23 of the best LGBTQIA+ books for kids

LGBTQIA+ books for children

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Some of the first things you'll probably buy are children's books when you first find out you're expecting, and with the diverse world we live in, LGBTQIA+ books for kids should also be considered.

For our little ones, learning about the world they're growing up in and how incredibly diverse it is is important. Of all the things to teach our children, love and acceptance should be a priority. Families come in all different varieties, and books for your child should be reflecting the world we live in today.

Best LGBTQIA+ books for kids at a glance:

Best LGBTQIA+ books about different families: The Family Book – £6.99 at Waterstones
• Best LGBTQIA+ books about two dads: My Two Dads and Me – £6.99 at Amazon
• Best LGBTQIA+ books about family acceptance: Little Seahorse and the Big Question – £7.35 at Amazon
• Best LGBTQIA+ books about being different: Made By Raffi – £7.99 at Amazon

Books are a fabulous way to nurture your child's curiosity and answer their questions; however, for many LGBTQIA+ parents and carers, these kinds of picture books can be tough to find. So when you're looking for books for your children's bookshelves, it's important to choose books about diverse families too.

At Mother&Baby, we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ parents who need all our love and support. So, we've pulled together some of the best LGBTQIA+ books for kids that showcase diverse families and people.

Our top picks - the best LGBTQIA+ books for kids:

Best LGBTQIA+ books about different families

The Family Book, Todd Parr
Price: $6.99
Alternative retailers
Macy's$8.99View offer

The Family Book celebrates families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether they're big or small, look alike or different, have a single parent or two, Todd Parr assures readers that every family is special in its own unique way.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 4 years

One parent said: "This book is great for all children to understand diversity but particularly good for those with non-traditional families. The illustrations are bold and vibrant, and there are many details to explore with your little one. My daughter is still very young, but she likes to select this book for me to read to her from the shelf, and I am always happy to do so."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about two dads

My Two Dads and Me, Michael Joosten
Price: $8.99

This is Michael Joosten's adorable board book for the babies and toddlers of gay fathers. It features a variety of diverse, loving families with two dads - just going about their day-to-day life. We love how inclusive and cheerful this book is - and how it reflects the lives of so many families. It's an ideal baby shower and first-birthday gift.

Recommended reading age: baby to 3 years

A parent said: "What a sweet book with adorable illustrations for kids from all kinds of families. For our daughter, it will be a great way for her to see herself and other families like ours. For other kids, it will be a way to introduce them to families that might not look like theirs."

If you like this book, try this one too: My Two Moms and Me

Best LGBTQIA+ books about family acceptance

Little Seahorse and the Big Question
Price: $14.52

From journalist and seahorse dad Freddy McConnell and illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw, this is Little Seahorse and the Big Question. Join Papa and Little One on a very ordinary day as they explore Little One's big question: "What do we need?" Together, they decide they need lots of things - clean water, friends, a home - but, above all, they need each other. This is a heart-warming picture book for all families, no matter how they are created and no matter who is in them.

Recommended reading age: 3 to 5 years

One review said: "This book couldn't be more perfect if it tried, as a solo mum to my daughter, the minute I heard Freddy had a book about his and his child's story I knew I had to get us a copy. It didn't disappoint the story is subtle and beautiful and ends perfectly, I almost shed a tear at the 'nothing was missing' line. The illustrations are equally as perfect and compliment the story wonderfully. My 3 year old already loves it! I really recommend this story to anyone regardless of if you are a solo or coupled family your children will definitely enjoy it."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about being different

Made By Raffi, Craig Pomranz

Rrp: $9.99

Price: $4.98

This book is about a boy called Raffi, who is quiet and gets picked on at school. He spends his time knitting a scarf for his dad's birthday - even though the other children think it is girly to knit. With his knitting skills, Raffi saves the school's pageant show.

Recommended reading age: 6 to 9 years

One reviewer wrote: "Much to be learned here in this lovely simple tale. For the Raffi's of the world who have tastes & interests 'outside the box' of expected behaviour... for their playmates & schoolmates to be open and accepting…and certainly for adults. Raffi is blessed with the type of parents we should all have: loving and supportive of the unique individuals they bring into this world."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about same sex parents

Mommy, Mama and Me, Leslea Newman

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $7.20
Alternative retailers
Target$7.20View offer

Mommy, Mama and Me is a book that shows the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children. This visual book will show your toddler an average day of spending time with their mummies. A great purchase for new parents and new babies alike. The perfect gift to show your love for mommy, mama and more.

