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After we shared our favorite LGBTQ+ ally books last week, I got a number of requests for LGBTQ+ books for kids. So I searched and found some incredible books to help explain the history and the struggles to kids of all ages.
I believe that it’s up to us, as parents, to teach our kids to be their authentic selves and to respect all people. If you’re looking for helpful kids’ books, I’ve put together 16 of the best, including my daughter’s favorites Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag and Except When They Don’t by Laura Gehl.
Best LGBTQ+ Books for Kids
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag with the very first picture book to tell its remarkable and inspiring history! This is my daughter’s favorite LGBTQ+ books for kids.
In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.
Ages: 5 – 8
Be Amazing: A History of Pride by Desmond is Amazing
In Be Amazing, drag kid Desmond is Amazing walks you through the history of the LGBTQ community, all while encouraging you to embrace your own uniqueness and ignore the haters.
Desmond is amazing―and you are, too.
Throughout history, courageous people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and RuPaul have paved the way for a safer, more inclusive society for LGBTQ individuals, and it’s thanks to them that people just like Desmond can be free to be who they really are.
Ages: 3 – 6
The Little Book of Pride: The History, the People, the Parades by Lewis Laney
Celebrate the LGTBQ community with this small but perfectly formed guide to Pride.
What began as a protest for gay rights following the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York has grown to become a global celebration of LGBTQ culture. In the 50-odd years since the original protest, and what is now widely accepted to be the first Pride march—Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970—Pride events are now attended by millions each year, celebrating how far we’ve come, recognizing where we have to go, and highlighting important causes in the queer community.
Ages: 12 – 17
Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present! by Arabelle Sicardi
This beautiful, bold book celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ+ people through history and from around the world—featuring dynamic full-color portraits of a diverse selection of 53 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes.
From Freddie Mercury’s contribution to music and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to James Baldwin’s best-selling essays and more, discover tales of courage, triumph, and determination. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this extraordinary book shows children that anything is possible.
Ages: 10 – 15
Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff
When Max starts school, the teacher hesitates to call out the name on the attendance sheet. Something doesn’t seem to fit. Max lets him know the name he wants to be called by–a boy’s name. This begins Max’s journey as he makes new friends and reveals his feelings about his identity to his parents. Written with warmth and sensitivity by trans writer Kyle Lukoff, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.
This is definitely one of our favorite LGBTQ+ books for kids.
Ages: 7 – 9
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
Ages: 4 – 8
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family . . . and that’s LOVE.
Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.
Ages: Baby – 3
Except When They Don’t by Laura Gehl
“This book encourages kids to practice self-acceptance and embrace all kinds of play in a lighthearted and cheerful way.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
This rhyming picture book encourages children to celebrate their individuality and lets them know that it’s okay to play with whatever toys they want to!
Girls perform to fairy songs.
Boys play football all day long.
Boys yell, “Boo!” and run away.
Girls like kittens and ballet.
Except when they don’t.
Ages 4 – 8
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. This delightful edition for a new generation of young readers features fresh illustrations by Laura Cornell and an updated story by Lesléa Newman.
Ages: 3 – 7
Daddy & Dada by Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster
Families can come in all shapes and sizes, and this heartwarming picture book affirms that no matter what your family looks like, love is the most important part!
This sweet, open-hearted book began as a love letter from authors Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster to their daughter—and became a joyous celebration of love, family, and acceptance for all to read and share.
An excellent choice for LGBTQ+ books for kids.
Ages: 4 – 8
I’m Not a Girl: A Transgender Story by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi
Based on a true transgender identity journey, the picture book I’m Not a Girl is an empowering story from writers Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi about a boy who is determined to be himself, illustrated by Dana Simpson.
Nobody seems to understand that Hannah is not a girl.
His parents ask why he won’t wear the cute outfits they pick out. His friend thinks he must be a tomboy. His teacher insists he should be proud to be a girl.
But a birthday wish, a new word, and a stroke of courage might be just what Hannah needs to finally show the world who he really is.
Ages: 3 – 6
Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
An empowering and educational picture book that proves colors are for everyone, regardless of gender.
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids and their grown-ups to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.
Ages: 4 – 8
RuPaul (Little People, BIG DREAMS by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of RuPaul, the shape-shifter, performer, supermodel, and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This witty and wise book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring performer’s life.
Ages: 4 – 7
Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate
Discover a wonderful grandfather-granddaughter relationship, as a little girl hatches the perfect plan to get her Grandad adventuring again.
Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. Gramps just made everything extra special. But after Gramps died, granddad hasn’t felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again.
This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost but to celebrate them.
Ages: 3 – 6
A Day of Pride: A children’s book that Celebrates Diversity, Equality and Tolerance! by Roy Youldous-Raiss
Day of Pride is a rhymed book celebrating love and pride, and teaching the importance of acceptance and tolerance. It encourages children of all kinds to be proud of themselves and accepting of others—exactly as they are. Invite your kid to an empowering and exciting journey on a magical day where everyone has a place.
It is a colorful day of celebration. Soon, the streets will be filled with people of all kinds, who will march in the festive Pride Parade. Miss Rainbow is ready to paint the city with her hues and colors, to fill every corner with love and pride. When the Witch of Shame appears, she threatens to ruin the great party.
The Family Book by Todd Parr
The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.
Parr’s message about the importance of embracing our differences is delivered in a playful way. With his trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book will encourage children to ask questions about their own families. Perfect for young children just beginning to read, The Family Book is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism, promote character growth, and strengthen family relationships.
Ages: 3 – 6
Have you read any of these LGBTQ+ books for kids yet? Are there any that we haven’t listed that you would recommend? Tell us below!
Looking for some good books for you? Don’t forget to check out our top picks for LGBTQ+ ally books!