittering scales. What follows is a spectacular journey of identity and acceptance. This book’s numerous honors include the 2019 Stonewall Book Award.

They, She, He as easy as ABC by Maya Gonzalez and Matthew SG

Gender fluidity and identity are gently taught through the lens of kindness and inclusion.

When Aiden Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

As Aidan grew up, he came to an important realization: He wasn’t a tomboy or a girl who liked to wear pants; Aidan was “a different kind of boy.” Now that a baby is joining the family, Aidan learns what it means to be a big brother.

A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng

Through a teacher’s simple question, kids learn that the answers to “what makes your family special?” are never too hard to explain.

School-Age Children

They, She, He, Me: Free to Be by Maya Gonzalez and Matthew SG

This book about pronouns is really an age-appropriate way to teach kids about gender identity through nonbinary gender terminology.

Antonio’s Card by Rigoberto Gonzalez, illustrated by Cecilia Alvarez

A little boy who loves his mom and her partner, Leslie, uses his love of words to express his admiration for these two special people while navigating social pressure.

Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution by Rob Sander, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Kids might not know about the night of June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s West Village, and the uprising that gave birth to LGBTQIA+ rights. This is the first picture book to tell that story.

When you Look out the Window by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Christopher Lyles

Learn about the life and work of lesbian couple and famed gay activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon through the view from their window that overlooks San Francisco.

Umi and Uma: The Story of Two Mommies and a Baby by Nyesha and Samantha Davis-Williams

In this #ownvoices book, the authors, who are Black, wrote about their journey to motherhood as a dedication to their first child, Abigail.

Zak’s Safari by Christy Tyner, illustrated by Ciaee

Zak’s Safari (available for free online) is a book about donor-conceived kids of two-mom families. The safari, foiled by the rain, becomes a tour of his family and how they met and fell in love and made a baby, instead.

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco

Marmee and Meema raise their kids with lots of love and instill a sense of pride in what makes their family special.

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Casie Smith

Director of Learning

Casie is thrilled to bring her passion for nature-based, child-directed play and adult learning to her role as Tinkergarten’s Director of Learning. Casie has worked in the early childhood field for over 20 years as an infant, toddler and preschool teacher, an art teacher and a program administrator at various schools in New York and Massachusetts. Casie completed her Ed.S in early childhood education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a MA in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. In her home life, Casie, her partner and her two children can be found collecting nature treasures on family adventures and immersed in playful projects in their home art studio.

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