30 LGBTQ+ Children’s Books For Pride Month

It’s almost June, and we all know what that means! It’s Pride, y’all!

Though the first Pride rally was celebrated over 50 years ago, the queer community is still one of the most underrepresented voices in children’s books today. So whether you’re a queer family or are raising active allies, I wanted to make your search for books to read to your little ones to celebrate Pride a little bit easier. I have gathered thirty of my favorite queer titles, including both fiction and nonfiction titles. With one book for every day in June, young readers will learn about the history of Pride itself and hear wonderful stories about families with queer kids, parents, grandparents, and more. There’s even a gay fairy tale!

So without further ado, here are my 30 picks for Pride Month!

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Love Is Love: An Important LGBTQ Pride Book for Kids About Gay Parents and Diverse Families by Michael Genhart, Illustrated by Ken Min (Bookshop | Amazon)

Open a dialogue with the children in your life about the importance of love and acceptance with this Silver Moonbeam Award Winner story celebrating open mindedness, diversity, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Perfect for your family library or a storytime read-aloud for any day of the year.

It’s love that makes a family.

When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn’t have a real family, he discovers that his friend’s parents―a mom and a dad―and his two dads are actually very much alike.

Dr. Michael Genhart’s debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with kids. This sweet and straightforward story shows that gay families and straight families and everything in between are all different kinds of normal. What makes a family real is the love that is shared.”

When Aiden Became A Big Brother by Kyle Lukoff, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life.

Then Mom and Dad announce that they’re going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning–from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does “making things right” actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.

When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.”

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Jamey Christoph (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From Rob Sanders, author of the acclaimed Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, comes this powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement–a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community–in and around the Stonewall Inn–began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.”

My Rainbow by Trinity and Deshanna Neal, Illustrated by Art Twink (Bookshop | Amazon)

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Warm morning sunlight and love fill the Neal home. And on one quiet day, playtime leads to an important realization:Trinity wants long hair like her dolls. She needs it to express who she truly is.

So her family decides to take a trip to the beauty supply store, but none of the wigs is the perfect fit. Determined, Mom leaves with bundles of hair in hand, ready to craft a wig as colorful and vibrant as her daughter is.

With powerful text by Trinity and DeShanna Neal and radiant art by Art Twink, My Rainbow is a celebration of showing up as our full selves with the people who have seen us fully all along.”

Stella Brings The Family by Miriam B. Schiffer, Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown (Bookshop | Amazon)

“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 mom 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.”

Pride Puppy by Robin Stevenson, Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young child and their family are having a wonderful time together celebrating Pride Day―meeting up with Grandma, making new friends and eating ice cream. But then something terrible happens: their dog gets lost in the parade! Luckily, there are lots of people around to help reunite the pup with his family. 

This rhyming alphabet book tells a lively story, with rich, colorful illustrations that will have readers poring over every detail as they spot items starting with each of the letters of the alphabet. An affirming and inclusive book that offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year.”

Be sure to check out my full review of Pride Puppy for more information!

Maiden and Princess by Daniel Haack and Isabel Galupo, Illustrated by Becca Human (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this modern fairy tale, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but at the dance, she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place.

“The prince is smart and strong,”

she confided in her mother.

“But if I’m being honest,

I see him as a brother.”

Her mother said, “Just go!

And have a bit of fun.

The prince might not be right,

but you could meet the one.”

Once in a faraway kingdom, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but she’s not as excited to go as everyone else. After her mother convinces her to make an appearance, she makes a huge impression on everyone present, from the villagers to the king and queen, but she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.”

This Day in June by Gayle. E Pitman, Illustrated by Kristyna Litten (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, this title welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a reading guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a ‘Note to Parents and Caregivers’ with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways.”

A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Qin Leng (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.

One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby.

As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special.

A warm and whimsical look at many types of families written by award-winning author Sara O’Leary, A Family is a Family springs to life with quirky and sweet illustrations by Qin Leng.”

Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero by Ellie Royce, Illustrated by Hannah Chambers (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Told from the perspective of their adoring nephew, Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero is the story of a courageous drag queen who saves the day, and brings two communities together.

The young narrator thinks it’s awesome that his Uncle and his Auntie are the same person. Uncle Leo is an accountant, and is great at helping with math homework. Auntie Lotta is a fabulous performer, and loves to sing and dance with her nephew. One day Lotta’s family comes to watch her perform at the local Pride parade. Suddenly, a dog breaks free of its leash and nearly causes a float-crash, but Lotta springs into action just in time to save the dog and the parade. The mayor wants to give her a medal for courage and to throw a big party for her and all her friends, but Lotta worries that her friends who only know him as “Leo” won’t get along with her fellow drag performers who know her as “Lotta.” With the help of their nephew they put together a fierce look that is both Leo and Lotta, the perfect ensemble for an Auntie Uncle. A sweet, uplifting story about fearlessly letting your true self shine.”

What Are Your Words by Katherine Locke, Illustrated by Anne (Andy) Passchier (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Follow Ari through their neighborhood as they try to find their words in this sweet, accessible introduction to gender-inclusive pronouns that is perfect for readers of all ages.

Whenever Ari’s Uncle Lior comes to visit, they ask Ari one question: “What are your words?” Some days Ari uses she/her. Other days Ari uses he/him. But on the day of the neighborhood’s big summer bash, Ari doesn’t know what words to use. On the way to the party, Ari and Lior meet lots of neighbors and learn the words each of them use to describe themselves, including pronouns like she/her, he/him, they/them, ey/em, and ze/zir. As Ari tries on different pronouns, they discover that it’s okay to not know your words right away—sometimes you have to wait for your words to find you.”

For more on What are Your Words?, check out my full review.

Two Grooms on a Cake by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Robbie Cathro (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Long before marriage equality was the law of the land, two grooms stood on a wedding cake with their feet firmly planted in fluffy white frosting. That cake belonged to Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, who were wed on September 3, 1971, becoming the first same-sex couple in America to be legally married. Their struggle to obtain a marriage license in Minnesota and their subsequent appeals to the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States is an under-told story of LGBT history. This beautiful book celebrates the love story of two pioneers of marriage equality for all through the baking of their wedding cake!”

Daddy and Dada by Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster, Illustrated by Lauren May (Bookshop | Amazon)

Families can come in all shapes and sizes, and this heartwarming picture book affirms that no matter what your family looks like, love is the most important part!

Hi, I’m Rumi.
Some of my friends have one mom and one dad.
Some have one mom or one dad.
I have two dads. Daddy and Dada.
Daddy sings songs with me. Dada reads me stories.
Every family is different.
And that’s pretty cool.

This sweet, open-hearted book began as a love letter from authors Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster to their daughter—and became a joyous celebration of love, family, and acceptance for all to read and share.”

Make sure to read the full review here!

A Church for All by Gayle E. Pitman, Illustrated by Laure Fournier (Bookshop | Amazon)

“On Sunday morning, we gather together. We are every color. Every age. Rich and poor. Our church is open, affirming, and accepting. We believe in love instead of hate. There’s room for everyone! This book celebrates a spiritual community that embraces all people―no matter their age, race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation―in love and faith.”

Born Ready: The True Story of A Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson, Illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son’s experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance.

Penelope knows that he’s a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it.

In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.”

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman, Illustrated by Laura Cornell (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. This delightful edition for a new generation of young readers features fresh illustrations by Laura Cornell and an updated story by Lesléa Newman.”

The GayBC’s by M.L Webb (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A joyful celebration of LGBTQ+ vocabulary for kids of all ages!

A playdate extravaganza transforms into a celebration of friendship, love, and identity as four friends sashay out of all the closets, dress up in a wardrobe fit for kings and queens, and discover the wonder of imagination. From A is for Ally to F is for Family to Q is for Queer, debut author/illustrator M. L. Webb’s bright illustrations and lively, inclusive poems delight in the beauty of embracing one’s truest self. A glossary in the back offers opportunity for further discussion of terms and identities. The GayBCs is perfect for fans of A Is for Activist and Feminist Baby—showing kids and adults alike that every identity is worthy of being celebrated.”

Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. Gramps just made everything extra special. But after Gramps died, granddad hasn’t felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again.

This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.”

For more on this book, check out the full review here.

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale, Illustrated by Mika Song (Bookshop | Amazon)

“An empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture based on the true story of a young girl in Hawaiʻi who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school.

Ho’onani feels in-between. She doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She’s happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way.

When Ho’onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho’onani has to try . . .

Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is–and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.”

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and The Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by Steven Salerno (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.”

Plenty Of Hugs by Fran Manushkin, Illustrated by Kate Alizadeh (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Two mommies spend a sunny day with their toddler in this cozy, rhyming picture book that is a loving celebration of family.

This cheerful book follows a family from morning to night in lively rhyme that rolls off the tongue. There’s a buzz for each bug, and a breeze for each tree, and plenty of hugs for you and me. The toddler and mommies take a morning bike ride to a farm stand, they visit a zoo in the afternoon, and in the evening there’s the bath and storybook routine before the child is tucked cozily into bed. There are seas for ships and kisses for lips, so we can whisper I love you! This is sure to become a preschool favorite, for bedtime and any time.”

The Hips On The Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish by Lil Miss Hot Mess, Illustrated by Olga de Dios Ruiz (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Playing off “The Wheels on the Bus,” this nursery rhyme book from a founder of Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun, freewheeling celebration of being your most fabulous self.

The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish encourages readers to boldly be exactly who they are. Written by a founding member of the nationally recognized Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), this playful picture book offers a quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme by illustrating all of the ways to “work it”. The story plays off “The Wheels on the Bus” as it follows a drag queen who performs her routine in front of an awestruck audience. A fun frenzy of fierceness, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.”

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen, Illustrated by Lucia Soto (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When Chloe’s favorite uncle announces that he’s getting married, everyone is excited. Everyone except Chloe, that is. What if Uncle Bobby no longer has time for picnics, swimming, or flying kites? Chloe just wants to keep having fun with her favorite uncle, but she’s afraid everything is going to change. Can Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend Jamie show Chloe that, when it comes to family, the more the merrier? In this inspiring, love-filled story, Chloe learns just what family means.

Produced in coordination with GLAAD, this adorable picture book is a positive example of same-sex marriage and a celebration of family.”

From Archie To Zack by Vincent X. Kirsch (Bookshop | Amazon)

“An unapologetic celebration of friendship and first crushes

“Archie loves Zack!”
“Zack loves Archie!”
Everyone said it was so.
But Archie hasn’t told Zack yet. And Zack hasn’t told Archie. They spend just about every minute together: walking to and from school, doing science and art projects, practicing for marching band, learning to ride bikes, and so much more.
Over the course of a few months, Archie tries to write a letter to Zack to tell him how he feels: “From A to Z.” None of his drafts sound quite right, so he hides them all away. One by one, Archie’s friends (Zelda, Zinnia, and Zuzella) find the letters . . . but they know exactly whom they’re meant for.
This new picture book from Vincent X. Kirsch celebrates young, queer love in a whimsical, kid-friendly way.”

Be sure to check out the full review of From Archie to Zack here.

Pride 1,2,3 by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Wednesday Holmes (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Celebrate and march along in the Pride Parade with this lively counting board book!

1 parade in the month of June
2 DJs spin fabulous tunes
3 families of all different types
4 activists fight the good fight

Teach your little ones about the Pride Parade with this colorful, energetic counting book! Featuring a diverse cast of characters and families, this board book highlights and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, love, and standing up for who you are while counting to ten. Perfect for all families, this counting board book should be shared and read with pride!”

Sylvia and Marsha Start A Revolution by Joy Michael Ellison, Illustrated by Teshika Silver (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Someday girls like us will be able to wear whatever we want. People will call us by the names we choose. They’ll respect that we are women. The cops will leave us alone and no one will go hungry.”

