30 Great LGBTQ+ Picture Books for Kids

There was a time when LGBTQ+ parents and children had a hard time finding their family’s faces and feelings in the pages of children’s books. No more. Ever since Heather Has Two Mommies appeared on shelves in 1989, more LGBTQ+ books, geared to everyone from the youngest tots to questioning tweens and teens (not to mention to their parents), are filling the gap and helping families grow in understanding.

And of course, these books aren’t just for families with a direct connection to LGBTQ+ issues; everyone can use these books’ messages of unconditional love and acceptance.

no no 9780525554226 Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

This book shows that it doesn’t matter what your family looks like, the only thing that makes a family a family, is love! Each page showcases bright illustrations of diverse families doing special activities together, from baking a cake to finding a lost shoe. Your little one will love looking through the pages to see their own family reflected, and of course feel the love your family shares together.
(Ages 0 – 3)

9780593222768 Families Belong by Dan Saks, illustrated by Brooke Smart

Families Belong is a sweet look at the unconditional love within a family. The beautiful illustrations and rhyming text of families singing together, reading together, and going on a picnic together, feels like a warm hug. This one will be a comforting favorite for both children and parents.
(Ages 0 – 3)

9780525580126 My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Izak Zenou

This sweet board book features a diverse array of families with lesbian mothers going about their daily routines, including playdates, pool-dates, and bedtime reading. Published in 2019 with artwork by an acclaimed fashion illustrator, it’s a welcome follow-up to Heather Has Two Mommies. Don’t miss My Two Dads and Me by the same creators!
(Ages 0 – 3)

9781582462622 Daddy, Papa, and Me by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

Like the above author-illustrator duo, Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson add their unique touch to the rainbow-family compendium with Daddy, Papa, and Me and Mommy, Mama, and Me. Rhythmic text and charming illustrations make these board books a must-have for all families.
(Ages 0 – 3)

9780593108291 Patience, Patches! by Christy Mihaly, illustrated by Sheryl Murray

Children will love this adorable story about a dog named Patches and his growing family. When his moms bring home a new baby, Patches goes from being an only child to an older sibling. This change brings several adjustments, and Patches quickly learns that babies require a lot of patience.
(Ages 2 – 5)

9780593659496 I Think We Can! by G. M. King, illustrated by Jill Howarth

Visit the pride parade with this vibrant and colorful book. Filled with anticipation and excitement, The Little Engine That Could travels to the pride parade, but an untimely breakdown makes her worry that she will miss all the fun. Bright colors, simple text, and the familiar character make this story an excellent choice for little ones.
(Ages 2 – 5)

9781984815521 Téo’s Tutu by Maryann Jacob Macias, illustrated by Alea Marley

As Téo gets ready for his first dance recital, he makes one of the biggest (and most exciting) decisions of his life—what outfit to wear! Even though he’s nervous, Téo’s parents and teachers give him the encouragement he needs to choose the best costume for his special day. Dancers of all ages will adore this sweet story of self-acceptance and affirmation.
(Ages 3 – 5)

9780744063172 ABC Pride by Louie Stowell and Elly Barnes, illustrated by Amy Phelps

Teach your child inclusivity, acceptance, and the alphabet in this colorful picture book! They’ll learn that A is for “acceptance,” K is for “kindness,” and O is for “out,” among other lessons. Don’t miss this standout LGBTQ+ primer!
(Ages 3 – 5)

RELATED: How to Talk to Young Kids About Gender Identity

9780823454594 Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day by Elliot Kreloff

A little girl splits her time between her mom’s house and her father’s apartment, which he shares with his partner. She loves her predictable routine, so she is upset when her mom picks her up from school on Daddy’s day. However, when Daddy arrives with a new puppy in tow, she learns that not all surprises are bad.
(Ages 3 – 7)

9781536211511 Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Most children can relate to this heartfelt story about a girl who misses her mom. While Mommy is away on a work trip, Mama comforts the girl and distracts her with trips to the library and movie theater. But life isn’t quite the same until Mommy returns and reunites the family.
(Ages 3 – 7)

9780593462515 Family is Family by Melissa Marr, illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero

Little Chick walks to school with his two moms and notices the different families along the way. Even though they are all different sizes and configurations, Little Chick loves his family just as it is. Charming illustrations and the heartwarming message make this an excellent choice for back-to-school time or anytime.
(Ages 3 – 7)

9780399558009 Honey & Leon Take the High Road by Alan Cumming, illustrated by Grant Shaffer

Theater and film star Alan Cumming and his husband Grant Shaffer were inspired to chronicle the adventures of their rescue dogs during their dads’ travels. It turns out, Honey and Leon tail their dads and rescue them at every turn. In this adventure, the pups tail their dads to Scotland. But when Honey falls in love with a Scottish dog named Coll, can Leon keep their dads out of trouble all on his own?
(Ages 3 – 7)

9780593123638 Born Ready by Jodie Patterson, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Penelope is a boy. The only problem is that everyone else thinks he’s a girl. This empowering picture book shares the story of a young transgender boy who experiences the ups and downs of being true to himself. Heartwarming and inspirational, this picture book will touch your heart.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780763690458 Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

