Books are powerful—they can open kids’ eyes to aspects of the world that are unfamiliar, or make them feel seen and loved for who they are. These 18 books celebrating LGBTQ+ kids and families can act as both a mirror and a window—and they’re just a lot of fun to read!  

Pink Is for Boys, by Robb Pearlman, illustrated by Eda Kaban

This book is a wonderful entry point for kids to discover that life isn’t colour-coded! And, more importantly, they don’t need to stick to traditional gender norms. Boys can love pink, unicorns, and dressing up…and girls can love blue, baseball, and cars.

Love Makes a Family, by Sophie Beer

This vibrant board book helps preschoolers and toddlers see love in its many forms—and understand that it’s love that makes the family.

Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio, by Rigoberto González, illustrated by Cecilia Concepción Alvarez

It’s almost Mother’s Day, but Antonio feels unsure about what to write in his card to his mum and her partner Leslie, whose towering height and paint-spattered get-up has become a source of ridicule among his classmates. But, by the end of this bilingual book, he figures out how to express his appreciation for both of the special women in his life.

I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings, Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Based on Jazz Jennings’ real life, this book tells the story of Jazz, a little kid who, from a young age, recognises that she has a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. It highlights and explains the experience of being transgender in a way that kids can easily understand.

Julián Is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love

In this stunningly illustrated award-winner, little Julian is inspired when he sees three women dressed as mermaids and decides he wants to be a mermaid, too! But what will his Abuela think? Through Julian’s story, young readers learn about loving themselves and celebrating what makes them special…mermaid tails and all!

The Boy and the Bindi, by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera

The 5-year-old South Asian boy at the center of this story admires his mother’s bindi (the red dot Hindi women wear), and wants one for himself. His mother bucks the norm and lets him wear a bindi of his own, while also teaching him about the significance of this tradition.

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, by Kai Cheng Thom, illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching

The story of Miu Lan—a child who can change into any shape imaginable—subtly explores gender identity and fluidity.

My Footprints, by Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran

Thuy is different from some of her classmates—she’s Vietnamese American and she has two mums. When a bully’s jeers leave her feeling sad and lonely, she begins to imagine her life as other animals as she makes her way home in the snow. In the end, her mums help her see just how brave, beautiful, and wonderful she already is.

When Aidan Became a Brother, by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylana Juanita

When Aidan was born, he was given a pretty girl’s name, a pretty girl’s room, and pretty girl’s clothes…the problem was, none of it felt right. So, Aidan’s mum and dad helped him adjust to his new life as a boy. But soon, Aidan must prepare for another big shift: the birth of a baby sibling!

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

One of the original board books celebrating same-sex families (also check out Daddy, Papa, and Me by the same author), the littlest kids get to see a day in the life of a toddler with two mummies.

My Two Dads and Me, by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Izak Zenou

In the same vein as Mommy, Mama, and Me, this board book gives tots a glimpse into the life of a family with two dads. There’s also My Two Moms and Me.

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

Love is love, and a family is a family…no matter if your family is made up of two dads, or one grandma, or a bunch of stepsiblings. This sweet story celebrates families of all configurations.

The Adventures of Honey & Leon, by Alan Cumming, illustrated by Grant Shaffer

Written by real-life couple Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer as a tribute to their own dogs, this book is about a pair of rescue pups who have two jet-setting dads. The story follows Honey and Leon’s quest to keep their dads out of trouble on their glamorous overseas adventures.  

Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero, by Ellie Royce, illustrated by Hannah Chambers

The boy narrating this story tells readers about his Uncle Leo…who, when performing drag, transforms into his Auntie Lotta! After Auntie Lotta saves the day at the town Pride Parade, her nephew helps come up with the perfect way to celebrate both sides of his fabulous Auntie Uncle!

Prince & Knight, by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Your little one will probably be exposed to a lot of fairytales throughout childhood…and most of these feature the typical Prince-Princess pairing. That’s where this book breaks with norms, to tell a swashbuckling tale about a prince and knight who join forces to battle a monster…and find love along the way.

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

This colourful book gives kids a primer on the pride movement’s history!  For a similar kid-friendly explanation of historical events, check out When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis del Martin Built a Community, by the same author.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

Kiddos learn the origin story of the Gay Pride Flag, starting with the work of activist Harvey Milk.

My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me: These Are the Things We Found By the Sea, by Natalie Meisner, illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars

In this enchanting book, rhymes and illustrations bring to life the story of a family’s trip to the seaside.  

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