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"Worm Loves Worm" by J. J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato (Handout)

Looking for a way to celebrate and honor Pride Month with your young kid? From books with main characters who are LGBTQ or still figuring out their sexual orientations to stories of straight kids or teens with gay friends or parents, these books portray many aspects of the LGBTQ experience. Many of these books have been published within the last year, an indication that more and more families are celebrating diversity in gender and sexual identity.

Authored by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Laura Cornell

25 years after its controversial debut, this updated version of a now-classic tale of a little girl with same-sex parents comes across as a sweet, gentle message of inclusion and acceptance.

Recommended for ages 3 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Candlewick, 2017

Authored by Jessica Walton, Illustrated by Dougal MacPherson

This sensitively written book about a transgender teddy bear is done with just the right hand to introduce the idea of gender identity and transition to very young kids, for whom less may be more.

Recommended for ages 3 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2016

Authored by Jill Twiss, Illustrated by EG Keller

“A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” presented by HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and written by LWT staffer Jill Twist, is a picture book that celebrates inclusiveness and democracy and embraces same-sex marriage. It was published to coincide with the release of a similarly titled book written by Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter (featuring his real-life family pet rabbit, which is named Marlon Bundo), as a response to Pence’s on-the-record positions on same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ issues.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Chronicle Books, 2018

Authored and illustrated by Jessie Sima

In one seamless story, this book introduces an exuberant multiracial girl who has two dads, sends her on a fantastic hot-air balloon journey with penguins, and throws her a rollicking rooftop party.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018

— “I Am Jazz

Authored by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

This autobiographical picture book about a transgender child chronicles the story of her life (so far); in her words, “I have a girl brain but a boy body.” This is an excellent choice to jump-start a conversation about gender, identify, compassion, and honesty.

Recommended age: 4 and older

Quality rating: 4 out of 5

Dial Books, 2014

Authored by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case

This cheery book about a confident young boy who feels best when he’s wearing a dress is a terrific way for parents to start a conversation with kids feeling their way through unfamiliar terrain.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Albert Whitman & Co., 2014

Authored by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

“And Tango Makes Three,” is a powerful, gentle story of two male penguins who fall in love at the zoo and together nurture and parent another penguin couple’s offspring from the time it’s an egg.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Little Simon, 2015

— “Worm Loves Worm

Authored by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato

Whether you read this as a smart take on same-sex marriage and changing gender norms or a celebration of free and kindred spirits, Worm Loves Worm is irresistible.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Balzer + Bray, 2016

— “George

Authored by Alex Gino

This simply and tenderly written story will help kids — and parents — understand what it feels like to be transgender.

Recommended for ages 9 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Scholastic Press, 2015

Authored by Ashley Herring Blake

This gentle book about a 12-year old’s first same-sex crush explores both LGBTQ themes and universally human themes of family, first love, and navigating life’s unexpected challenges.

Recommended for ages 10 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018

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