Our Favorite LGBTQ Picture Books for Kids

published Jun 1, 2021
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To celebrate this beautiful month of Pride, Cubby editors rounded up a few of our favorite books with LGBTQ representation. Joyful, meaningful, complex, and utterly moving, each picture book helps shade in the many vibrant hues of the rainbow of identity. 

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack

This quietly subversive fairy tale is about a prince who just cannot find his match with the dozens of princesses his royal parents present to him. But when he embarks on a dangerous mission to defeat a dragon, he meets a brave knight and discovers the love that alluded him for so long. The glossy illustrations and playful rhyming will have kids riveted. 

Buy the book: Prince & Knight

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

On the subway one day, Julián sees three women dressed in brilliant colors, their mermaid tails sparkling. He can’t stop thinking about them. At home, he creates his own mermaid attire and admires himself. But what will his abuela think? This book of self-acceptance and identity is thoughtfully written, and illustrated in an expressive, gestural style. This one in particular makes for a special gift.

Buy the book: Julián Is a Mermaid

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

This vibrant book featuring the LGBTQ community invites readers in to a Pride celebration. Especially helpful is the Note to Parents and Other Caregivers, which guides parents in navigating conversations about sexual orientation and identity.

Buy the book: This Day in June

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer 

Stella has two daddies, which makes her feel left out on Mother’s Day for the class party. She wonders who she’ll bring in at first, but then realizes how big and beautiful her support network is: daddies, a nonna, uncles, aunts, and cousins. So, of course, she has to bring them all. This book celebrates the diversity of families with fun language and lively illustrations.

Jack (Not Jackie) by Erica Silverman

Written from the perspective of an older sister, this book examines what it’s like when our family members transition. The narrator is excited for her younger sister to get older so they can wear dresses and play princesses together, but Jackie prefers pants and short hair. And Jackie isn’t Jackie at all; he’s Jack. Through love and empathy, the narrator learns what it’s like to truly love Jack for who he is. Relatable, gentle, and non-judgmental, this book helps little ones understand what it’s like to offer acceptance to our loved ones.

Buy the book: Jack (Not Jackie)

Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin

At heart, this is a book about abundance: lots of things to admire and express gratitude for in life. Two mommies and their toddler spend the day having adventures around town, appreciating the bounty of nature — and their own love for one another. This book is a quiet yet powerful celebration of the small joys of family.

Buy the book: Plenty of Hugs

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

This real-life story set in the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo tells the sweet tale of Roy and Silo, two inseparable penguins who create a nest for themselves. Their keeper notices that they seem lonely, so he brings an egg to them to care for. The egg hatches, and out comes Tango, the penguins’ new baby. Their cozy new family becomes famous at the zoo.

Buy the book: And Tango Makes Three

Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo 

A maiden reluctantly attends a ball hosted by the king and queen to find a bride for the prince. Though everyone insists they would be a perfect match, the maiden knows that her feelings for the prince are not romantic. Instead, she falls for the prince’s sister — a princess whose beauty and gentleness immediately captivates the maiden. Their love results in a joyful marriage that sings on the page.

Buy the book: Maiden & Princess

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen

We love this book for its vibrant illustrations, along with its heartfelt message. Chloe grapples with the possibility of losing her beloved uncle when he announces his engagement to Jamie. She doesn’t want anything to change. But when they all spend a day together, Chloe learns that she’s really just getting an extra (and extra-fun) uncle in her family!