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Explore LGBTQ+ books during Pride Month, celebrating diversity and inclusivity.
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Pride and Pages: Exploring LGBTQ+ Picture Books for Pride Month

Explore the colourful and inclusive world of LGBTQ+ picture books in our latest blog post to celebrate Pride Month and promote equality. These books are not just stories; they're gateways to understanding diverse identities and fostering a culture of respect and empathy. I've also provided a list of questions and links to resources to encourage honest and open discussions with children about Pride Month.

A group of people holding signs that say love is love in celebration of Pride Month.

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Celebrating Diversity: The Role of LGBTQ+ Picture Books in Pride Month

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, recognise their challenges, and promote empathy and understanding. Teaching children about Pride and the LGBTQ+ community creates an inclusive and accepting society.

One effective way to approach Pride Month is using picture books. In this post, we will explore the benefits of using LGBTQ+ picture books and Pride Month picture books when talking to children about Pride Month, analyse character traits presented in these books, and provide a list of thought-provoking questions to facilitate discussion.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, recognise their challenges, and promote empathy and understanding.

Pride month occurs during different months depending on the country and city. In America, Gay Pride Day started to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots.

Over time, it evolved into a month of events recognising the impact of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. Parades and events promote equal rights and an end to LGBTQ+ discrimination.

A group of people wearing colorful coats, standing together in celebration of Pride Month.

Promoting Equality: The Impact of LGBTQ+ Picture Books

Using picture books to talk to children about Pride Month is an excellent approach, as they offer several key benefits:

  • Cultural Awareness: LGBTQ+ picture books and Pride Month picture books can also introduce children to Pride Month's history and cultural significance, helping them understand its importance in a broader social context.
  • Simplified Concepts: Picture books often break down complex ideas into simpler, more digestible formats. This is particularly useful when discussing diversity, inclusivity, and LGBTQ+ identities with children.
  • Promoting Empathy and Understanding: Pride Month picture books can depict diverse characters and families, helping children develop empathy and an understanding of different people's experiences, a core aspect of Pride Month.
  • Encouraging Questions and Discussion: The narrative and images in LGBTQ+ picture books can prompt questions and discussions, providing a natural and comfortable way for children to learn and express their curiosity about Pride Month.
  • Representation Matters: Picture books focusing on LGBTQ+ themes or characters allow children to see the representation of different family structures and identities.
  • Supporting Diversity Education: These books can be a part of a broader education about diversity, teaching children to appreciate and celebrate differences in others.
  • Building Inclusivity: Introducing concepts of inclusivity and acceptance through picture books helps instil these values from a young age, fostering a more empathetic and open-minded future generation.

 

Rainbow origami hearts on a white background celebrate Pride Month.

Character Exploration: Reflecting Diversity in LGBTQ+ Picture Books

LGBTQ+ picture books related to Pride Month feature characters who exhibit acceptance, empathy, and courage. These characters serve as positive role models for children and can help them understand the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

In contrast, characters may exhibit negative attitudes and actions such as intolerance, ignorance, and fear. By exploring these contrasting character traits, we can help children understand the impact of negative behaviour and words.

Fostering Discussions: Thought-Provoking Questions about LGBTQ+ Picture Books

  • What do you think Pride Month is about?
  • How do the characters in this LGBTQ+ picture book celebrate who they are?
  • Why do you think it's important for everyone to be able to express who they are?
  • Can you think of ways we are all different and all the same?
  • How do you feel when you see the characters being happy and proud of themselves?
  • Why do you think some characters in the book might feel afraid or shy to show who they are?
  • How can we make everyone feel included and accepted?
  • What does the word ‘pride' mean in the context of this Pride Month picture book?
  • Have you learned anything new about how families can be different?
  • How can we show support and love for people?  
 
After the Pride Month picture book suggestions, you will find resources and links that you may find useful.
 

LGBTQ+ Picture Books for Pride Month

'Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick

A family make signs for the Pride parade. They learn about the history of Pride, starting from its roots in the Stonewall riots to its current form as a joyful parade celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and the freedom it grants to be oneself.

‘Twas the Night Before Pride covers activism, equality, community, inclusion and understanding and appreciating diversity as a vital part of a harmonious society and raising awareness for LGBTQ+ rights.

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert

Bailey identifies as a girl and dreams of magnificent dresses every night. Faced with her family's dismissive reactions, Bailey finds encouragement in an older girl who admires her courage and helps bring her dreams to fruition.

