Someone recently asked me how I celebrate Pride Month as a queer woman, and at first, I wasn’t sure. I love seeing my city filled with even more rainbows and glitter than usual (I already live in a gayborhood), but I don’t do much myself. Clubs or bars aren’t really my scene these days. And it’s usually way too hot for me to spend much time at the outdoor festivities under the summer sun. But my favorite thing, honestly, is spending time teaching my son about pride in ways that he can understand. Some of the books on this list are ones he’s read and enjoyed, while others were recommended to me by trusted parents who have seen how they affected their own children firsthand. If you only do one thing this pride month, educate your kiddos on being more open-minded, compassionate people and let them know that no matter their gender or sexuality, you’ll always have their back. Here are some books that will help you with that:
Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton, Illustrated by Dougal MacPherson
This is the first book I ever bought my son to teach him about gender. Thomas is a teddy bear who is scared to tell their human that they don’t actually think they are a boy teddy. Thomas wants to go by Tilly, and in the story, we see how all of Tilly’s friends react with love and understanding when they learn about her transition.
This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, Illustrated by Kristyna Litten
If you’re looking for something that is Pride-specific, this one’s it. Pitman’s Stonewall Award-winning book introduces young readers to the history of pride (in a fun, age-appropriate manner) alongside a diverse cast of characters. It also gives kiddos a front-row seat at witnessing how pride might be celebrated, and the people they might meet there.
It Feels Good to be Yourself by Theresa Thorn, Illustrated by Noah Grigon
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Introduce gender identity to youngsters with 'It Feels Good To Be Yourself' by @theresathorn Theresa Thorn. This book explains in easy to understand text how all people have different genders. I love the straightforward explanations and the lovely, bright illustrations by @ngrigni Noah Grigni; this book is 100% positivity and inclusiveness for children of ANY age (the publisher lists reading age 4-8yrs). 🙌 🙌 🙌 "Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between." 'This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.' – Macmillan
This easy to read gem was written by the mother of a gender non-conforming child and illustrated by a trans nonbinary artist. It makes for an excellent introduction to discussing gender with the very youngest of kiddos, but can also be a great resource for anyone who is just beginning to introduce their children to the concept of gender.
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
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❤🧡💛happy pride fellow lgbtq+💚💙💜COMING THROUGH WITH A NEW BOOK! pick up WHEN AIDAN BECAME A BROTHER at your local book store. A powerful yet gentle story about a boy (who happens to be trans) becoming a big brother. How will he figure out the best way to prepare for his new sibling? How can he make sure this baby is loved and happy? How does a boy become the best big brother? read and you'll find out 😉 Written by Kyle Lukoff Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita Published by Lee & Low #pridemonth #lgbt #transvisibility #transgender #transboy #illustration #illustration #kidslit #picturebooks #childrensillustration #childrensbooks #blackartists
Sometimes it’s not just about reading a book that explains things. Sometimes it’s about simply having positive representation, and that’s exactly what Lukoff’s book does. In it, Aidan (whose family thought was a girl when they were born) comes out as a trans boy to his family. After he settles into his new life though, he finds out he’s going to become a big brother. It’s a sweet and relatable story that will easily be beloved by children and adults alike.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldiccio, Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Whether you’re trying to explain to your kids why the gender binary is nonsense or you simply want to help your child get through a moment of feeling ostracized, Morris Micklewhite is the book you’ll want to read with your little one. When young Morris begins to get teased at school for wearing a tangerine dress, he finds a way to use his imagination and artistic skills to get through it all. It’s a book about being yourself, eliminating the expectations of the gender binary, and having fun in the process.
A Tale of Two Mommies: A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager, Illustrated by Mike Blanc
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One of my girls picked up A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager at the library last year and we read it approximately 12,453 times before it was due. The cute story plus the rhymes made it an instant hit! . In this book 3 little kids are at the beach. One kid has two moms and the other kids ask him questions about it, like, “who is your mom for riding a bike, and who is your mom for flying a kite.” Sometimes the answer is Mama, sometimes it’s Mommy, sometimes it’s both! . This is a cute little book that shows kids that this family is a loving family that does all the same things any other family does. There is also a Tale of Two Daddies. #booklove #teachersforsocialjustice #readeveryday #bookstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #whattoreadnext #readeveryday #readeverywhere #readtoyourkids #socialjusticebooks #pridemonth #ataleoftwomommies #vanitaoelschlager #lgbtqbooks
If you want to get more specific about depicting a same-sex parenting couple, these two books by Vanita Oelschlager are perfect for youngsters. They broach the subject in the most organic way: some children want to ask what it’s like for their friend to have two mommies (or two daddies, respectively). It’s supremely innocent and informative for littles, with fun illustrations to boot.