16 LGBTQ-Inclusive Picture Books and Board Books You May Have Missed

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I’ve been adding books fast and furiously to my database and haven’t mentioned them all individually on the blog—so here are a few newish ones that are worth a look!

16 LGBTQ-Inclusive Kids' Books You May Have Missed

Click the links to see the database entries for each book, including longer reviews. All are picture books except when noted. Click the headers for even more books from the database on these topics.

Two-Mom Families and Queer Women

  • A Mother’s Day Surprise, by Lindsay B and illustrated by Kate Phillips. A young Black girl is excited about surprising her two moms (one Black, one White) on Mother’s Day—two mothers mean “two times the fun,” but also “twice the work.”
  • Mom Marries Mum! by Ken Setterington and illustrated by Alice Priestley (Second Story Press). The simplified board book version of Setterington’s 2004 Mom and Mum Are Getting Married. A young girl wants to help on her moms’ wedding day, and she ends up being the flower girl as her brother carries the rings.
  • A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas, by Evie Robillard and illustrated by Rachel Katstaller (Kids Can Press). A biography of Gertrude Stein and “her partner Alice Toklas” that focuses on their life together in Paris. The poems of the title are free verse and addressed directly to the reader (“The next time you go to Paris…”), and interspersed with bits of Stein’s own writings. Quirky and charming, just like its subjects. Best for the older end of the picture-book age range.

Two Dads and Queer Men

  • Leaders Like Us: Bayard Rustin, by J. P. Miller and illustrated by Markia Jenai (Discovery Library). A biography that focuses on Rustin’s work with the Black civil rights movement, but that also notes “Some people treated Bayard unfairly because he was gay, but that did not stop him.”
  • Aalfred and Aalbert: A Love Story, written and illustrated by Morag Hood (Peachtree). Aardvarks Aalfred and Aalbert each sometimes longed to be part of a pair, but each had his own life, one nocturnal and one diurnal, so they never met. When a little bird notices, wordlessly, that they might do well together, it sets out to nudge them into encountering each other. While I tend to prefer books with human LGBTQ characters, who often provide more authentic representation, this book is just darn cute, and would make a nice addition to a collection that already has books with human LGBTQ characters. (Additional observation: The hardback version is titled just Aalfred and Aalbert, but the 2020 paperback version is Aalfred and Aalbert: A Love Story. In its review, School Library Journal called the book “a lovely book about finding a new friend.” Clearly they missed the point—the original U.K. publisher’s own blurb calls the bird a “matchmaker” and says the story “will appeal to families with LGBTQ parents and family members.” The two aardvarks have obviously found aamor.)

Queer Parents and Divorce

  • Two Moms, Two Houses, by Jessica Wexler and illustrated by Jeric Tan (Pride Fairy Press). A young child of unspecified gender introduces readers to their divorced mommy and mama, to the separate houses they live in with each one, and to the different routines they have with each. I like that it doesn’t try pedantically to explain what divorce is, but just focuses on the positive things that the child does with each mom.
  • My Family Is Changing: A Drawing and Activity Book for Kids of Divorce, by Tracy McConaghie and illustrated by Karen Greenberg (Rockridge Press). This interactive book is intended to help children better understand and cope with the changes that come with having divorced parents. In it, seven (fictional) children of various skin tones, including one with two moms and one with two dads, share their own stories of having divorced parents. Each story is followed by prompts and activities.

Family Diversity

  • Federico and All His Families, by Mili Hernández and illustrated by Gómez (Nubeocho). A cat wanders through the neighborhood, visiting families with two moms, two dads, one of each, a single mom, and a grandparent caregiver. Also available in Spanish.
  • Under the Love Umbrella, by Davina Bell and illustrated by Allison Colpoys (Scribble US). Several children encounter everyday difficulties—a broken toy; a friend who is unfair; a scary barking dog, a moment of shyness—as a parental narrator (or really, several narrators, as we see several different families) soothingly reassures them that the “umbrella of my love” is always with them. One of the children has two moms.
  • Love in the Wild, by Katy Tanis (Mudpuppy). This board book celebrates the many types of love found in the animal kingdom, “based on scientists’ observations of same-sex couples, adoption, non-binary gender expression and more.” It’s impossible to tell from the illustrations what sex or gender most of the animals are, though, so adults might need this supplemental PDF to launch further discussions of sex and gender, but the book is full of rainbows and the message that “love is love,” making this a sweet addition to storytime reading, regardless.
  • Families Belong, by Dan Saks and illustrated by Brooke Smart (Penguin Workshop). A simple board book about the things that families do that show they belong together. One page includes a two-mom family.
  • I Love Us: A Book About Family (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), illustrated by Luisa Uribe. A board book about different types of families, including one with two dads (and maybe one with two moms; it’s unclear if they’re together or in two separate families). On each page, a narrator (presumably a child in the depicted family) tells us all the things they love to do with their family. Includes a mirror (unbreakable) in the back and a freeform family tree for readers to reflect themselves.
  • Family Is: Count from 1 to 10, by Clever Publishing, illustrated by Katya Longhi. A board book that counts from one to 10 with images of diverse families and the various people in them, including families with two moms or two dads.
  • My Family, Your Family, by Kathryn Cole and illustrated by Cornelia Li (Second Story Press. A board book celebration of different types of families, including ones with same-sex parents and one with a child who uses “they” pronouns (and maybe a nonbinary adult, too). Note, however, that the page for “Blended family” shows a family with a Black mom, White dad, one White kid, and two Black kids, so some children might assume that “blended” always means multiracial. Adults will need to explain.

Gender Identity and Expression

  • Patrick’s Polka-Dot Tights, by Kristen McCurry and illustrated by MacKenzie Haley (Capstone Editions). Patrick loves wearing his polka-dot tights and using them imaginatively. They don’t really belong to him, however—they’re his sister’s, though “she failed to appreciate their many uses,” he thinks. When she stains them beyond repair, he’s upset—but both his mom and dad step in to help. Notable for not involving anyone questioning or harassing him for his gender creativity.
  • Rainbow Boy, by Taylor Rouanzion and illustrated by Stacey Chomiak (Beaming Books). A young boy finds it hard to answer the question: “What’s your favorite color?” He loves his pink tutu, red crayon, orange basketball, and more. His mom tells him at the end that his heart is too big for just one color: “You need a whole rainbow to fill it up.” The protagonist clearly identifies himself as a boy, but has an expanded view of what that means.

And don’t forget the many LGBTQ-inclusive books that I’ve already written about here on the blog!

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