The books on this list don’t necessarily fall under the usual genres covered by DeadHead Reviews, but in keeping with our Mission and Vision, we wanted to include resources for families to open up dialogue with their children about LGBTQ+ topics. These picture books are suggested reading material covering the History of Stonewall and Pride, gender issues, LGBTQ+ family dynamics, and other related topics.
JULIAN IS A MERMAID
by Jessica Love
An excellent book about being yourself, and how important the love and acceptance of a family member can be to a child’s life.
Julian wants to become a mermaid, and his beloved Abuela supports his dreams of attending the local Mermaid Parade.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
By Rob Sanders
This story details the 1978 origins of the Pride Flag via designer Gilbert Baker and well-known social activist Harvey Milk.
And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson and Peter Parneff
This sweet picture book tells the true story of two penguins living in the Central Park Zoo. Covers topics such as same-sex parenting, diverse family dynamics, adoption, etc.
Red: A Crayon’s Story
by Michael Hall
A blue crayon is labeled as red and its fellow crayons think they can “fix” them, until they do a little self-exploration and learn about accepting their fellow crayon for who they really are. Tackles issues of gender nonconformity, self-expression, labels, identity, and other topics in a friendly, charming format accessible to kids of all ages.
Heather Has Two Mommies
by Leslea Newman
This updated version of the classic children’s book of navigating the world as a kiddo when your family doesn’t fit into the “cis-heteronormative ideal.” Like the tale of Tango the penguin, this story is a good introduction to diverse families, same-sex marriages and parenting.
When Aiden Became a Brother
By Kyle Lukoff
Aiden’s family thought they were a girl, but when Aiden makes an important statement in his gender identity, his family explores what that means to them, and how they can best support him before his little sibling arrives. This sweet, gentle picture book truthfully tackles tough topics like exploring gender nonconformity, identity, diverse family dynamics, and transgender topics. Own Voices content.
by Jess Hong
A modern picture book illustrating the beauty of diversity, celebrating self love, accepting others for who they are, embracing individuality, and celebrating all forms of sexuality and gender expression alongside vibrant, cheerful illustrations.
Listening With My Heart
By Gabi Garcia
Although this book does not specifically tackle LGBTQ+ issues, this is an excellent read for young people to begin to learn about empathy, kindness, compassion, and understanding.
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.
By Rob Sanders
Written by the author of the Harvey Milk book we’ve listed above, this is another book geared at delivering the important history of the Stonewall Riots that spurned the Pride movement as it exists today. Relevant especially today for dealing with topics of protesting/demonstrations, police activities, racial inequality, and LGBTQ+ issues. Geared towards the younger set ages 4 through 8, this would make a great introduction to the history of Stonewall!
Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In the Streets
By Gayle E. Pitman
This book is better suited for slightly older children (2nd and 3rd grade and up.) It covers that the first Pride was a riot on June 28th 1968, by members of the community at the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. This story tackles the History of the LGBTQ+ Rights movement by chronicling the events leading up to the riot, the riot itself, and the immense changes made afterward. Includes supporting newspaper articles/clippings and other pertinent historical documents. Relevant especially today for dealing with topics of protesting/demonstrations, police activities, racial inequality, and LGBTQ+ issues.
By Blair Imani
This gorgeously illustrated collection is modern, vibrant, and accessible to children of all ages. The book features short illustrated biographies of women and nonbinary individuals who have made great strides towards equality and created lasting impact on society. It includes racially diverse, nonbinary, transgender, queer, and disabled representation not only in the past, but our present day!
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
By Theresa Thorn
An honest and straightforward but gentle exploration of gender identities and self-expression. Perfect for families to learn together and begin a discussion on self-acceptance, being yourself, and diverse individual/family dynamics.
Love Makes a Family
by Sophie Beer
This cheerful, vibrantly illustrated picture book introduces babies, toddlers, and wee ones to diverse family dynamics and that love is love everywhere! Celebrating the idea that no matter what your family looks like, the love they share is what it’s all about.
Pink Is For Boys
By Robb Pearlman
A kid-friendly, family accessible book about challenging the gender binary and overcoming gender stereotypes. Focuses on freedom of self expression through the use of colour and smashing the heteronormative use of “blue is for boys, pink is for girls” and that the rainbow is for everyone! Life and gender aren’t colour coded, and everyone is free to express themselves as they see best to do.
By Leslea Newman
The author of “Heather Has Two Mommies” brings families a new tale about self-expression, identity, and acceptance about Casey, a little boy who loves sparkles and dressing up. Much like the topics covered in “Julian Is A Mermaid” this tale covers diverse family dynamics, gender nonconformity, transgender topics, and challenging the gender binary.