LGBT picture books: Top 10 for 2021

As it is LGBT History month, I thought I would give a roundup of the best LGBT picture books that I have come across. Whilst some of these focus on self-acceptance, others focus gender identity and others about love itself. My overall message is that love is love.

Why are LGBT picture books important?

Firstly, young children need to be able to see themselves in the books that they read. Also, inclusion and tolerance should be taught from a young age. Wanting to find a book on this theme? But not sure where to start? Keep scrolling and you’ll need to look no further! You can check out some of my other posts here #forbooksthathook for example bedtime stories to read or the best books with BAME characters.

Pink is For Boys Robb Pearlman, illustrated by Eba Kaban

Pink is for boys, what is the plot of the story?

This picture book challenges the stereotype that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. It follows the colours of the rainbow, highlighting how each is for both boys and girls.

From the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yum Ching

From Stars in the Sky: LGBT picture book about gender identity

Miu Lan has the ability to become anything from a bird, to a flower to a shooting star but can’t decide whether to be a boy or a girl. At school they must endure funny looks, teasing and comments like boys don’t do that. However, Miu Lan is very lucky. Their mother is very proud and supportive of whatever choices Miu Lan makes.

A book that challenges the ‘traditional fairy tale’ with an LGBT twist

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack

This LGBT picture book is all about love. A prince is in search of a partner and lots of princesses are seeking his attention. But when a charming knight comes along he is swept off his feet. My favourite aspect of this book is how delighted the family are that their son has found love at last. Therefore, this is a fantastic twist on the traditional tale.

A book about gender fluidity and cross dressing

Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Maria Mola

Sparkle Boy follows a little boy called Casey. He loves to play with blocks, puzzles and a dump truck but also loves things that glitter, sparkle and shimmer, much to the disapproval of his older sister Jess. But despite the feelings of his sister, the rest of his family are supportive. Nevertheless, with time Jess changes her mind. How? You’ll have to read it to find out.

An LGBT picture book about self-acceptance and gender fluidity

My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart

My Shadow is Pink is all about a little boy who wants to have a blue shadow like his Dad. However, he knows that his shadow is pink and different to his father’s. But with the support of his father he comes to a place of self-love, realising that his shadow might be pink but it does not change how his family feel about him.

A family with two mums

Heather has two mummies by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell

Heather has two mummies, follows a little girl called Heather who has two mums. This would be a great book to read to children prior to attending school. Although Heather has always had two mums, the kids at school don’t quite see things that way. In addition, it would also be an excellent book to read to a class, to acknowledge different family units. Also, a great LGBT picture book for lesbian families too.

A picture book that challenges the stereotypical view of boys and girls

She Rex by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Deborah Allwright

Have you ever heard the expression something is for girls or boys. For example, football is for boys, don’t girls. Whilst we all know that that is not the case, sometimes kids can still say such things. A wonderful, funny tale about a little boy, who says that his sister can’t play with dinosaurs. Little does he know that shortly he will be in for a big shock!

An LGBT picture book that champions that love is love

and tango makes three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

And Tango Makes Three is a book about the love between two male penguins. It is very much an LGBT picture book which shows that love is love. These penguins long for a family, like the other penguins. Dutifully they create a nest and even try to find an egg. However, they are unable to conceive. Luckily the keeper finds an egg that needs to be cared for and together they have their own family.

Why should you read this picture book?

Certainly, this is one of the few book LGBT picture books that I have come across that addresses two father families and their desire for a family. Therefore, an important book for some LGBT families. But is also a beautiful story too. So make sure to add it to your bookshelves.

Julian is a mermaid by Jessica Love

The next two LGBT picture books have to be two of my favourites. Julian is a Mermaid is about Julian and his abuela (grandma). He is inspired by the ‘mermaids’ that he sees at a local pool. Therefore, when grandma has gone for a bath, using objects around him, he dresses up like a mermaid. But what happens when Grandma comes out of the bath? Rather than berating him, she supports him. Want to find out how? Well you’d better get hold of a copy.

Lesbian families, LGBT families
Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love

Finally, Julian at a Wedding is a sequel to Julian is a Mermaid. In this story, he goes to a wedding (with two brides) with his abuela. But Julian gets up to mischief with his cousin, including jumping into muddy puddles! So, how will the family react?

Have you other books that you think should be added to this list? Comment below. Also, as ever, make sure to keep in touch. Or buy my book suggestions on bookshop.org

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