Parents

15 Children’s Books That Feature LGBTQ Characters

Exposing all children to inclusive books is important in so many ways. A diverse picture book library offers children with plenty of “mirrors” (in which they see their own experiences reflected back at them) and “windows” (through which they learn to connect with and care about others who are different from them).

These 15 picture books all put LGBTQ characters front and center, and they’re a mix of “any child” books ― in which the characters’ sexual orientation or gender identity is not central to the plot ― as well as those that make LGBTQ identities a part of the storyline.

They’ll help even the youngest readers begin to grapple with issues such as gender norms and discrimination — all while appealing to their sense of imagination with beautiful pictures and big adventures.

1
“It Feels Good To Be Yourself”
Henry Holt and Co./Amazon
This informative, straightforward book will arm both younger readers and their parents with important vocabulary to have thoughtful, informed conversations about gender identity. (Available here.)
2
“Everywhere Babies”
HMH Books for Young Readers/Amazon
This sweet board book is full of adorable babies — and families of all backgrounds. (Available here.)
3
“And Tango Makes Three”
Little Simon/Amazon
This now-classic board book tells the true tale of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo that fell in love and made a family. (Available here.)
4
“Introducing Teddy”
Bloomsbury USA Children’s/Amazon
This “gentle” book about gender identity and friendship was written by a former teacher who was inspired by a family member’s own transition, which she wanted to explain to her young son. (Available here.)
5
“Love Makes A Family”
Dial Books/Amazon
This sweet board book shows young readers that what binds a family, no matter how it is composed, is love. (Available here.)
6
“Julián Is A Mermaid”
Candlewick/Amazon
This empowering story about Julián and his mermaid costume is all about freedom of expression and self-love. (Available here.)
7
“The Family Book”
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Amazon
Todd Parr’s exuberant books are perennial hits with young readers, and this celebration of diverse families is no different. (Available here.)
8
“Mommy, Mama, and Me”
Tricycle Press/Amazon
This rhyming book celebrates everyday family activities, from bath time to playing games. (Available here.)
9
“Stella Brings The Family”
Chronicle Books/Amazon
What does Stella, who has two daddies, do when her class has a Mother’s Day celebration? This story will remind kiddos of the true meaning and value of family. (Available here.)
10
“Uncle Bobby’s Wedding”
little bee books/Amazon
This beautifully illustrated book teaches children about acceptance and helps them understand that just because a family gains a new member doesn’t mean there’s less love to go around. (Available here.)
11
“The Adventures of Honey & Leon”
Random House Books for Young Readers/Amazon
This book by actor Alan Cumming shares the adventures of two rescue pups when their dads are away. (Available here. )
12
“The Misadventures Of The Family Fletcher”
Yearling/Amazon
The Fletcher family is full of fun and mischief — and just happens to be headed by two dads. This series will appeal to slightly older kiddos ready to dive into chapter books. (Available here.)
13
“All Kinds Of Families”
Random House Books for Young Readers/Amazon
Just like its title suggests, this colorful book — full of adorable animals — celebrates all sorts of families. (Available here.)
14
“Be Amazing”
Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Amazon
This gorgeous book is written by Desmond Napoles, a teen drag celebrity and LGBTQ advocate. (Available here.)
15
“Prince & Knight”
little bee books/Amazon
In this modern fairy tale, the prince and knight team up to defeat the monster — and find love along the way. (Available here.)

This story is part of a HuffPost Parents project called I See Me, a series for all parents and kids on the power of representation. We know how important it is for kids to see people that look like them on the biggest stages, from politics to sports and entertainment and beyond. Throughout February, we’ll explore the importance of representation in teaching kids about difference, acceptance, privilege and upstanding.

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