Let's celebrate June, which is LGBTQ+ Pride Month!
Following are picture books that gently introduce LGTBQ+ themes to young children.
One of these books is a frequent target of censorship lists, though the story is true.
Picture Books That Celebrate LGBTQ+
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and illustrated by Henry Cole
This true tale takes place at the New York City's Central Park Zoo. Richardson tells the story of two male penguins who partner together to hatch an egg/rock.
If you have ever seen the documentary, March of the Penguins, you know that male penguins take up primary caregiving duties of protecting and warming their eggs. Females become the hunter-gatherers in the pair.
In And Tango Makes Three, two male penguins take up roles of penguin parents. Children will learn how important families are, in this life affirming story. Perfect for lower elementary-aged children.
You can still see Silo at the Zoo!
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell
Heather's favorite number is two. We find out about all of Heather's things that number two. She is especially proud of her two mommies.
The two mommies tell Heather that she will soon be starting school, which sounds exciting and new. Of course, Heather is nervous, so her mommies give her a blue blanket to ease her way.
At school, she learns that her family is not quite the same as others'. However, her teacher gently guides the children so that they can see that all of the families love each other.
The best part of this story was that there was no bully involved! No negativity was involved, just respect and kindness! Great story for preschoolers to lower elementary-aged children.
In Our Mother's House by Patricia Polacco
In her usual graceful and thought-provoking way, Patricia Polacco tells the story of three children who grow up with two mothers.
The three children recount memories of holidays and the big block party that their parents' run.
The children are very happy, but a neighbor, Mrs. Lockner, seems to disapprove of their family.
Despite the tension brought on by the one neighbor, the rest of the neighborhood appreciates the happy family and love to visit the family's house.
Living their lives to the fullest despite the negativity has made their lives extraordinary.
Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Sarah S. Brennan
Chloe is not thrilled about her Uncle Bobby getting married. She thinks Uncle Bobby is her favorite uncle and is worried about change.
I recommend reading the 2021 version; the art has changed from animal characters to humans, which makes the story more relatable.
Like Newman's story, this title does not follow a trite formula. Rather, this story focuses on Chloe's desire for everything to remain the same. Chloe learns that maybe things aren't as bad as she thinks it will be!
This title is great for pre-schoolers to lower elementary-aged children.
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings and illustrations by Shelagh McNicholas
Jazz is very sure about herself. Unlike a lot of people, she knows who she is inside.
She explains her journey as a child, when she was born a boy, but identified as a girl.
Jazz's family is very understanding, though confused at first. However, they become more supportive as they begin to develop their knowledge.
This title is great for children who are in preschool up to early elementary.