Sylvia and Marsha are closer than sisters. They are kind and brave and not afraid to speak their truth, even when it makes other people angry.

This illustrated book introduces children to the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the two transgender women of colour who helped kickstart the Stonewall Riots and dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. It introduces children to issues surrounding gender identity and diversity, accompanied by a reading guide and teaching materials to further the conversation.”

Sam Is My Sister by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, Illustrated by MacKenzie Haley (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Evan loves being big brother to Sam and Finn. They do everything together―go fishing, climb trees, and play astronauts. But lately, Evan notices that he and Sam don’t look like brothers anymore. Sam wants to have long hair, and even asks to wear a dress on the first day of school. As time goes by, Evan comes to understand why Sam wants to look like a girl―because Sam is a girl. Sam is transgender. And just like always, Sam loves to dream with Evan and Finn about going to the moon together. Based on one family’s real-life experiences, this heartwarming story of a girl named Sam and the brothers who love and support her will resonate with readers everywhere.”

Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ayesha is excited to attend her cousin Ritu’s wedding. She can’t wait to dance at the baraat ceremony! But not everyone is happy that Ritu is marrying her girlfriend Chandni. Some have even vowed to stop the celebrations. Will Ayesha be able to save her cousin’s big day?”

Make sure to check out my full review here!

A Plan For Pops by Heather Smith, Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in  hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.”

Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this beautiful, bold board book, children will learn about the colors of the iconic pride flag!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and brown . . .
These are the colors of our rainbow flag. Do you know what they stand for?

Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, Our Rainbow can teach toddlers all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.”

Did I miss any of your favorites? Be sure to share your favorite LGBTQ+ titles in the comments below. Y’all know I love to hear about the books you’re reading.

I hope you all enjoyed this list and found a few titles to add to your celebrations this month. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Pride!

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A Day For Rememberin’: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day

I can’t think of a better selection for Memorial Day weekend than A Day For Rememberin’ by Leah Henderson. This beautiful picture book is a fictionalized account of a true historical event that many believe to be the first celebration of Memorial Day. Though today we honor veterans of all wars, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day in Charleston, South Carolina when newly freed citizens marched to honor the Union soldiers who fought for their freedom in the Civil War.

During the Civil War, the Confederate Army converted the Washington Race Course in Charleston into a prison. They imprisoned captured Union soldiers and subjected them to inhumane treatment. Though the prison was only open for seven months, 257 Union prisoner died there due to exposure, disease, and starvation.

Shortly after the end of the civil war, twenty-eight newly freed men volunteered their time and labor to create a permanent resting place for the Union soldiers who fought for their freedom. On May 1, 1865, the first free May Day – in a time when Black people weren’t allowed to congregate freely – 10,000 Charleston residents gathered to march, sing, and spread flower petals to honor the lives of those soldiers. While some may not agree with Leah Henderson’s assertation that this was the first Memorial Day celebration, it’s hard to argue with the dates.

In A Day For Rememberin’ we follow ten-year-old Eli, a (fictional) son of one of the men who worked to build the cemetery. Eli longs to join his father in his work, but he must attend school, now that he has the freedom to do so. On the tenth day, Eli and other boys his age are allowed to help whitewash the fence. The next day, newly freed citizens, abolitionist, missionaries, and more all gather at the racecourse to honor the fallen soldiers.

A Day For Rememberin’ is an essential history lesson with a whole lot of heart. The back matter contains a fantastic Author’s Note, further detail about the history of Decoration Day, and a timeline. I would highly recommend this title for classrooms and school libraries.

The illustrations by Floyd Cooper are fantastic. They perfectly capture Eli and all the residents of Charleston, taking readers back in time.

A Day For Rememberin’ is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Leah Henderson is an award-winning author of multiple titles for young readers, including one of my personal favorites: The Teacher’s March. Please visit Leah’s website at leahhendersonbooks.com.