10,000 Dresses encourages discussions on self-acceptance, identity, gender expression, embracing individuality, and understanding diverse identities. The book introduces children to being transgender in a sensitive and age-appropriate way.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

In Central Park Zoo, two male penguins, Roy and Silo, long for a family like the other penguins, so Mr Gramzay places an egg in the nest for them to care for. When the egg hatches, the zookeeper named it Tango, “because it takes two to make a Tango.”

And Tango Makes Three sparks conversations about non-traditional families, acceptance, love and feeling different. 

Angus all Aglow by Heather Smith

Angus loves shiny, sparkly things! He loves wearing his grandmother's sparkly necklace to school, but his classmates make fun of him. Feeling disheartened, he thinks he needs to give up his love for sparkly things. However, a new friend helps Angus regain his sparkle.

Angus All Aglow promotes discussions on self-expression, understanding and practicing acceptance, bullying, friendship, and embracing individuality.

The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya

A South Asian boy loves his mother's bindi and wants 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. 

The Boy and the Bindi sparks conversations about cultural identity, challenging gender stereotypes, curiosity in understanding our identities, self-discovery, self-expression and open-mindedness.

The Dress in the Window by Robert Tregoning

A young boy becomes captivated with a dazzling red dress he spots in a shop window. He wants the dress so much that he starts working odd jobs to earn money to buy it, but his mother buys him the dress for his birthday.

The Dress in the Window sparks conversations about self-expression, gender norms, individuality, self-acceptance, being true to oneself, perseverance, and determination.

The Girl With Two Dads by Mel Elliott

The Girl With Two Dads by Mel Elliott

Pearl is intrigued by new student Matilda, who says goodbye to different dads on successive days. Pearl thinks having two dads must be fun but realises when visiting that Matilda's parents are just as boring as hers.

The Girl With Two Dads explores open-mindedness, inclusivity, challenging assumptions, diverse families and accepting differences.

Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate

A girl loves hearing stories about her grandad's adventures with his husband, Gramps, in their old camper. The camper has been neglected since Gramps' passing, so she encourages Grandad to fix it. Then, they embark on a road trip honouring Gramps' memory.

Grandad's Camper promotes discussions on love, loss, remembrance, resilience in the face of sadness, and the bond between different generations.

Grandad's Pride by Harry Woodgate

After finding a pride flag in her grandad's attic, Milly learns about his past – his love for his late partner Gramps, their shared experiences at Pride parades, and their advocacy for LGBT+ rights. Despite Grandad's initial hesitations, Milly inspires him to revive the spirit of Pride in their small town.

Grandad's Pride invites conversations about activism, LGBT+ rights, the power of community, and the importance of understanding and accepting different identities.

Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman

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 confused as her sister changes her name to Jack and cuts her hair short.

Jack (Not Jackie) sparks conversations about gender identity, acceptance, self-awareness, open-mindedness and respect for individual choices and identities.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julian becomes mesmerized by three women dressed as mermaids while riding the subway with his Abuela. Inspired, he imagines himself as a mermaid using items around the house. His Abuela gives him a necklace to complete his look, and they join the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Julian is a Mermaid promotes discussions on self-expression, acceptance of diverse identities, personal transformation, and unconditional love.

Lovely by Jess Hong

Lovely serves as a celebration of our uniqueness, highlighting that our distinct identities and abilities make us special. It inspires discussions about acceptance, identity, and appreciation of diversity. 

Lovely promotes discussions on diversity, acceptance, self-love, embracing differences, and the broad spectrum of beauty.

My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

A four-year-old boy loves wearing dresses but encounters bullying. Instead of deterring his expression, his mother encourages him, reinforcing there's no issue with self-expression challenging traditional gender norms.

My Princess Boy emphasises the harm prompted by gender stereotypes. It sparks dialogue about gender norms, self-expression, individuality, and acceptance, endorsing empathy and inclusivity.

My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart

A young boy who, unlike other boys with blue shadows, has a pink shadow that loves princesses and all things traditionally ‘girly'. The boy feels out of place and afraid of not fitting in. With the support of his father, he learns to embrace his uniqueness and express himself freely.

My Shadow is Pink reinforces that acceptance and understanding can surpass societal pressures, biases, self-expression, and personal growth.

No Horses in the House!: The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur by Mireille Messier

In 19th-century France, Rosa Bonheur loved sketching animals but faced opposition in a society reluctant to acknowledge female artists. However, she dared to challenge the status quo and pursued her dream of becoming an artist. 

No Horses in the House! encourages discussions about determination, resilience, individuality, gender norms, self-expression and challenging societal norms.

Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson

An enthusiastic girl and her grandmother live in the rooms behind their run-down shop. They rent the upstairs apartment to a female couple and refurbish the place together, transforming the once gloomy atmosphere into one filled with warmth.

