Celebrate Pride Month with These Heartwarming LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

The idea for this list came after I recently bought the amazing book Fille Garçon (or The Way I Am in Italian) by Hélène Druvert for my daughter. Unfortunately, the book hasn’t been translated into English yet, so I decided to look for some great alternatives with the hope of creating the perfect inclusive children’s library, celebrating diversity and acceptance.

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Celebrating Pride Month with your children or students is a wonderful opportunity to foster acceptance, self-expression, and a sense of belonging. Picture books are powerful tools that can introduce young readers to diverse stories and characters, helping them understand and appreciate the richness of different identities and experiences. 

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for children is more important than ever. Each story provides a unique perspective that can help children understand and appreciate the beauty of different identities. Remember, these lessons extend beyond the pages of a book and into the real world, fostering empathy and kindness in young hearts.

Don’t miss out on Barnes & Noble’s Buy One Get One Free promotion—it’s the perfect time to enrich your library with these essential reads. Let’s teach our children that everyone deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are.

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Acceptance and Self-Expression

Red: A Crayon’s Story

by Michael Hall

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Red: A Crayon’s Story” is an uplifting tale about self-discovery and acceptance. Michael Hall’s story of a crayon who is mislabeled and must find his true color is both humorous and poignant. The bright and engaging illustrations add to the book’s charm, making it a wonderful read for young children.

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Pink Is for Boys

by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban

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Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Pink Is for Boys” breaks down gender stereotypes with fun and colorful illustrations. Robb Pearlman’s narrative is simple yet powerful, promoting the idea that colors are for everyone. Eda Kaban’s vibrant illustrations make this book a delightful and educational read for young children.

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Neither

by Airlie Anderson

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Neither” explores identity and belonging through the story of a creature that is neither bird nor bunny. Airlie Anderson’s imaginative narrative and stunning illustrations create a magical world where being different is celebrated. This book is a beautiful tale of acceptance and self-love.

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My Shadow is Purple

by Scott Stuart

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“My Shadow is Purple” is a captivating story about a child who doesn’t fit into the traditional categories of boys and girls. Scott Stuart’s narrative, combined with expressive illustrations, encourages children to embrace their unique identities and be proud of who they are, promoting acceptance and self-expression.

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Sparkle Boy

by Leslea Newman, Illustrated by Maria Mola

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Sparkle Boy” tells the story of Casey, a young boy who loves all things glittery and shiny. Leslea Newman’s narrative, coupled with Maria Mola’s colorful illustrations, addresses themes of acceptance and gender expression. This book encourages children to embrace their interests and be true to themselves.

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Butterfly Child

by Silvia Lopez, Illustrated by Marco Forster

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Butterfly Child” is a touching story about a child with a rare skin condition known as EB. Silvia Lopez’s gentle narrative and Marco Forster’s soft illustrations celebrate the resilience and courage of children facing medical challenges, promoting understanding and empathy.

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Different Kinds of Fruit

by Kyle Lukoff

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Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Literacy Level: Ages 8-12
“Different Kinds of Fruit” is an engaging middle-grade novel that tackles issues of identity, family, and friendship. Kyle Lukoff’s narrative follows Annabelle, who learns about her father’s transition and navigates her own understanding of gender. This book is a heartfelt exploration of acceptance and the complexities of family dynamics.

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Melissa

by Alex Gino

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 8-12
“Melissa” (previously published as “George”) is a powerful story about a transgender girl who wants to be seen as who she truly is. Alex Gino’s heartfelt narrative provides an authentic and moving perspective on gender identity and the importance of understanding and support from friends and family.

Buy it at Barnes and Noble


Pride and LGBTQ+ History

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Steven Salerno

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Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Literacy Level: Ages 5-8
“Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” tells the inspiring story of Harvey Milk and the creation of the Pride flag. Rob Sanders’s narrative is both educational and uplifting, detailing Milk’s contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Steven Salerno’s vibrant illustrations bring this historical moment to life, making it a must-read for young readers interested in LGBTQ+ history and civil rights.

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Be Amazing: A History of Pride

by Desmond Napoles, Illustrated by Dylan Glynn

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 5-8
“Be Amazing: A History of Pride” celebrates the history of Pride and the achievements of LGBTQ+ activists. Written by Desmond Napoles, also known as Desmond Is Amazing, this book is filled with colorful and engaging illustrations by Dylan Glynn. It encourages children to be proud of who they are and educates them about the importance of Pride in a fun and accessible way.

