12 Children’s Books for Pride Month
Looking for a fun and meaningful way to celebrate Pride Month with your little ones? We asked teacher and toddler mom, Elizabeth Mundt of @thekidlitmama to share with us a curated list of books to continue conversations with kids of all ages about Pride, equality and inclusivity.
Pride Month is upon us! The first Pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago on June 28, 1970, on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. While Pride Day is June 28, Pride Month is observed throughout June as people come together with parades, concerts, parties, picnics and more to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and honor the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
While kids’ books representing LGBTQ+ populations must be shared with young readers all year long, Pride Month is a great opportunity to really amplify these titles. In this post, I’m sharing my favorite board books and picture books for Pride. These titles provide background on the history and meaning of Pride, tell both true and fictional stories of LGBTQ+ individuals, and encourage readers to be true to their own unique identities.
Written by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Wednesday HolmesThis colorful counting book encapsulates the joy and diversity of Pride. Each page features a number from 1-10, along with a Pride-related concept. For example, “3 families of all different types” and “7 divas strike a fierce pose.” The illustrations by Wednesday Holmes are so celebratory and will appeal to little readers with their bright colors and quirky details.
THE PEOPLE OF PRIDE SERIES
Featuring Harvey Milk, RuPaul Charles, Ellen DeGeneres
This small series of short biographies is designed for young readers. The titles are informative, colorful and inspirational! These books were released as part of a partnership between little bee books and GLAAD, and a portion of sales go toward accelerating LGBTQ acceptance.
THE PRONOUN BOOK
Written by Chris Ayala-Kronos, Illustrated by Melita Tirado
This bold and engaging title begins with a child asking the question, “How do you know what someone wants to be called?” followed by the solo word “Ask” on the next page. The board book reads almost like a concept book, with each page naming one pronoun alongside colorful illustrations of a variety of people who use that pronoun. The book encourages individuality but also unity, ending with, “All together…us!”
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE PRIDE
Written by Joanna McClintick, Illustrated by Juana Medina
This new release, a play on ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, features a diverse family preparing for Pride. Together, two moms and their children gather on the couch to share the story of the first Pride. Readers learn about the Stonewall riots and how Pride evolved from it. As the older sibling goes to sleep that night, they reflect on Prides past and smile at the meaning of Pride and the fun it brings.
THE MEANING OF PRIDE
Written by Rosiee Thor, Illustrated by Sam Kirk
This new release begins with a brief history of Pride, followed by a moving exploration of what Pride really means. Alongside the text, the illustrations feature a wide variety of LGBTQIA+ public figures from a variety of backgrounds. The back of the book offers brief biographies of each of the real people depicted in the book. This title does a great job of acknowledging the intersectionality of this community.
Written by Robin Stevenson, Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin
This book masterfully highlights various elements of Pride while telling the story of a puppy who runs off from its owner during a Pride parade. The details that are weaved into this book’s illustrations make for a fun reading experience and provide the opportunity for thoughtful discussions. For example, there is a marcher with a sign that reads “The future is intersectional” and another of Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender activist.
PINK, BLUE AND YOU!
Written and illustrated by Elise Gravel with Mykaell BlaisThis title is a thoughtful yet playful exploration of gender identity, norms and stereotypes. It encourages kids to be true to themselves: to do the things they enjoy, to respect their own pronouns and those of others, and to realize there are many ways to be a loving family. While the book highlights some of the oppression people have faced in relation to their gender identity, it ends on a hopeful note, reminding readers that the world is changing and that it will be nice to live in a world where we can all be ourselves.
Written by Trinity and DeShanna Neal, Illustrated by Art TwinkMy Rainbow is the story of a young Black, Autistic, transgender girl, Trinity. One day while playing with her dolls, Trinity realizes her need for long hair of her own. Her Mom lovingly listens to her daughter, and works tirelessly to create the perfect rainbow wig just for her. This book celebrates the importance of being true to ourselves and being loved for who we are.
Written by JR and Vanessa Ford, Illustrated by Kayla Harren
Calvin is a young transgender boy. This picture book shares the story of Calvin’s coming out to his family and experiencing the world, including school, as his true self. What makes this book so wonderful is the unconditional love and affirmation that Calvin receives from those around him. This story radiates joy and happiness.
TWO GROOMS ON A CAKE
Written by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Robbie CathroTwo Grooms on a Cake tells the love story of Jake Baker and Michael McConnell, the first same-sex couple in the United States to be legally married. This beautiful book tells their story in such a unique way - scenes from their story are shared alongside the steps of baking a cake. This title was also released as part of the aforementioned partnership between little bee books and GLAAD.
Written and illustrated by Harry WoodgateIn this touching story, a child goes to visit her Grandad at his cottage by the sea. Her Grandad tells her wonderful stories about the places he and Gramps, who has passed, would explore with one another. Together, child and Grandad fix up the camper and camp on the beach, just as Grandad and Gramps used to do together. This book does a beautiful job of representing an elder gay couple.
MY OWN WAY: CELEBRATING GENDER FREEDOM FOR KIDS
Written and illustrated by Joana Estrela, Adapted by Jay Hulme
This positive and affirming title introduces the concept of freedom in gender expression. It assures readers that they will find their own way, and only they can know what it looks like. I appreciate that this book goes beyond the gender binary, helping readers know that there are so many different ways of being!
How do you celebrate Pride in your family? Which of these books are you excited to read with your little ones?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elizabeth (she/her) is a teacher, mom to a toddler, and a children's book fanatic! On Tiktok and Instagram @thekidlitmama, she enjoys sharing the best in kid lit, especially engaging and inclusive new releases, and gives tips on how to use different titles at home and/or in the classroom. You can find her at thekidlitmama.com.