Floyd Cooper is the award-winning author and illustrator of Max and The Tag Along Moon, Jump, and many other children’s books. To learn more about Floyd and his work, please visit his website at floydcooper.com.

Thank you so much to Abrams Books For Young Readers for sharing a review copy of A Day For Rememberin’ with me. I am so honored to share this story with my readers today.

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Anita and The Dragons

I’m happy to announce that another selection from my Most Anticipated Titles of 2021 has lived up to my expectations. Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha is a gorgeous picture book following a young Dominican girl named Anita as she prepares for her family’s immigration to an unnamed country.

Anita tells us about the dragons in the sky over her home – how they will carry her away today, and how her brother calls them planes. She doesn’t really believe the dragons are real, but she does believe she will always be the princesa on her island, even when she is far away from it. She will miss her home, and her Abuela, who is staying behind. Even the promise of hot water, a real dryer, and restaurants doesn’t seem to shake Anita’s doubt.

But with the help of her family, and the realization that she will one day return to her home, Anita bravely enters the belly of the beast and flies to her new home. Anita and the Dragons is a wonderful story of love for your home and bravery in the face of tough transitions. It provides both a window for children who have not immigrated, and a mirror for those who have.

The illustrations are absolutely wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Ann Cunha’s style and can easily see why she won the AEILIJ Prize for her previous work. The pastel color scheme is so lovely and provides a calming backdrop for all of Anita’s anxieties.

Anita and the Dragons is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Hannah Carmona is a writer, actor, director, and children’s book author based in Tennessee. Please visit her website at hannahcarmona.org to learn more about her and her work.

Anna Cunha is an award-winning artist based in Brazil. You can learn more about Anna and her work by visiting her website at www.annacunha.com.

Thank you to Lantana Publishing and Publisher Spotlight for sending me a review copy of Anita and the Dragons. I’m so grateful to share this beautiful story.

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Llama Glamarama

I have to be honest with y’all, I didn’t plan on covering Llama Glamarama by Simon James Green and Garry Parsons due to my strict “no animals” rule. But my mind was changed when Alessandra at Read with River shared such a thoughtful #LibrarianFightClub post, arguing that animal books aren’t really the reason for the lack of diversity in children’s books.

It really got me thinking. Who am I to tell folks that they shouldn’t tell their stories with animals? Am I excluding books by or about marginalized communities? Should I perhaps adopt an “almost always no animals” rule? The post specifically made me think of an ARC I had read a few weeks prior called Llama Glamarama.

In this rhyming picture book, we meet Larry the Llama, who lives in a barn with lots of straight-laced, rule-following llamas. But Larry is keeping a secret – he loves to dance. When his friends suspect he might be dancing, Larry runs away from his barn. While he is away, he discovers a poster for a carnival called the Llama Glamarama. Larry is stunned to find a huge crowd, music, and llamas dancing. He realizes he is not alone, which gives him the courage to go back home and tell his friends his truth, who in return reveal a few secrets they’ve been keeping.

Llama Glamarama is a bit campy and flamboyant in all the right ways. Adults will catch references to LGBTQ+ themes, though they are never directly mentioned. While this book isn’t specifically about the queer experience, it absolutely encourages young readers to celebrate their differences. It also builds a firm foundation of both acceptance and confidence in your identity – two skills all children need. So while yes, there is an animal at the center of Llama Glamarama, it still provides us with an opportunity to have conversations with the youngest readers about being themselves unapologetically and celebrating others who do the same.

I am so thankful to Alessandra for challenging my stance on animal books, because I would have missed out on sharing this delightful story. At the end of the day, Llama Glamarama is an entertaining picture book with fun illustrations that I’m sure lots of children will enjoy. Who doesn’t love llamas and rainbow boas?

Llama Glamarama officially releases next week (June 1, 2021), but you can preorder your copy today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Simon James Green is an award-winning author of young adult titles based in the UK. LLama Glamarama is his picture book debut. Please visit his website at simonjamesgreen.com to learn more about him and his work.

