30 Great LGBTQ+ Picture Books for Kids

by Denise Schipani

There was a time when LGBTQ+ parents and children had a hard time finding their family’s faces and feelings in the pages of children’s books. No more. Ever since Heather Has Two Mommies appeared on shelves in 1989, more LGBTQ+ books, geared to everyone from the youngest tots to questioning tweens and teens (not to mention to their parents), are filling the gap and helping families grow in understanding.

And of course, these books aren’t just for families with a direct connection to LGBTQ+ issues; everyone can use these books’ messages of unconditional love and acceptance.

  • Love Makes a Family

    by Sophie Beer

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    This book shows that it doesn’t matter what your family looks like, the only thing that makes a family a family, is love! Each page showcases bright illustrations of diverse families doing special activities together, from baking a cake to finding a lost shoe. Your little one will love looking through the pages to see their own family reflected, and of course feel the love your family shares together.
    (Ages 0 – 3)

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  • Families Belong

    by Dan Saks, illustrated by Brooke Smart

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    Families Belong is a sweet look at the unconditional love within a family. The beautiful illustrations and rhyming text of families singing together, reading together, and going on a picnic together, feels like a warm hug. This one will be a comforting favorite for both children and parents.
    (Ages 0 – 3)

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  • My Two Moms and Me

    by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Izak Zenou

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    This sweet board book features a diverse array of families with lesbian mothers going about their daily routines, including playdates, pool-dates, and bedtime reading. Published in 2019 with artwork by an acclaimed fashion illustrator, it’s a welcome follow-up to Heather Has Two Mommies. Don’t miss My Two Dads and Me by the same creators!
    (Ages 0 – 3)

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  • Daddy, Papa, and Me

    by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

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    Like the above author-illustrator duo, Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson add their unique touch to the rainbow-family compendium with Daddy, Papa, and Me and Mommy, Mama, and Me. Rhythmic text and charming illustrations make these board books a must-have for all families.
    (Ages 0 – 3)

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  • Patience, Patches!

    by Christy Mihaly, illustrated by Sheryl Murray

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    Children will love this adorable story about a dog named Patches and his growing family. When his moms bring home a new baby, Patches goes from being an only child to an older sibling. This change brings several adjustments, and Patches quickly learns that babies require a lot of patience.
    (Ages 2 – 5)

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  • I Think We Can!

    by G. M. King, illustrated by Jill Howarth

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    Visit the pride parade with this vibrant and colorful book. Filled with anticipation and excitement, The Little Engine That Could travels to the pride parade, but an untimely breakdown makes her worry that she will miss all the fun. Bright colors, simple text, and the familiar character make this story an excellent choice for little ones.
    (Ages 2 – 5)

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  • Téo's Tutu

    by Maryann Jacob Macias, illustrated by Alea Marley

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    As Téo gets ready for his first dance recital, he makes one of the biggest (and most exciting) decisions of his life—what outfit to wear! Even though he’s nervous, Téo’s parents and teachers give him the encouragement he needs to choose the best costume for his special day. Dancers of all ages will adore this sweet story of self-acceptance and affirmation.
    (Ages 3 – 5)

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  • ABC Pride

    by Louie Stowell and Elly Barnes, illustrated by Amy Phelps

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    Teach your child inclusivity, acceptance, and the alphabet in this colorful picture book! They’ll learn that A is for “acceptance,” K is for “kindness,” and O is for “out,” among other lessons. Don’t miss this standout LGBTQ+ primer!
    (Ages 3 – 5)

    RELATED: How to Talk to Young Kids About Gender Identity

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  • Tuesday Is Daddy’s Day

    by Elliot Kreloff

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    A little girl splits her time between her mom’s house and her father’s apartment, which he shares with his partner. She loves her predictable routine, so she is upset when her mom picks her up from school on Daddy’s day. However, when Daddy arrives with a new puppy in tow, she learns that not all surprises are bad.
    (Ages 3 – 7)

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  • Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

    by Nina LaCour, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

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    Most children can relate to this heartfelt story about a girl who misses her mom. While Mommy is away on a work trip, Mama comforts the girl and distracts her with trips to the library and movie theater. But life isn’t quite the same until Mommy returns and reunites the family.
    (Ages 3 – 7)

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  • Family is Family

    by Melissa Marr, illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero

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    Little Chick walks to school with his two moms and notices the different families along the way. Even though they are all different sizes and configurations, Little Chick loves his family just as it is. Charming illustrations and the heartwarming message make this an excellent choice for back-to-school time or anytime.
    (Ages 3 – 7)

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  • Honey & Leon Take the High Road

    by Alan Cumming, illustrated by Grant Shaffer

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    Theater and film star Alan Cumming and his husband Grant Shaffer were inspired to chronicle the adventures of their rescue dogs during their dads’ travels. It turns out, Honey and Leon tail their dads and rescue them at every turn. In this adventure, the pups tail their dads to Scotland. But when Honey falls in love with a Scottish dog named Coll, can Leon keep their dads out of trouble all on his own?
    (Ages 3 – 7)