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The Adventures of Honey & Leon

by Alan Cumming, Illustrated by Grant Shaffer

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“The Adventures of Honey & Leon” is a delightful story written by actor Alan Cumming and illustrated by Grant Shaffer. It follows two dogs, Honey and Leon, on their adventurous escapades. The book is charmingly illustrated and captures the joy of companionship and adventure, making it an entertaining read for both children and parents.

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Diverse Families

The Purim Superhero

by Elisabeth Kushner, Illustrated by Mike Byrne

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Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“The Purim Superhero” celebrates Jewish culture and LGBTQ+ themes through the story of a boy named Nate who has two dads. Elisabeth Kushner’s narrative is engaging and heartwarming, while Mike Byrne’s vibrant illustrations bring the festive atmosphere of Purim to life. This book is a wonderful addition for families looking to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

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And Tango Makes Three

by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole 

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Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“And Tango Makes Three” tells the true story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who raise a chick together in the Central Park Zoo. Written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, and illustrated by Henry Cole, this book is a beautiful tale of family and love. Its heartwarming story and engaging illustrations make it a beloved classic for young readers.

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Worm Loves Worm

by J.J. Austrian, Illustrated by Mike Curato

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Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Worm Loves Worm” is a delightful story about two worms who fall in love and decide to get married. J.J. Austrian’s simple yet profound narrative is complemented by Mike Curato’s fun and inclusive illustrations. This book challenges traditional wedding norms and celebrates love in all its forms, making it a wonderful read for children.

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Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

by Nina LaCour, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 3-7
“Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle” is a tender tale featuring a loving two-mom family. Nina LaCour’s narrative, combined with Kaylani Juanita’s charming illustrations, captures the emotions of a child who misses her mommy during a work trip. This book beautifully explores family bonds and the special place a child holds between her two mothers.

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Stella Brings the Family

by Miriam B. Schiffer, Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Stella Brings the Family” tells the story of Stella, who has two dads, and how she celebrates Mother’s Day at school. Miriam B. Schiffer’s heartwarming tale, complemented by Holly Clifton-Brown’s lively illustrations, emphasizes the importance of family diversity and love, regardless of its structure.

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A Family Is a Family Is a Family

by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Qin Leng

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Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“A Family Is a Family Is a Family” showcases the uniqueness of each family through the eyes of a child. Sara O’Leary’s inclusive narrative and Qin Leng’s delightful illustrations celebrate all kinds of families, from those with many children to those with same-sex parents, highlighting that love is what makes a family.

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Love Makes a Family

by Sophie Beer

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Goodreads Rating: 4.6/5
Literacy Level: Ages 1-4
“Love Makes a Family” is a vibrant and joyful board book that illustrates the many ways families show love. Sophie Beer’s colorful and inclusive illustrations make this book perfect for young children, emphasizing that no matter what a family looks like, love is the most important part.

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The List of Things That Will Not Change

by Rebecca Stead

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Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Literacy Level: Ages 8-12
“The List of Things That Will Not Change” is a comforting story about family changes and personal growth. Rebecca Stead’s narrative follows Bea, a young girl navigating her parents’ divorce and her father’s upcoming marriage to his boyfriend. This book is a gentle exploration of acceptance, resilience, and the enduring nature of family love.

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Families Can

by Dan Saks, Illustrated by Brooke Smart

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 2-5
“Families Can” is a charming board book that celebrates the diversity of families. Dan Saks’s rhyming text and Brooke Smart’s cheerful illustrations highlight various family structures and the love that binds them. This book is perfect for introducing young children to the concept that families come in all shapes and sizes.

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Mommy, Mama, and Me

by Leslea Newman, Illustrated by Carol Thompson

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 1-4
“Mommy, Mama, and Me” is a delightful board book that follows a day in the life of a toddler with two moms. Leslea Newman’s sweet and simple text, paired with Carol Thompson’s engaging illustrations, makes this book a perfect choice for very young children, showcasing the everyday love and care in a family with same-sex parents.

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Same-Sex Relationships

Prince & Knight

by Daniel Haack, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis

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Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Prince & Knight” is a refreshing take on the classic fairy tale, featuring a romance between a brave prince and a valiant knight. Daniel Haack’s engaging storytelling, combined with Stevie Lewis’s enchanting illustrations, creates a magical narrative that celebrates love and courage in all forms.

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A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss, Illustrated by EG Keller

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Goodreads Rating: 4.8/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
If you’ve heard about John Oliver, then you probably know who Marlon Bundo is.

“A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” is a charming story about love and democracy, featuring the adventures of a bunny named Marlon Bundo. Written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller, this delightful book uses humor and warmth to teach children about acceptance and the importance of standing up for what is right.