This gorgeous Stonewall Award-winning picture book stars Julián, a child coming to understand their gender nonconformity after a joyful encounter with three women dressed as shimmering mermaids. Julián fantasizes about dressing up like a mermaid too, and wonders what his Abuela will make of it in this celebration of self-love and individuality.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780593530061 Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson, illustrated by Daniel Sousa

This book explains the Indigenous legend of four Mahu (people with both a male and female spirit) who shared their healing arts with the Waikiki islanders. The islanders created a stone monument honoring the Mahu and their generosity, and visitors to Waikiki Beach can still see them there.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780593178638 Pink, Blue, and You! by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais

This adorable picture book uses cartoon-style illustrations and easy-to-understand questions to challenge gender norms. It’s an excellent book to jump-start conversations about embracing yourself and others, no matter what colors, clothes, toys, and activities they enjoy.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780525427544 Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Although Pete and Danny had not considered starting a family, that changed when Danny found a baby in a subway station. They adopted the baby, named him Kevin, and became a family. This heartwarming story is based on the author’s real-life experience of becoming a father.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9781984814609 My Rainbow by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, illustrated by Art Twink

This is a sweet story about a young transgender girl named Trinity who wants long hair. A trip to the beauty supply store turns up disappointing results, so Trinity’s mom crafts a colorful wig her daughter is proud to wear.
(Ages 4 – 8)

RELATED: Books That Celebrate Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Kids

9781536213430 Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick, illustrated by Juana Medina

Discover the history behind Pride month and how it became nationally recognized with this gorgeous picture book. Young readers will learn about Stonewall, AIDS, protests, and other significant events in an age-appropriate way. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in Pride history.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780593623138 Who You Will Be by Taylor Rouanzion, illustrated by Stacey Chomiak

Two parents welcome a new child, introducing them to every color of the rainbow and dreaming about the person they will become. It’s a heartfelt love letter about self-discovery and gender expression from a parent to their beloved child. It’s a fantastic title to read while snuggling your little one before bedtime.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780803741072 I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

With clarity and insight, Jazz Jennings shares her story of realizing at a very young age that, though she was being raised as a boy, she was truly a girl. An essential read for children and families of all experiences, I Am Jazz has an empowering message of celebrating what makes us unique and respecting everyone’s differences.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780593622841 Gorgeously Me! by Jonathan Van Ness, illustrated by Kamala Nair

Jonathan Van Ness, star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, pens a hopeful and inspiring book encouraging children to embrace the most unique parts of themselves. The upbeat messaging and colorful illustrations deliver a timely and much-needed message of self-love and confidence.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9781682636909 Leo and the Pink Marker by Mariyka Foster

Coloring on the wrong things is a common childhood mishap. This gently humorous picture book explores what happens when a young boy gets carried away and colors outside the lines with his pink marker. It’s perfect for fans of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780593381533 Olivette Is You by Nico Tortorella, illustrated by Melissa Kashiwagi

Celebrate your whole child with this gorgeous picture book. Joyful text and beautiful artwork deliver a feel-good message that children will love. The main character, Olivette, tells young readers they don’t have to confine themselves to one identity. They don’t have to pick and choose who they want to be because they are already everything.
(Ages 4 – 8)

9780735228740 I am Billie Jean King by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

In this illustrated picture book biography, young readers learn about Billie Jean King and her journey to become a world champion tennis player AND a champion for women’s rights. She’s a great role model for girls, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who feels like the world doesn’t take them seriously and is out to prove them wrong.
(Ages 5 – 8)

9780399555312 Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

Young readers can now learn the momentous and inspiring story of the Gay Pride Flag, created in 1978 by social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker. More than a history, Pride vibrantly illuminates the reach and timelessness of the rainbow flag, a global symbol of equality and inclusion.
(Ages 5 – 8)

9781524719524 Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Pride author Rob Sanders adds another title to the LGBTQ+ historical canon with Stonewall, the moving story of the 1969 police raid and ensuing protests that played a crucial role in the gay civil rights movement. Narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, this accessible and empowering book is an essential piece of pride history.
(Ages 5 – 8)

9780744085792 A Kids Book About Gender by Dale Mueller

If you’re looking for resources to help your child explore their gender and identity, this book is a must-have. The conversational tone makes the topic accessible and easy for young readers to understand. It’s an excellent book to start open and safe conversations about gender with your child.
(Ages 5 – 9)

9781583228500 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Rex Ray

Bailey dreams of unique and captivating dresses every night, but her family refuses to listen to her. One day, she meets an older girl who is sewing a dress and asks Bailey for help. Together, they bring Bailey’s designs to life. This award-winning picture book was one of the first titles to feature an openly transgender protagonist.
(Ages 5 – 9)

9780593523698 Queer and Fearless by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Harry Woodgate

Introduce your young reader to LGBTQ+ heroes throughout history with this collection of 17 short biographies. Each activist in the book is honored with a lively poem, a short bio, and a striking illustration. Anyone interested in learning more about the movers and shakers in the LGBTQ+ community will want to read this book.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2024.

The post 30 Great LGBTQ+ Picture Books for Kids appeared first on Brightly.

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