Pride Reading Recommendations for Young Children

By NYPL Staff
June 1, 2021
book covers

Happy Pride Month! Join the Library in celebrating Pride Month throughout June with book recommendations, free online events, illuminating resources, and much more—for all ages! As part of our celebrations, we are thrilled to recommend several of our favorite LGBTQ-themed picture books for families with young children.

First up, From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom, illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching, is a lyrical poem about a child who can transform into anything. In Ho’onani: Hula Warriorby Heather Gale, illustrated by Mika Song, Ho'onani doesn't see herself as wahine (girl) or kane (boy); she's happy to be in the middle. But will she be allowed to lead the all-male hula chant? This book is based on the real-life experiences of a brave young dancer.

Call Me Tree/ Llamame arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez, translated by Dana Goldberg, is a bilingual story about a child who is free to grow and be anything they wish. Another bilingual favorite, One of a Kind, Like Me / Único como yo by Laurin Mayeno, is about a young gender nonconforming boy who is excited to find the perfect princess costume for the school parade. 

For stories about children with two moms or two dads, we recommend Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio, illustrated by Leo Espinosa. This true story about a man finding an abandoned baby on a subway and adopting him with his partner (and later husband) is the perfect feel-good picture book. In Bao Phi’s imaginative Our Footprints, illustrated by Basia Tran, a young Vietnamese-American girl who is bullied at school imagines herself and her two mothers as different strong creatures. Very young readers will delight in Plenty of Hugsby Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Kate Alizadeh, which follows a toddler and two moms on a sunny day. 

Families looking for young romance will find it in Jerôme by Heart by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson. This simple story sees a young boy expressing his love for his friend. Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, illustrated by Becca Human, follows a princess who is supposed to find her husband at a ball, but picks a young woman to marry instead.

Finally, picture books can be excellent forays into LGBTQ history. Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph, tells the true story of the Stonewall uprising, which took place here in New York City, and its legacy. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Christopher Lyles, explores how a lesbian couple built their own community in San Francisco. 

You can view our online Storytimes that feature these titles during the month of June at New Storytimes are posted Mondays through Thursdays at 10AM. Wishing you all a happy Pride Month—and happy reading!