Over the Shop, a wordless book, encourages discussions on questioning assumptions, welcoming diverse perspectives, and not letting preconceived notions interfere with accepting others.

Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman

A group of characters engage in activities, highlighting that every colour is for everyone, regardless of gender. Pink can be for boys, blue for girls, or any colour for anyone.

Pink Is For Boys sparks conversations about breaking stereotypes, inclusivity, self-expression, freedom of choice, individuality, gender identity and gender roles.

The Pirate Mums by Jodie Lancet-Grant

Billy's strange family, complete with eccentric mums, a rude parrot, and a home looking like an underwater world, makes him long for a normal life. Convinced his mums are pirates, Billy asks them to change their behaviour but learns to appreciate his ‘pirate' mums.

The Pirate Mums explores family diversity, respect, individuality, and appreciating what makes us unique and ‘normal' has many definitions.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

In 1978, social activist and politician Harvey Milk wanted to symbolise hope and pride for the LGBTQ community. With designer Gilbert Baker, they created the first rainbow flag, and the gay community marched for equality through the streets of San Francisco.

Pride inspires conversations about the struggle for equality, the role of symbols, the history of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, and the impact of symbols like the Rainbow Flag in fostering a sense of community and identity.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Meet Red, a crayon labelled red but who only ever manages to colour blue. When his friend Berry encourages him to look beyond his label, Red embarks on a journey of self-expression and self-acceptance.

Read Red: A Crayon’s Story to foster discussions around adaptability in tricky situations, identity and self-awareness, fostering empathy and understanding towards others and the significance of a sense of belonging.

Sewing the Rainbow by Gayle E. Pitman

Gilbert Baker is the creator of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag. He moved to San Francisco during the 1970s gay rights movement, where he could express his identity. After a suggestion from Supervisor Harvey Milk, Gilbert designed the iconic Rainbow Flag, symbolizing diversity and acceptance in the LGBTQ+ community.

Sewing the Rainbow explores individuality, community, resilience, self-expression, LGBTQ+ rights, the struggle against societal norms, and the power of symbols.

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. Only when Casey is teased at school does Jessie understand he has the right to be himself.

Sparkle Boy sparks conversations about accepting others for who they are, challenging traditional gender roles, everyone has the right to be themselves, and societal norms should not limit personal expression.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

Stella has two dads but doesn't know what to do when her class celebrates Mother's Day. She feels loved by her Papa and Daddy but has no mother to take to the party. She finds a unique solution to her problem.

Stella Brings the Family sparks conversations about different family dynamics, inclusivity, and acceptance, respecting and celebrating differences within our communities and families.

The cover of tee's tutu.

Téo's Tutu by Maryann Jacob Macias

Téo is torn between wearing a male costume and a purple tutu for his dance recital. With family support, Téo opts for the tutu, a choice celebrated by his class and teacher, Ms. Lila. Embracing his individuality, Teo dances with all his heart on the recital day.

Teo's Tutu explores individuality, gender norms, self-expression, and acceptance. It highlights parental and societal support in allowing children to express their identity confidently.

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

Go on a journey through a Pride parade where people come together to celebrate love, identity, and community. The parade is filled with rainbows, costumes, and a sense of joy. The book includes notes on talking to children about topics that may arise while reading.

This Day in June sparks conversations about Pride’s meaning, a community’s power, LGBTQ+ identities, respecting differences, inclusivity and unity.

Tourmaline: A Queer Fairytale by Davide Cali

A princess named Tourmaline is trapped in a distant tower. Many ‘brave' knights attempt to rescue her but fail. They either get lost, want to avoid getting dirty, get distracted, or their horses let them down. Undeterred by these challenges, one fearless knight is determined to save the princess.

Tourmaline incorporates gender roles and LGBTQ+ characters in a fairytale setting and challenges traditional notions of bravery and heroism.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

Aidan, a transgender boy, prepares to become a big brother. Growing up, he felt trapped until he spoke to his supportive parents. Aidan is determined to be the best big brother and wants to ensure his sibling never feels misunderstood as he once did. 

When Aidan Became a Brother sparks conversations about understanding and embracing one's identity, acceptance, empathy, and communication and presents a unique perspective on transgender experiences.

The Woodcutter and The Snow Prince by Ian Eagleton

Meeting a cursed Snow Prince disrupts Kai's, a lonely woodcutter, solitary life. Driven by love and a desire to lift a curse, Kai embarks on a heroic journey to save the Snow Prince from a crumbling ice palace. 

The Woodcutter and The Snow Prince explores loneliness, companionship, hope, and the power of kindness and addresses the repercussions of homophobic bullying.