LGBTQ+ Picture Books with Diverse Characters
These LGBTQ+ picture books with diverse characters can be used with children of all ages to answer questions with understanding and empathy. They promote acceptance and tolerance through simple and honest conversations.
Why Read LGBTQ+ Picture Books?
As teachers, we will have seen diverse children and their families come through our doors. We must celebrate every child under our care for who they are.
Every Children's Library Lady book list is as diverse as possible, and this one is no exception. You will find LGBTQ+ characters from different backgrounds and cultures. Some books illustrate characters happily going about their daily business. In contrast, others are more suitable for specific conversations, including self-acceptance and identity. Many of the books are ideal for young children.
Some of the books celebrate Pride Month, its history and the people behind it. You can find more information about Pride Month and related resources in the post Talking to Young Children about Pride Month.
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LGBTQ+ Picture Books with Diverse Characters
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
Bailey identifies as a girl and every night dreams of wearing beautiful dresses. The reaction of her family is devastating. “Boys don’t wear dresses!” An older girl is inspired by Bailey’s courage to follow her dreams. They work together to make the dresses in Bailey’s dreams become a reality.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
Angus all Aglow by Heather Smith
Angus loves sparkly things but when he wears a beautiful necklace from his gran he is teased by his classmates. Crushed, he loses his love of shiny objects until a new friend helps him remember why he loved the sparkle in the first place and helps him accept himself for who he is.
The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya
A young boy loves his mother’s bindi and longs for one of his own. His mother agrees he can have one and teaches him about its cultural and religious significance. The boy wears his bindi and feels he can be himself.
Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate
A girl listens to her grandad reminiscing about his life with gramps in their camper van. He no longer feels like travelling since gramps died. So his granddaughter plans to fix up the old camper van and take grandad out on the road again.
Promotes discussions on LGBTQ+ characters, grief, intergenerational relationships, enthusiasm, and memories.
It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
Todd Parr spreads a message of acceptance, self-confidence and individuality while celebrating diversity. Sometimes the advice is practical, while others are more fun.
Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman
Susan wants Jackie to be like her, pretending to be forest fairies or kittens. But Jackie dons a cape or plays in the mud. As Jackie gets older, she wants to wear boys' clothes. Susan's feelings become more confused as her sister changes her name to Jack and cuts her hair short.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Travelling home with his abuela, Julian sees three spectacular ladies dressed in mermaid costumes. At home, he creates a mermaid outfit and proudly shows it off to his abuela. She takes him to the parade, joining others in their fabulous costumes.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
My Footprints by Bao Phi
Thuy, a Vietnamese American girl, is bullied at school. She walks home in the snow and imagines herself as different courageous animals. Thuy recreates the animal’s footprints all the way home and into the comforting arms of her mum.
Neither by Airlie Anderson
Neither lives in the Land of This and That, and it doesn’t quite fit it. Each creature is a blue bunny or a yellow bird, but Neither is not quite a bird or a bunny. It finds a new home full of colour, shapes and different creatures. Neither is welcomed with open arms as the differences unite the community.
Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson
A little girl and her grandmother live and work in their general store. The grandmother is unsure of renting a shabby apartment to an interested couple. The girl intervenes, and the couple brings the building to life with their optimism and hard work. Their positivity spreads, and the grandmother slowly accepts the couple as part of the family.
Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival
Norman was a perfectly normal boy until he grew a pair of wings. He loves flying but thinks no one will understand his new wings so hide them under a large, yellow coat. When he finds the courage to show off his wings, he gets a surprising reaction.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman
Like his older sister, Jessie, Casey loves to wear a shimmery skirt and glittery nails. He also loves construction play, puzzles, and trucks. While Casey's family embraces his many interests, his sister is unsure. It is only when Casey is teased at school that Jessie understands he has the right to be himself.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
This Day In June is a colourful illustration of a Pride celebration. Children can take onboard different levels of meaning depending on their age and understanding of LGBT history and culture.
The book includes notes for parents and caregivers with ideas on talking to children about issues that may arise while reading.
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I hope you enjoyed browsing these LGBTQ+ picture books. If you have any further suggestions, let me know in the comments below!