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  • Born Ready

    by Jodie Patterson, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

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    Penelope is a boy. The only problem is that everyone else thinks he’s a girl. This empowering picture book shares the story of a young transgender boy who experiences the ups and downs of being true to himself. Heartwarming and inspirational, this picture book will touch your heart.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Julián Is a Mermaid

    by Jessica Love

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    This gorgeous Stonewall Award-winning picture book stars Julián, a child coming to understand their gender nonconformity after a joyful encounter with three women dressed as shimmering mermaids. Julián fantasizes about dressing up like a mermaid too, and wonders what his Abuela will make of it in this celebration of self-love and individuality.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Kapaemahu

    by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson, illustrated by Daniel Sousa

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    This book explains the Indigenous legend of four Mahu (people with both a male and female spirit) who shared their healing arts with the Waikiki islanders. The islanders created a stone monument honoring the Mahu and their generosity, and visitors to Waikiki Beach can still see them there.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Pink, Blue, and You!

    by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais

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    This adorable picture book uses cartoon-style illustrations and easy-to-understand questions to challenge gender norms. It’s an excellent book to jump-start conversations about embracing yourself and others, no matter what colors, clothes, toys, and activities they enjoy.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Our Subway Baby

    by Peter Mercurio, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

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    Although Pete and Danny had not considered starting a family, that changed when Danny found a baby in a subway station. They adopted the baby, named him Kevin, and became a family. This heartwarming story is based on the author’s real-life experience of becoming a father.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • My Rainbow

    by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, illustrated by Art Twink

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    This is a sweet story about a young transgender girl named Trinity who wants long hair. A trip to the beauty supply store turns up disappointing results, so Trinity’s mom crafts a colorful wig her daughter is proud to wear.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

    RELATED: Books That Celebrate Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Kids

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  • Twas the Night Before Pride

    by Joanna McClintick, illustrated by Juana Medina

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    Discover the history behind Pride month and how it became nationally recognized with this gorgeous picture book. Young readers will learn about Stonewall, AIDS, protests, and other significant events in an age-appropriate way. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in Pride history.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Who You Will Be

    by Taylor Rouanzion, illustrated by Stacey Chomiak

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    Two parents welcome a new child, introducing them to every color of the rainbow and dreaming about the person they will become. It’s a heartfelt love letter about self-discovery and gender expression from a parent to their beloved child. It’s a fantastic title to read while snuggling your little one before bedtime.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • I Am Jazz

    by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

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    With clarity and insight, Jazz Jennings shares her story of realizing at a very young age that, though she was being raised as a boy, she was truly a girl. An essential read for children and families of all experiences, I Am Jazz has an empowering message of celebrating what makes us unique and respecting everyone’s differences.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Gorgeously Me!

    by Jonathan Van Ness, illustrated by Kamala Nair

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    Jonathan Van Ness, star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, pens a hopeful and inspiring book encouraging children to embrace the most unique parts of themselves. The upbeat messaging and colorful illustrations deliver a timely and much-needed message of self-love and confidence.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Leo and the Pink Marker

    by Mariyka Foster

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    Coloring on the wrong things is a common childhood mishap. This gently humorous picture book explores what happens when a young boy gets carried away and colors outside the lines with his pink marker. It’s perfect for fans of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • Olivette Is You

    by Nico Tortorella, illustrated by Melissa Kashiwagi

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    Celebrate your whole child with this gorgeous picture book. Joyful text and beautiful artwork deliver a feel-good message that children will love. The main character, Olivette, tells young readers they don’t have to confine themselves to one identity. They don’t have to pick and choose who they want to be because they are already everything.
    (Ages 4 – 8)

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  • I am Billie Jean King

    by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

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    In this illustrated picture book biography, young readers learn about Billie Jean King and her journey to become a world champion tennis player AND a champion for women's rights. She's a great role model for girls, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who feels like the world doesn’t take them seriously and is out to prove them wrong.
    (Ages 5 – 8)

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  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

    by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno

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    Young readers can now learn the momentous and inspiring story of the Gay Pride Flag, created in 1978 by social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker. More than a history, Pride vibrantly illuminates the reach and timelessness of the rainbow flag, a global symbol of equality and inclusion.
    (Ages 5 – 8)

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  • Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution

    by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

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    Pride author Rob Sanders adds another title to the LGBTQ+ historical canon with Stonewall, the moving story of the 1969 police raid and ensuing protests that played a crucial role in the gay civil rights movement. Narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, this accessible and empowering book is an essential piece of pride history.
    (Ages 5 – 8)

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  • A Kids Book About Gender

    by Dale Mueller

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    If you’re looking for resources to help your child explore their gender and identity, this book is a must-have. The conversational tone makes the topic accessible and easy for young readers to understand. It’s an excellent book to start open and safe conversations about gender with your child.
    (Ages 5 – 9)

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  • 10,000 Dresses

    by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Rex Ray

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    Bailey dreams of unique and captivating dresses every night, but her family refuses to listen to her. One day, she meets an older girl who is sewing a dress and asks Bailey for help. Together, they bring Bailey’s designs to life. This award-winning picture book was one of the first titles to feature an openly transgender protagonist.
    (Ages 5 – 9)

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  • Queer and Fearless

    by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Harry Woodgate

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    Introduce your young reader to LGBTQ+ heroes throughout history with this collection of 17 short biographies. Each activist in the book is honored with a lively poem, a short bio, and a striking illustration. Anyone interested in learning more about the movers and shakers in the LGBTQ+ community will want to read this book.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2024.