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Children's literature
to explore

Books about or featuring same sex parents

Books about being yourself
 
 
Books about family diversity
 
Books about LGBTIQA+


Books about gender diversity

LGBTIQA+ studies
Real Mum

Who's Your Real Mum?

Bernadette Green, Anna Zobel

Blurb: When Nicholas wants to know which of Elvi's two mums is her real mum, she gives him lots of clues. Her real mum is a circus performer, and a pirate, and she even teaches spiders the art of web.But Nicholas still can't work it out! Luckily, Elvi knows just how to help Nicholas understand.

 

Synopsis: Elvi has two mums at her house, but Nicholas wants to know which one is her real mum. "They're both my mum," she says. Poignant, but written with a light and humorous touch, this beautifully illustrated story captures what lies at the heart of family life--love.

 

"Elvi, which one is your mum?"

"They're both my mum."

"But which one's your real mum?"

 

This beautifully illustrated story celebrates non-traditional families and captures exactly what lies at the heart of family life - love.

 

Discussion ideas:
  • What does 'real' mean? Discuss the different ways things can be real. For example, a real plant versus a fake plant.

  • Why do you think Nicholas keeps asking Elvi who her real mum is? Have a discussion about ways we can learn about difference.

  • There are lots of different families in the world, and they are all real families. Tell me (or draw, make, create) about your family. What makes YOUR family special?

  • Think about your family. Why are they special, and what are some ways they show you they love you?

 

See Family Bead Tree experience

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Red
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Blurb: This is a story about a crayon I know. I wrote it for you.

 

Synopsis: Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries!

 

Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue!

 

Discussion ideas:
  • Special friends make you happy to be who you are. Tell us about a friend you like to be with and what makes them a special friend to you.

  • What makes us special?

  • What do we love about ourselves?

  • What do we love about our friends?

 

See “This is Us” Extension experience

My Maddy

My Maddy

Gayle E. Pitman

Blurb: Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy.

My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.

Synopsis: This accessible and child-friendly story introduces children to transgender, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming/non-binary parents. Both heart-warming and informative, the story follows a parent and child moving through their days with warmth and love, snuggling and reading. Such positive images of gender-nonconforming presentations are rare in children’s literature, making this a valuable addition to any library.

 

Also included, an insightful note from Randall Ehrbar, PsyD, with more information about parents who are members of gender minority communities, including transgender, gender non-binary, or otherwise gender diverse people.

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Pride Flags
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Blurb: Celebrate and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community with this colourful book of Pride flags!

 

Featuring all the colours of the rainbow, this book teaches children about LGBTQIA+ identities through 17 different Pride flags. With fun facts, simple explanations and a short history of each flag accompanying beautiful illustrations, children will uncover the history of Pride and be introduced to different genders and sexual orientations. There's also a blank Pride flag design at the back of the book so that children can create their very own Pride flag!

 

With a Reading Guide that provides a detailed History of the Pride Flag and questions for further discussion, this inspiring book is a must-have for every child's bookshelf, library or classroom.

 

Synopsis: What a fantastic collection of fabulous flags! This simple to understand book has the various Pride flags, what they mean, where they came from, and what each flag represents. Some may be familiar to many and others brand new, each of them is equally dazzling. This whole book is bursting with pride!

 

This book would be a great resource for teacher education. Pop it in the staff room!

Rainbow Parade

The Rainbow Parade

Emily Neilson

Blurb: One day in June, Mommy, Mama, and Emily take the train into the city to watch the Rainbow Parade. The three of them love how all the people in the street are so loud, proud, and colourful, but when Mama suggests they join the parade, Emily feels nervous. Standing on the sidewalk is one thing, but walking in the parade? Surely that takes something special.

 

This joyful and affirming picture book about a family's first Pride parade, reminds all readers that sometimes pride takes practice and there's no "one way" to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Synopsis: Joy, love, and sacred tradition are shared across generations in Neilson’s personal-feeling tribute to Pride, situated in a city that resembles San Francisco. The excitement is palpable as young Emily and their two moms ride the train to join their “family of friends” for the march. Along the way, they see people of varying ages, body types, gender expressions, and skin tones, all wearing “whatever makes them feel most like themselves.”

 

When the event at last begins, Emily observes its participants as “extra loud,” “super proud,” and “very colourful.” And indeed, digital spreads and spot illustrations are alight with pattern and movement that soon show the characters heading out from behind the parade route’s barrier to march with other families—naming Pride as something to practice, not just to observe. The creator’s familiarity and fondness is clear in this title that represents the queer community’s exuberant spectrum and honours Pride as a place for families, for community, and above all for connection.

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Learning experience ideas
  • Have children create their own personalised flag representing all the things they are proud of about themselves. Provide a range of materials – collage materials, paint, pens. Capture children’s words and ideas about themselves.