Garry Parsons is a UK-based illustrator of many children’s books, including the bestselling series The Dinosaur That Pooped by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter. To learn more about Garry and his work, please visit his website at garryparsons.co.uk.

Thank you so much to Scholastic for providing me with a review copy of Llama Glamarama. It was such a fun read, and has a great message…even without human characters.

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Nia and The New Free Library

I’ve got a delightful picture book for lovers of libraries and folktales today. Inspired by the author’s experience at the grand opening of the library in his childhood home, Nia and the New Free Library by Ian Lendler is a delightful picture book retelling the classic folktale Stone Soup.

It all starts off quite dramatically, with the Littletown Library being swept away by a tornado after years of neglect. Everyone has a different idea about what to do with the space, but a clever girl named Nia wants to rebuild the library. The town isn’t convinced, but Nia comes up with a plan to change their minds.

Nia gathers at her favorite place, under the tree in front of the library that was, and begins writing. She doesn’t stop until she has a wagon full of books. She begins to offer them to townspeople, creating the New Free Library. When the townspeople find that the tales aren’t exactly as they remembered, Nia hands them a pencil and encourages them to fix the errors. Before they know it, the whole town has rallied together to make the New Free Library the best library the town has ever seen.

Nia and the New Free Library is a clever story about the way communities come together. I am looking forward to my local library fully reopening, and I can’t wait to see my community coming back after the pandemic to learn, share, and create together again. But for now, I will happily settle for Nia’s New Library.

The illustrations by Mark Pett are fantastic. The level of detail put into capturing the individual personality of each townsperson was so impressive – from the mayor, all the way to the distracted mom and her son, I felt like I understood the characters right away.

Nia and The New Free Library releases next week (June 1, 2021), but you can preorder your copy today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!) 

Ian Lendler is a journalist and award-winning author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more about him and his work (including picture books, nonfiction, and graphic novels), please visit his website at ianlendler.com.

Mark Pett is an author and illustrator (or “authorstrator”) of several books for children, and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please visit his website at markpett.com/authorstrator.

I want to thank Chronicle Kids for sending me a copy of Nia and the New Free Library. It was such a treat, and I’m sure it will bring joy to all the young readers who are missing their libraries these days.

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New Release Round Up – May 25, 2021

It’s New Release day again! I’m so excited to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all.

As always, these titles will have inclusive characters (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more), and fall into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Daddy, You’re Amazing by Roger Priddy (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Cherish precious memories with With Love: Daddy, You’re Amazing a beautiful keepsake book by Priddy Books.

Filled with gentle rhyming text and charming illustrations which show all reasons why children thinks that their daddy is amazing, this unique keepsake book is the perfect gift to share. With a space to add handprints, a built-in envelope to store special trinkets and die-cut frames to add photos, this book can be fully personalized to create a memory story book to truly cherish.

The ideal gift to purchase for Father’s day and birthdays.”

The Life of / La vida de Dolores by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, Illustrated by Citlali Reyes (Amazon)

Introduce little ones to the life of legendary civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, in both English and Spanish!

“Si, Se Puede! Yes, it can be done!” is the famous rallying cry of Dolores Huerta, a leading voice in the rights of migrant farmworkers. Originally a teacher, and later a community leader, she believed in her cause so much that she co-founded the labor union United Farm Workers of America. Inspire your little ones to believe in themselves and become leaders, just like Dolores!”

Picture Books

We All Play by Julie Flett (Bookshop | Amazon)

From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7. 

Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful Own Voices book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:

  • birds who chase and chirp!
  • bears who wiggle and wobble
  • whales who swim and squirt!
  • owls who peek and peep!
  • and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting: 

We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna

At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story. A beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.

This book also includes:

  • A glossary of Cree words for wild animals in the book
  • A pronunciation guide and link to audio pronunciation recordings”

This Is Ruby by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Alea Marley (Bookshop | Amazon)

Ruby is curious about her world and has big ideas about how it works. A delightful picture book celebration of science and creativity, and a welcome companion to Sara O’Leary’s beloved This Is Sadie.