Recommended reading age: 1 to 3 years

Review: "We read this to our baby every night. She now follows along with the book and acts out the pages. It's a lovely and sweet book for your baby library. Our nursery happened to get it, not knowing we already had a copy and our baby picks it up and has someone read it to her every day. I've also recommended this book to other new Mommy and Mama couples."

If you like this book, try this one too: Daddy, Papa and Me

Best LGBTQIA+ books about creating a family

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson
Price: £5.80
Alternative retailers
Target$7.39View offer

At the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo are different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. With the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own. This is so adorable.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 6 years

One customer wrote: "This is a small, hardback book containing a beautifully written story about two penguins building a family. It was bought as a Christmas gift for a child, but all of the adults gave it a read and there were more than a few eyes being dabbed when they finished. When it comes to LGBT+ books, this is an essential addition to any library and is definitely set to become a firm favourite in our house."

Best LGBTQIA+ books for acceptance

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, Leslea Newman
Price: £1.41

Roger likes describing the world around him as "fabulous"! But his parents aren't keen. They want Roger to see things the way they do. So, they ban Roger from even saying the word. Illustrated by Peter Ferguson, this dazzling tale will have children giggling along with Roger at all the "fabulous" things that wait for him when he steps outside.

Recommended reading age: 3 to 7 years

Review: "I love the period in which it's set, I love its passion, I love its message, I love its fancy-free spirit and rollicking energy. I love the writing and I love, love, love the art. I'd say it's incredibly well-conceived and presented... but the better word is, of course: 'Fabulous!' Thanks for this totally terrific piece of work!"

Best LGBTQIA+ books for first words

Baby's First Words, Tessa Strickland
Price: £3.12

Spend the day with a busy baby and her two dads. Learn the words for things you do and see along the way. This innovative Baby's First Words book features labels for objects, actions, and sound effects, as well as a fun seek-and-find element.

Recommended reading age: Baby to 3 years

**One parent said: "**My daughter (just turned 2) has been reading this book with us for 6 months now and it’s still one of her favourites. I find the presentation of different home environments good. It’s great to see the dad doing the vacuuming! My daughter seems to like the fact that there are two dads. I guess because two dads aren’t featured in picture books enough and she thinks the more the better! We aren’t an LGBT family but we enjoy having a dad-focused book and it's nice to see diversity."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about parental love in all forms

Under the Love Umbrella, Davina Francesca Bell
Price: $12.57

This is an award-winning book that is a reminder to children that there will be love wherever you go. And there will always be love with you. Who’s under your Love Umbrella? We love how beautiful this book is.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 6 years

Review: "Lovely book, the concept is great and our nearly 4-year-old just about gets it (I got the book to help with concerns of separation). The illustrations are bright and engaging AND pretty diverse which is great to see."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about self discovery

Julian Is a Mermaid, Jessica Love
Price: $12.29

Julian is a Mermaid is a visual story about a boy who sees three women spectacularly dressed up. All he can think about is dressing up like the ladies and makes his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think of the mess he makes, and about how Julian sees himself?

Recommended reading age: 2 to 6 years

Review: "From a supportive Nana to a creative child who is allowed to be himself, the illustrations are stunning and truly allow for the child reading's imagination to follow along with Julian's journey. We love that Julian is a mermaid and our daughter often plays with her sheets in the same way. She knows that all children are allowed to dream and play and be themselves. Highly recommend for every household."

Best LGBTQIA+ books showing different families

Alternative retailers
Macy's$19.99View offer

This book illustrates that love can be found in all families. It has a mix of peoples, ages, and races and explores what families can overcome together. We Are Family uses gentle rhyming text to follow eight different families. Also, it celebrates their everyday differences as well as the similarities they share.

