8 children’s books that are perfect for Pride Month (and lists of more)
June is pride month! What better time to dive into a list of our favorite children’s books that do a great job of including LGBTQ+ characters, and retelling the history of the fight for civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Each of these children’s books are written for toddlers to preteens.
The list includes a wide range of wonderfully illustrated books, from ones that focus on families that have two dads or two moms, to ones about kids who are trying to understand why they feel a certain way, and even prince and princess stories with slightly different endings.
Here are eight of our favorite books about Pride:
1. Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
‘Love Makes a Family’ is a children’s book that describes how love is the most important thing that makes a family. The book also talks about how love is the many different things families do for each other and together. The book features all kinds of different families, including two dads, single parents, families of different races and more. With bright, beautiful illustrations, this book incorporates LGBTQ+ characters and families with a sense of normality that a lot of other books don’t capture.
2. Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Julian is a small boy who sees some women dressed up as mermaids on the train, with his Abuela. When he gets home, Abuela goes to take a bath. While she’s gone, Julian helps himself to some drapes and her makeup and dresses up like a mermaid himself. He thinks he’s going to be in trouble when his Abuela comes out and finds him, but instead, she hands him a string of pearls and takes him to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. The book is largely visual, and has very little text. A beautiful story of love and acceptance, this book is great for younger children below the ages of 7 or 8. The book has also won the Stonewall Award.
3. Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph
This children’s book is meant for slightly older kids and retells the story of the Stonewall uprising in a kid-friendly way that helps them understand the history of the event, and the very first pride parade. The book has more text, bigger words and is more suited to children over the ages of 10. Think of this one as a visual history book of the beginning of the LGBTQ+ movement.
4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
‘And Tango Makes Three’ is a sweet story based on two real gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York. Two boy penguins fall in love and want a baby penguin. When they see all the other penguins hatching their eggs, they attempt to hatch an egg-shaped rock. Realizing what was happening, their caretaker gives them a penguin egg that needs to be cared for - and soon after, Tango is born! The story is a sweet tale of a penguin family with two dads, and helps kids understand that families can have two dads too. This children’s book is great for small kids up to the ages of ten.
5. When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
This story is about a small transgender boy who gets ready to welcome his sibling into the family, and doesn’t know what color to paint the baby’s bedroom, or what clothes to buy, or what toys they’d like. He remembers how he felt trapped in a girl’s bedroom and with a girl’s name, when he was really a boy, and doesn’t want the baby to ever feel that way. In the end, he realizes that he might make some mistakes, but what's important is that he knows how to love the baby.
6. The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico, illustrated by Shiloh Penfield
‘The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived' is about a knight called Cedric who saves a prince and princess from a terrible, fire breathing dragon. As the three of them travel home, Cedric and the prince fall in love with each other. When Cedric brings them all home safely, the princess says she would like to be his bride, but Cedric asks to marry the prince instead. A story that’s very easy to understand, this book has a twist ending that normalizes gay relationships and marriages, and is best for kids from the ages of 5 - 8.
7. Harvey Milk: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno
This story is about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected politician, and how the pride flag came into being. It is another great explanation of the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. The end of the story culminates with the assination of Harvey Milk, and also highlights how the rainbow colors of the flag were projected onto the White House the day gay marriage was legalized in 2015.
8. Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Morris is a little boy who loves the dress up center at his school. Most of all, he loves a tangerine dress. All the other kids make fun of Morris because ‘boys don’t wear dresses’. But slowly, all the children learn to accept him for the wonderful boy he is, regardless of whether he likes wearing a dress or not. A beautiful story about acceptance, this book is great for kids from the ages of 4 - 7.
There are some great children’s books that document the LGBTQ+ experience, and can be used to help kids understand themselves better, normalize all different kinds of families, and even help them express their feelings better. If you’re looking for more great children’s books about pride, here are some lists you can check out:
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