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Maiden & Princess

by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, Illustrated by Becca Human

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Maiden & Princess” is a captivating fairy tale about a maiden who falls in love with a princess. Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo weave a beautiful story of love and acceptance, brought to life by Becca Human’s vibrant and colorful illustrations. This book is a wonderful addition to any child’s library.

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Love, Violet

by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

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Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Love, Violet” is a sweet and tender story about a girl named Violet who has a crush on her classmate. Charlotte Sullivan Wild’s gentle narrative and Charlene Chua’s lovely illustrations capture the innocence and beauty of first love, making this book a heartwarming read for young children.

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Jerome by Heart

by Thomas Scotto, Illustrated by Olivier Tallec

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Jerome by Heart” is a touching story about the deep friendship between two boys, Raphael and Jerome. Thomas Scotto’s poetic prose and Olivier Tallec’s expressive illustrations beautifully convey the emotions of friendship and affection, making this book a gentle and poignant read for young children.

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LGBTQ+ Characters in Adventures

Julian is a Mermaid

by Jessica Love

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Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Julian is a Mermaid” is a gorgeous story about a boy who dreams of becoming a mermaid. Jessica Love’s narrative is both enchanting and empowering, celebrating individuality and self-expression. The vibrant and whimsical illustrations beautifully capture Julian’s journey, making this book a visual and emotional delight.

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The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish

by Lil Miss Hot Mess, Illustrated by Olga de Dios

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8

“The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” is a fun and vibrant take on a classic children’s song. Written by Lil Miss Hot Mess and illustrated by Olga de Dios, this book celebrates drag culture with colorful and lively illustrations. It’s a joyful and inclusive read that encourages children to express themselves freely.

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Lily and Dunkin

by Donna Gephart

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 10+
“Lily and Dunkin” is a dual-narrative story about a transgender girl and a boy with bipolar disorder. Donna Gephart’s heartfelt narrative explores themes of identity, friendship, and mental health, providing an insightful and compassionate look at the challenges and triumphs of being true to oneself.

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Bunnybear

by Andrea J. Loney, Illustrated by Carmen Saldaña

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Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Bunnybear” is a sweet story about a bear who feels like a bunny. Andrea J. Loney’s gentle narrative and Carmen Saldaña’s whimsical illustrations create a heartwarming tale of identity and self-acceptance. This book is perfect for teaching children about embracing who they are and celebrating their unique qualities.

Buy it at Barnes and Noble


Gender Identity

When Aidan Became a Brother

by Kyle Lukoff, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

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Goodreads Rating: 4.6/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“When Aidan Became a Brother” is a heartwarming story that explores themes of identity, family, and love. Kyle Lukoff’s touching narrative about a transgender boy preparing for the arrival of a new sibling is beautifully complemented by Kaylani Juanita’s inclusive and vibrant illustrations. This book is a wonderful resource for teaching children about acceptance and the importance of being true to oneself.

Buy it at Barnes and Noble

I Am Jazz

by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

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Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“I Am Jazz” is a deeply personal and inspiring story based on the real-life experiences of Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings tell Jazz’s story with honesty and warmth, while Shelagh McNicholas’s illustrations add a gentle and supportive touch. This book serves as an excellent introduction to gender identity for young readers.

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My Rainbow

by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, Illustrated by Art Twink

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Goodreads Rating: 4.6/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“My Rainbow” is a beautifully crafted tale of love and acceptance, written by mother-daughter duo DeShanna and Trinity Neal. The story follows a mother’s journey to create the perfect wig for her transgender daughter, emphasizing the importance of listening and supporting loved ones. Art Twink’s illustrations are colorful and affirming, making this book a joyful celebration of identity.

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It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

by Theresa Thorn, Illustrated by Noah Grigni

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Goodreads Rating: 4.6/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“It Feels Good to Be Yourself” is an accessible and inclusive introduction to gender identity. Theresa Thorn’s straightforward and compassionate narrative is paired with Noah Grigni’s warm and tender illustrations, making this book an excellent resource for teaching young children about the diverse spectrum of gender identities.

Buy it at Barnes and Noble

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope

by Jodie Patterson, Illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

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Goodreads Rating: 4.4/5
Literacy Level: Ages 4-8
“Born Ready” tells the true story of Penelope, a transgender boy, through the loving words of his mother, Jodie Patterson. This uplifting book is filled with vibrant illustrations by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow and highlights the importance of acceptance and being true to oneself. It’s an inspiring read for children and parents alike.

Buy it at Barnes and Noble

If you enjoyed this list, please share it with your friends and fellow book lovers!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations, so leave a comment below and join the conversation about creating inclusive and diverse children’s libraries.

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