Recommended reading age: 3 to 5 years

Review: "Lovely rhyming text about how families are always there when you need them. Illustrations are great for talking through with toddlers and lots of different families are represented for good talking points."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about Pride

Pride 123 by Michael Joosten
Price: £4.28

Pride 123 encourages children to celebrate and march along in the Pride Parade with this lively counting board book. It features a diverse cast of characters and families, and encourages children to celebrate the LQBTQIA+ community, love and standing up for who they are.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 5 years

Review: "I love the art. It reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s. The colours pop with the perfect vividness and I enjoy the use of pattern and the repetition of some motifs, as well as so many different flags being featured. The concept of the book is great, it’s a counting book about Pride and the Pride parade. This is a really fun way to introduce the tenants of Pride to your child or get them excited about attending Pride events."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about gender identity

Introducing Teddy, Jessica Walton
Price: $15.79

Introducing Teddy is a sweet story about Errol and his best friend, Thomas, who is a teddy. Jessica Walton writes about the importance of being true to yourself and always having your friend's back.

Recommended reading age: Baby to 5 years

One reviewer wrote: "Introducing Teddy is a beautifully simple introduction to gender for young children. Incredibly cute illustrations by Dougal Macpherson and a lovely story by Jessica Walton make this a perfect book for every school library and home. Would be great to include this when talking about friendship, inclusion, empathy and being yourself to children of infant age and older."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about parental love

When Nicholas wants to know which of Elvi’s two mums is her real mum, she gives him lots of clues. Her real mum is a circus performer - and a pirate, and she even teaches spiders the art of web. But Nicholas still can’t work it out. Luckily, Elvi knows just how to explain it to her friend. This will be an important tool for children with same-sex parents when faced with questions about their families.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 6 years

A reviewer wrote: "She answers in a roundabout way, that is quite funny in its absurdities - her mum is the one wearing jeans… the one who can pull a car with her teeth… ultimately, her friend learns, along with the reader that parental love comes in many forms, that it doesn't matter the gender, as long as they love you. This book would work well in schools teaching about families, and at home for parents looking at good starting points for similar discussions."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about gender diversity

Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? by Sarah Savage & Fox Fisher
Price: $16.95
Alternative retailers
Target$16.99View offer

Tiny loves costumes and likes to dress up as an animal, a doctor, or a butterfly. Tiny also prefers not to tell other children whether they are a boy or a girl. Tiny's friends don't mind. But, when Tiny starts a new school their new friends can't help asking one question: "Tiny, are you a boy or are you a girl?"

This brightly illustrated book will open a dialogue with children aged 3+ about gender diversity in a fun and creative way. This book imparts an important message about identity and being who you want to be. 

Recommended reading age: 3 to 7 years

One parent reviewer wrote: "This is a nicely illustrated book with a main character whose gender is not defined as either male or female. My two children (ages 4 and 7) really liked it, it prompted them to talk about what gender means for them."

Best LGBTQIA+ books celebrating families

Love Makes A Family, Sophie Beer
Price: $8.89

This book does a great job of introducing different family types to little ones. Whether you have two mums, two dads, one parent or one of each, each family has the same thing that makes them a family and that's love.

Recommended reading age: 1 to 5 years

One reviewer wrote: "This is such a lovey little book, it is well made and presented to such a high quality. The Illustrations are beautiful. The story in itself is fabulous because it really does have all families included, you have your mum and dad and then dad and dad, mum and mum, grandparents and single mums and dads. It's a great start to have LGBTQ+ literature just part of the story and having an all-round positive effect."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about diverse families

Stella Brings the Family
Price: £9.39 (was £12.99)
Alternative retailers
Target$10.49View offer

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework or tucks her in at night, she has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

Recommended reading age: 4 to 6 years

One review said: "Very sweet story about the real childhood worries of having a family that doesn’t fit the ‘norm’. Stella Brings The Family is a wonderful way to introduce or affirm that families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Love the diversity in this book!"

Best LGBTQIA+ books about marriage equality

Worm Loves Worm

Rrp: $18.99

Price: $14.79
Alternative retailers
Target$14.79View offer

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married. But their friends want to know — who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? This love story celebrates the fact that love always wins and will provide parents with some assistance in explaining marriage equality to kids.

Recommended reading age: 4 to 8 years

One reviewer wrote: "What a lovely story about the simplicity of love and questioning of traditions to bring about equality. Such a simple story with a beautiful message. Love this story."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about ignoring stereotypes

Pink Is For Boys

Rrp: $18.99

Price: $13.68
Alternative retailers
Macy's$17.99View offer

Who said blue is for boys and pink is for girls? This picture book rethinks the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids to express themselves in every colour of the rainbow.