  • Have a parade with all children wearing something they love and feel good in – this may be from the dress up box or clothes from home.  Celebrate with balloons, music, singing, playing of instruments. Children can wave their personalised Pride Flags and share ideas about what they are proud about.

Families!
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Blurb: If you love each other, then you’re a family…

Do you have two dads? Or one stepmum? 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. No matter your size, shape, or pedigree--if you love each other, you are a family

 

Synopsis: Mums, dads, sisters, brothers — and even Great Aunt Sue — appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of non-traditional families. Silly animals are cleverly depicted in framed portraits on each page. Each portrait features a gently rhyming line such as: "Some children live with their grandparents…/and some live with an aunt./Some children have many pets…/and some just have a plant." All these appealing images demonstrate different ways of being a family and offer a warm celebration of family love

Learning experience ideas
  • Have children create their own personalised flag representing all the things they are proud of about themselves. Provide a range of materials – collage materials, paint, pens. Capture children’s words and ideas about themselves.

  • Have a parade with all children wearing something they love and feel good in – this may be from the dress up box or clothes from home.  Celebrate with balloons, music, singing, playing of instruments. Children can wave their personalised Pride Flags and share ideas about what they are proud about.

Drag Queen

Blurb: SHOUT “YESSS QUEEN!” If you’re a drag queen and you know it, let it show by winking, shaking your bum, laughing real big, twirling around, and more! Join a cast of fabulous drag queens as you sing along to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” in this playful celebration of expressing your brightest and boldest self.

 

Synopsis: Strike a pose. Blow a kiss. Mouth the words. A fun, sing-along book with a drag twist that encourage kids to embrace all the playfulness of drag culture written by a founding member of Drag Queen Story Hour. A perfect companion to The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish written by a board member of Drag Queen Story Hour.

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Learning experience ideas
  • Sing along with the book. Take turns making up new actions.

  • Create a stage area inside or outside and introduce theatrical concepts such as performers, audience, taking turns to perform, sound and lighting, costume and make up and allow children to create their own drag queen theatrical performances. Some children may prefer to make and sell tickets, seat guests and sell popcorn – equally important roles.

Bathe the Cat
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Bathe the Cat

Alice B. McGinty

Blurb: Sarah, feed the floor. I'll sweep the dishes. Bobby, rock the rug. Dad will scrub the fishes. I'll vacuum the lawn. Bobby, mow the mat. Sarah, mop the baby. But who will bathe the cat? The family turns a day of housework into riotous story-time fun in this irrepressible rhyming tale of mixed-up chores and family silliness.

 

Synopsis: Bathe the floor? Sweep the dishes? This riotous romp of a picture book follows a frantic family as they try to get some chores done—with no help from the family cat, who keeps scrambling the list of chores with hilarious effects. Get ready for a rollicking read-aloud with a truly purrfect ending.

 

It's cleaning day, but the family cat will do anything to avoid getting a bath. So instead of mopping the floor or feeding the fish, the family is soon busy rocking the rug, vacuuming the lawn, and sweeping the dishes. Bouncy rhyme carries the story headlong into the growing hilarity, until finally Dad restores some kind of order—but will the cat avoid getting his whiskers wet?

 

TWO DADS LEAD THE WAY: Dad and Papa are the heads of this large and loving biracial family, mirroring illustrator David Robert's own orientation and providing picture book readers with a positive depiction of LGBTQ+ characters in a fun and funny family story

Learning experience ideas
  • Develop a list of pack up time tasks with the children. Eg. Wipe the tables, stack the blocks, put lids on the glue, wash the paints, sweep the floor. Write the verb (eg wipe) on a coloured piece of card and draw a corresponding picture next to it. Write the noun  (table), with a picture, on a different coloured paper.  Give a child a toy cat or puppet to scramble the words while your back is turned, turn back to the group and give out the “pack up orders”. For example “Wynter, can you please put lids on the tables? Johann, can you please sweep the blocks?....

Jack

Jack (Not Jackie)

Erica Silverman

Blurb: In this heart-warming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn't like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as "Jack"?

 

Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle! She can't wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together. But as Jackie grows, she doesn't want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug! Jackie also doesn't like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack.

 

Synopsis: A big sister learns a lesson about loving her transgender brother for who he is. The social transition portrayed in this book is simply and refreshingly a family listening to their child and following his lead as he tells them what name and pronoun he wants to use and how he wants to dress. It’s a sweet story about change and acceptance and depicts vital representation for transgender boys. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

 

A great book to gently challenge your own bias about gender – how do you feel when boys wear tutus, girls play with trucks etc? Does this book help the educational team understand gender diversity?

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Our preferred book seller is Hares and Hyenas, Melbourne's sexuality and gender diverse (queer) bookshop, located at the Victorian Pride Centre and online at https://www.hares-hyenas.com.au/.

 

You are, of course, welcome to use your service’s own preferred bookseller to purchase the books most appropriate for your unique families and communities.

 

This resource list is updated periodically. Please check back with us when you’re ready for new books!

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