Ruby is a little girl with a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm that’s too big to contain! Ruby is always busy — she loves to make things, watch things grow and figure out how things work, with her dog Teddy by her side. And Ruby has lots of ideas about what she wants to be: maybe an animal conservationist? Or an archaeologist? She’s great at excavating (i.e. digging holes). Or maybe an inventor? She’s already invented a book with smells instead of words (so dogs can read it) and a time machine (the dinosaurs did have feathers after all, and the future is looking wild). This is Ruby, and this is her world.”

It Began With Lemonade by Gideon Sterer, Illustrated by Lian Cho (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This imaginative, colorful tale of making (and selling!) lemonade from life’s lemons is not too sour and not too sweet.

One scorching hot summer day, a spunky young girl decides to sell lemonade . . . only to find there are too many other young entrepreneurs on her street with the same idea. So she sets off with her lemonade stand and ends up at the river’s edge, where she discovers a most unexpected, quirky, and very thirsty clientele.”

I Wish You Knew by Jackie Azúa Kramer, Illustrated by Magdalena Mora (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When Estrella’s father has to leave because

he wasn’t born here, like her,

She misses him.

And she wishes people knew the way it affects her.

At home. At school.

Always.

But a school wrapped around a hundred-year-old oak tree is the perfect place to share and listen.

Some kids miss family,
Some kids are hungry,
Some kids live in shelters.

But nobody is alone.

A story about deportation, divided families, and the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty.”

Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young girl finds a clever way to keep her favorite things–and people–close to her forever in Memory Jars, from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol.

Freda is devastated when she can’t eat all the delicious blueberries she’s picked. She has to wait a whole year before they’re back, and she doesn’t want to lose them! Then Gran reminds her that they can save blueberries in a jar, as jam. So Freda begins to save all her favorite things. But it turns out that saving everything also means she can’t enjoy anything, and Freda realizes that some things are best saved as memories.”

Chapter Books

One Big Crafty Family (Craftily Ever After #8) by Martha Maker, Illustrated by Xindi Yan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Emily, Maddie, Bella, and Sam can’t agree on what to create for their school’s big craft fair in the eighth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series. Will they be able to glue their crafty family back together?

When Emily, Maddie, Bella, and Sam learn that there’s going to be a craft fair at their school, they are beyond excited! What could be more perfect for four kids who love to craft? But as the friends brainstorm ideas for the perfect project, they can’t seem to agree on one! So they decide to go their separate ways for the craft fair. But does that mean the friends are going to go their separate ways…forever? Or will they realize that they’re better working together as one big crafty family?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.”

Middle Grade

Diana and the Underworld Odyssey by Aisha Saeed (Bookshop | Amazon)

“The world’s #1 female Super Hero, Wonder Woman, is back in another breathtaking adventure! This time, Diana will travel to the Underworld to take on Hades–but will she make it out alive?

After Diana thwarts a stunning attempt to defeat the Amazons and Themyscira for good, she has finally been granted permission to start training as a warrior! Except, the goddess Artemis brings news that children all over are disappearing without a trace. Diana is the only one who can be trusted to save them–even if she must confront Hades, Persephone, and all of the undead souls and mythical creatures of the Underworld. That is, until she discovers that a far more sinister villain is out to capture her–and will do whatever it takes to find her. With her warrior training barely underway, will young Wonder Woman be able to rely on her strength from within to save the missing children and defeat Hades? Or will she instead be dragged to the Underworld–forever?”

Graphic Novels

Lumberjanes: Horticultural Horizons (Vol. 18) by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh, Illustrated by Kanesha C. Bryant (Bookshop | Amazon)

When April, Jo, Mal, Molly, and Ripley get in trouble with Rosie, the mysterious director of Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, they figure the punishment is gonna be a walk in the park… er, woods, but no one’s ready for the surprises that await!

