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To so many parents I meet I always ask “how do you inspire and educate your children to be open minded?” It’s a trick question really as all children are open minded. It’s the information we give them that shapes their minds and beliefs. One amazing way to do this is with books, but that’s not always as easy as we want.
Walking into most high street book shops you can be overwhelmed when you see the children’s section, at least my sister and I were. We wanted to see how easy it was to find books on diversity, inclusion, race, sexuality and general books to inspire those little people to be the best they can.
After about 20 minutes of wondering the sections we had found a handful of books about race, inclusion and one about having family who are LGBTQ+, but it was safe to say we were left pretty uninspired. As you can imagine, owning an LGBTQ+ book shop I went into this knowing there was a wonderful selection of books IF you know what and where to look for it.
With Christmas rapidly approaching I thought we need to put together a wonderful collection of LGBTQ+ & diversity books for children… so we have!
Julian and finds a new friend - at a wedding to be remembered. Julian and his nana are attending a wedding. Better yet, Julian is in the wedding along with his cousin Marisol.
When wedding duties are fulfilled and with a new dog friend in tow, the pair takes off to roam the venue, exploring everywhere from underneath tables to enchanting willow trees to... muddy puddles? After all, it wouldn't be a wedding without fun, laughter and a little magical mischief. With ingenuity and heart, author-illustrator Jessica Love tells a charming story of friendship, acceptance and celebration.
Meet Herbert: the rabbit who knows he was born to be a fox. When his mummy isn't looking, he puts on pointy fox ears, makes himself a bushy tail, and asks his sister to paint him orange, just like a fox. But Mummy doesn't understand: why can't he just be a good rabbit? A Fox Called Herbert is a true celebration of being ourselves and supporting our loved ones.
Let this joyful tale inspire you to be who you are and follow your dreams.
Age range 3 to 9. My Shadow is Pink is a beautifully written rhyming story that touches on the subjects of gender identity, self acceptance, equality and diversity. Inspired by the author's own little boy, 'Shadow's' main character likes princesses, fairies and things 'not for boys'...he soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide. This is an important book for a new generation of children (and adults alike) which exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect and positive parenting.
Duck wants to join a club. But he needs to be able to ROAR to join Lion Club, or TRUMPET to join Elephant Club. And all he can do is QUACK! What's a Duck to do? Why, set up his own club of course... where everyone is welcome to join! With a laugh-out-loud text from John Kelly and brilliantly quirky illustrations by Steph Laberis, Can I Join Your Club? is a heart-warming story which celebrates the importance of diversity and friendship. Perfect for little ones who are learning to make friends at a new school or nursery.
The Blues, Reds and Yellows lived in harmony. Reds were the loudest, Yellows the brightest and Blues were the coolest. However when one of the colours proclaims they are the best, discord breaks out and eventually the colours decide to live in different parts of the city.
Then one day a Yellow befriends a Blue and they become inseparable, discovering a world of different possibilities and colours. From the brilliantly talented Arree Chung comes a sweet tale of difference and acceptance. Mixed is a charming and timely story with characterful illustrations and humour.
Illustrated by Matt Carr, this colourful picture book will teach 3 to 5-year-olds to always be themselves and make new friends, as well as some fun facts about rhinos! If you loved Supertato, Superbat and Julian is a Mermaid, come meet Ron in Rhinocorn Rules! Ron is a rhino like no other. He doesn't like to live by the other rhino rules - the other rhinos are grumpy, solitary and they will charge at anything that gets in their way. But not Ron. Ron likes music, art and only wants to have fun. He is determined to live his best life and not conform to the herd. When Ron paints himself into a bright unicorn, all of the other animals think he's the coolest animal ever, but his rhino family are less impressed. Will they learn to embrace Ron for who he really is? An uplifting and funny new picture book story about daring to be different, from the creator of Superbat.
While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage.
When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes and even more importantly what will she think about how Julian sees himself?
The Number One New York Times Bestseller! Debut author Drew Daywalt and international bestseller Oliver Jeffers team up to create a colourful solution to a crayon-based crisis in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way. Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit! Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown, Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other. The battle lines have been drawn. What is Duncan to do?
Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings! Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat. But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself? This poignant and uplifting story about individuality is filled with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette. From Tom Percival's bestselling Big Bright Feelings series, it is the perfect book about self-acceptance and being yourself.
These children and animals are all very different to each other. Some are big, some are small. Some are gentle, some are rough. Everyone is playful, but who's the best at hiding? One thing's certain: they all love a good bedtime story! The perfect picture book for little ones who are just beginning to make sense of their place in the world.
If you love each other, then you're a family… Do you have two dads? Or one step mum? Or what about the world's biggest grandpa? Discover a whole host of silly animal families in this hilarious celebration of the love found in families big and small. Max Lang's award-winning art style and Suzanne Lang's hilarious rhymes will tickle the tail feathers of readers big, small and everything in between.
Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have a mum to invite to the party.
Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance and the true meaning of family.
Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together. Shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.
Pink! by Lynne Rickards
What's a penguin to think when he wakes up PINK? Patrick wakes up one day to find he's turned pink overnight. But boys can't be pink! Feeling teased and left out, Patrick runs away in search of pink playmates, but he soon learns that friendship is never black and white, and real friends accept you as you are.
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boy's clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.
Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
Heather's favourite number is two - she has two arms, two legs, two pets and two lovely mummies. But when Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy ... and Heather doesn't have a daddy! But then the class all draw portraits of their families, and not one single drawing is the same.
Heather and her classmates realize - it doesn't matter who makes up a family, the most important thing is that all the people in it love one another very much.
Matilda is a new girl at Pearl's school, but there's something really different and cool about her family she has TWO dads! Pearl is sure that Matilda's family must be very different to her own but, as they become friends, she starts to discover that maybe Matilda's family aren't so different after all ... A funny and heart-warming tale featuring a same-sex parent family. This light-hearted story will open up discussion and encourage children to be open minded and inclusive. This charming tale of friendship is all about celebrating what makes us different and similar to one another and is perfect for sharing with children aged 3 years and up.
Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it's riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can't figure out why.
Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: 'In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.' And Errol says, 'I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.’ A sweet and gentle story about being true to yourself and being a good friend, Introducing Teddy can also help children understand gender identity.
'My Dad thinks I'm a boy named Stephen who likes wrestling and fishing. But that's what my Dad likes.' Stephie is 7 years old. She likes bugs, books and spaghetti. Also, she's a girl... which should be pretty easy to understand, right? Well, not for her Dad! He's been mistaking her for a boy since she was born and struggles to see her for who she is. This powerful and uplifting book for children aged 6 - 9 and their families humorously portrays a situation that is often too common, where a trans child is forced to negotiate between their true self and their parents' love. With amusing illustrations, and a useful guide for adults, it's the perfect book to help show children that no one else than ourselves gets to decide who we are.
One of the six political books for kids you should definitely read according to Zoe Williams in the Guardian, November 2018! Roy and Silo are just like the other penguin couples at the zoo - they bow to each other, walk together and swim together. But Roy and Silo are a little bit different, they're both boys. Then, one day, when Mr Gramzay the zookeeper finds them trying to hatch a stone, he realises that it may be time for Roy and Silo to become parents for real.