Recommended reading age: 4 to 8 years

One review said: "I bought this book in order to steer my child away from so much gender association. It is perfect and demonstrates perfectly the type of mindset I would like to encourage to flourish."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about inclusiveness

ABC Pride
Price: $12.99

ABC Pride not only helps to teach the alphabet, but it also teaches a range of inclusive words. It introduces children to the colourful world of pride, and how they can be inclusive with the words they use too.

Recommended reading age: 3 to 5 years

One reviewer said: "A great way to introduce children to how everyone is different and that’s a good thing. This book is well written with fantastic illustrations it’s also in an alphabet style. Any book that promotes inclusiveness is good."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about celebrating different families

The Pirate Mums
Price: $11.00

Is your little one ready for adventure? The Pirate Mums is about Billy and his two mums, who won't listen to 'normal' music and are different to everyone else. While Billy wishes they were a bit like others, a swashbuckling adventure changes his mind.

Recommended reading age: Babies to 5

One parent reviewer said: "Simply a beautiful book with LGBT characters in. Nice for our daughter to read a book with a family like her own at the centre of it."

Best LGBTQIA+ books about gender diversity

Being You

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $7.59
Alternative retailers
Target$7.59View offer

Developed by experts in the field of early childhood, this board book offers clear language and beautiful imagery that opens up discussion on gender and support.

Recommended reading age: 2 to 5 years

One review said: "Great resource for teachers, parents, practitioners, as an introduction to gender identity and belonging. A well-worded book that is simplified but not ‘dumbed down’. Introducing children to new terminology. Great for primary aged kids. I recommend this book to all teachers. Don’t wait until you have a gender diverse person in school, teach it now!"

Best LGBTQIA+ books about transgender

In My Daddy's Belly

Rrp: $19.99

Price: $17.99

Inspired by the author's real family, In My Daddy's Belly is about two Dads who can't wait for the birth of their first child. It follows the excitement of welcoming a new baby.

Recommended reading age: Baby to 12 years

One parent reviewer said: "As a trans man who has also had a baby, it is great to have a book that shows a similar family. There is a lack of children's books showing queer families so I'm pleased to be able to share this with my baby. The pictures are very cute and the book is written so it could be enjoyed by a range of ages."

FAQs

Why are LGBTQIA+ children's books important?

Emily Drabble, Head of Books at BookTrust, says: "Books can be both windows and mirrors to the world – it’s important to be able to learn about the people and environment around you through reading and be able to see yourself within books.

"That’s why reading to your little ones is an impactful way to teach your child about LGBTQIA+ themes in our world and different situations that they might face as they grow up, or perhaps that is already in your family.”

How to talk to your child about LGBTQIA+ topics

Not sure where to start to talk to your child about LGBTQIA+ topics? Here are some tips on how to get the conversation going.

Start early

Having open, age-appropriate discussions with your child at a young age about sexual orientation and gender identity will teach them to be empathic and have respect for others. It will teach them about the world that they are growing up in, plus it will leave the door open for further conversations as your child grows.

Talking to your little one about family structures is a good place to start. You can teach them that all families are different. Some children have two mums or two dads, others may be cared for by grandparents, single parents, or adoptive/foster parents.

Be honest

We all know that children are very inquisitive. They're bound to have questions as they learn about something new. Make sure you're listening to what your little one is asking and answer them as truthfully as you can. If they're not asking you questions, encourage them. Keep the conversations age-appropriate and be honest if you don't know the answer.

Have ongoing discussions

Discussing LGBTQIA+ topics with your child shouldn't be a one-time conversation. Use media and/or life experiences as opportunities to re-engage your child in further discussions as they develop.

Offer age-appropriate information

If you're unsure about what is an age-appropriate topic, our best LGBTQIA+ books for kids recommendations will help to guide you and offer great ways to start conversations.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden & Wellness Product Writer working across brands like Mother & Baby, Heatworld and Modern Gardens Magazine. She dabbles in creativity and spirituality. Her interests know no bounds! She invests her time in entertainment, fashion, cooking and gaming.

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