By Jase Peeples and Christine Knopp This adorable picture book is a wonderful LGBT allegory that takes place in a magical land where cute creatures known as the Zairs live. Zairs come in two shapes, round and square, and do all things in pairs, always one round with one square. But one day when two square Zairs pair for the first time, the village rejects them before learning different pairs of Zairs make their village stronger. Told in Seussian style, Square Zair Pair is a heartwarming tale for anyone who believes in the beauty of diversity. Available on Amazon.
And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family still manages to find itself amid controversy more than a decade after its release. One of the most banned picture books in recent history, the story follows two male penguins named Roy and Silo who live in the Central Park Zoo. Though they are a little bit different from the others in their habitat, their desire for a family is the same. With the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own. Available at Amazon.
King & King
By Lina de Hann and Stern Nijland Originally published in the Netherlands, a contemporary tale of a lovelorn prince who begins his search for a mate after his mother, the queen, decrees he must marry by the end of the summer. On his search, he finds his perfect match — a prince named Lee. The two marry and live happily ever after as king & king in this barrier-breaking fairy tale. Available on Amazon.
King & King & Family
By Londa De Haan and Stern Nijland This jubilant sequel to King & King follows newlyweds King Lee and King Bertie on a journey through the jungle where they soon discover there’s no adventure more wonderful than starting a family of their own. Available on Amazon.
Worm Loves Worm
By J.J. Austrian and Mike Curato When a worm meets another worm and they fall in love, they make plans to get married. But when their friends ask who will wear the dress and who will wear the tux, we learn the answer is it doesn’t matter, because worm loves worm. A delightful gender-queer tale that celebrates love in all its splendid forms. Available on Amazon.
A Peacock Among Pigeons
By Tyler Curry and Clarione Gutierrez Peter the peacock doesn’t blend in with the grey pack of pigeons he’s grown up in and is embarrassed by his fabulous feathers. However, when finally decides to chart his own course in life and fly solo, he soon discovers a new flock of friends who teach him to stand out from the crowd and love the feathers he was born with. Tyler Curry, managing editor of The Advocate's sister publication Plus, penned the lovely tale. Available on Amazon.
By Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray Bailey dreams about magnificent dresses made of exquisite materials such as rainbows, flowers, crystals, and even windows. However, in his waking life, his parents tell him he shouldn’t be thinking about dresses because he’s a boy. But one day, Bailey meets an older girl named Laurel who is inspired by his imagination and the two of them begin to make dresses together while making Bailey’s dreams come true. Available on Amazon
Call Me Tree
By Maya Christina Gonzalez An exquisite bilingual tale about a gender-neutral child who discovers trees are “just like me.” Finding a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, the child develops as an individual comfortable in the natural world and in relationships with others. “The child begins Within / The deep dark earth, like a seed, ready to grow and then dream and reach out to the world. Each is different too, and the child embraces them all because All trees have roots/ All trees belong.” Available on Amazon.
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous
Roger adores the word “fabulous” and uses it most often to describe the wonderful world around him. But his parents have a different view, and want Roger to see things the way they do. They ban "fabulous" from his vocabulary — but not for long. A more fabulous tale was never told. Available on Amazon.
The Sissy Duckling
By Harvey Fierstein and Henry Cole Elmer is a duck of a different feather who would rather put on puppet shows and decorate cookies than play sports. While Elmer is happy to do the things he loves, the other ducklings tease him for being a sissy, and his father is embarrassed by Elmer’s less masculine interests. However, when his father is wounded by a hunter, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero in this touching story about embracing uniqueness. Available on Amazon.
I Am Jazz
By Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body since she was two years old. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers. Available on Amazon.
By Myles E. Johnson and Kendrick Daye A powerful story that creates a space for queer kids of color, Large Fears follows the story of Jeremiah, a young boy who loves pink things and wants to travel to Mars. He takes off on a marvelous imaginary adventure, but before it ends, Jeremiah lands on stars that have him confronting all his fears — big and small. Available on largefears.com
The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived
By Daniel Errico and Ida M. Schouw Andreasen After dreaming of becoming a knight his whole life, Cedric finally leaves his home on a pumpkin farm to find an adventure of his own. He sets out to fight a fire-breathing dragon and save a prince and princess. However, when the adventure ends the young hero reveals doesn’t want to marry the princess, but the prince instead. Available on Amazon.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
By Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant Morris’s favorite play-time outfit is the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. But the other kids in his class tell him dresses are for girls and they won’t let him play in any of the imaginary spaceships they are building because astronauts don’t wear dresses. However, Morris doesn’t let their comments restrict his imagination. One day at home, he dreams of his own marvelous space adventure (decked out in the tangerine dress) with his cat named Moo. When he returns from his imaginary travels he paints what he saw and brings the picture to school. Soon he builds a spaceship of his own and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure. Available on Amazon.
It’s Okay to be Different
By Todd Parr It’s okay to have different mons, and it’s okay to have different dads, too. These are just a few of the inclusive aspects of this story filled with messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence. Aimed at young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence. Available on Amazon.
The Trouble with Babies
By Martha Freeman and Cat Bowman Smith A delightful and warmhearted story about the adventures of nine-year-old Holly, who tries to adjust to a new home and a neighbor who has just invented a de-yukkification device. Holly’s world is populated with a number of interesting people and different kinds of families, from step-parents and single parents to her friend Xavier’s two dads. A wonderful depiction of family in many forms. Available on Amazon.
The Different Dragon
By Jennifer Bryan and Danamarle Hosler Young Noah is an imaginative boy and one night he helps one of his two moms create a magical tale. Together they weave a bedtime story that finds Noah and his singing cat, Diva, in dragon territory where they make an unexpected friend along the way. Available on Amazon.
Heather Has Two Mommies (2015 re-release)
By Leslea Newman and Laura Cornell One of the first children’s books to present a picture of same-sex families when it was released in 1989, this 2015 re-print features fresh illustrations and an updated story. The charming tale follows Heather, a young girl whose favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another." Available on Amazon.
A Tale of Two Daddies
By Vanita Oelschlager and Kristin Blackwood This story is centered around a playground conversation between two children. The boy says he heard that the girl has two dads. The girl says that is right. She has Daddy and Poppa. True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which dad helps when your team needs a coach? / Which dad cooks you eggs and toast?” To which she answers: “Daddy is my soccer coach. / Poppa cooks me eggs and toast.” A charming look through the eyes of a child at the adults who nurture and care for her. Available on Amazon.
A Tale of Two Mommies
By Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Blanc Like A Tale of Two Daddies, A Tale of Two Mommies takes an innocent look inside one non-traditional family. The story follows a beach conversation among three children. One boy asks another boy about having two mommies, and a young girl listening in asks some questions as well. True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?” To which he answers: “Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.” Available on Amazon
Donavan’s Big Day
By Leslea Newman and Mike Dutton Donovan's two moms are getting married, and he can't wait for the celebration to begin. As the ringbearer, he has a very important job to do and he’s going to get everything just right. Any boy or girl with same-sex parents — or who knows a same-sex couple — will appreciate this picture book about love, family, and marriage. The story captures the joy and excitement of a wedding day while the illustrations show the happy occasion from a child's point of view. Available on Amazon.