THEY’RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS QUITE YET! When April, Jo, Mal, Molly, and Ripley get in trouble with Rosie, the mysterious director of Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, they figure the punishment is gonna be a walk in the park… er, woods. That’s before a super gross, and seemingly-sentient creeping vine starts popping up everywhere and scooping ‘Janes up! And then there’s Rosie’s best friend from long ago: the elegant and enigmatic Abigail, who’s appeared out of the woodwork to join forces with the Lumberjanes once more! The team of Kat Leyh, Shannon Watters and Kanesha C. Bryant send the ‘Janes on their most surprising adventure yet in the next volume of the New York Times best-selling phenomenon. Collects Lumberjanes #69-72.”

I hope you all enjoyed reading about these new releases, and hopefully you found one or two to add to your young reader’s shelves!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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Pride Puppy

I have another perfect pick for Pride month for you all today! Pride Puppy by Robin Stevenson is a precious LGBTQ+ rhyming alphabet picture book. Unlike most alphabet books, Pride Puppy is not just a collection of words starting with every letter of the alphabet, but a story featuring a family as they attend a Pride parade.

Our story starts with the family waking up and preparing for their big day – packing everyone in the car, including their pup with a cute little rainbow bandana. But during the festivities, there’s an accident and their puppy gets lost, making a big mess of things as everyone tries to catch him. I won’t spoil the ending, but I’ll just say that by the time they get to Z, young readers will be pleased.

I absolutely LOVED the representation in this book. The illustrations have rainbow flags, trans flags, bi flags, two spirit flags, and more. We see folks with a wide range of ages, abilities, races, and genders all celebrating together. There is even representation for colored hair and tattoos! The level of detail and inclusion is absolutely lovely to see, and all the fun bright colors are just icing on the cake.

As someone who is bi, seeing that flag meant the world to me. I have to admit, this is the first time I remember seeing bisexuality specifically represented in children’s literature. I don’t have the words to describe how much it means to me to point to that flag while reading this book with my son and proudly tell him what it means.

Pride Puppy is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Robin Stevenson is an award-winning author of over twenty-five books based in Victoria, Canada. Please visit her website at robinstevenson.com to learn more about her and her work.

Julie McLaughlin is an award-winning freelance illustrator based in Vancouver Island, Canada. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at whatwouldjuliedraw.com.

I’m so happy to see more books centering the queer community being published today. I want to thank Orca Book Publishers for sending me a copy of this wonderful book. Now I’m going to cry tears of joy because I get to take my son to his first pride parade this year and I have the perfect book to prepare him for it.

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We Move Together

I’m a little late to the game, but that won’t stop me from sharing We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire with you all today. Released last month, this beautifully inclusive picture book focusing on disability justice is a perfect example of what Mutually Inclusive is all about.

We all move through the world in different ways, and it’s so important to provide young readers with visible examples of the many assistive devices people with disabilities use on a daily basis. Normalizing characters with disabilities in children’s literature is such a great way to accomplish this goal, and We Move Together does it flawlessly.

In We Move Together, we follow a diverse group of mixed-ability children and their families as they overcome everyday barriers and come together to connect with the disabled community. Whether it’s solving accessibility issues or preparing for a protest, We Move Together provides young readers with a wonderful example of a community working together to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

We Move Together offers more disabled representation than I’ve found in any other book. Children who use crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, ventilators, sign languages, and more will see themselves represented on every spread. The bold, colorful illustrations by Eduardo Trejos are fantastic! The careful attention to detail and accuracy in depicting all the assistive devices on each page is a wonderful example of the respect and care We Move Together shows the disabled community.

We Move Together is also an amazing resource for classrooms and school libraries. The back matter contains lots of additional information about accessibility, ableism, and the disability community.

Be sure to pick up your copy of We Move Together today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Dr. Kelly Fritsch is a disabled writer, educator, parent, and feminist disability studies scholar based in Ottawa, Canada. Please visit her website at kellyfritsch.ca to learn more about her and her work.

Anne McGuire is a disability studies scholar and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her Twitter.

Eduardo Trejos is a Costa Rican graphic designer, visual artist, and illustrator based in Toronto, Canada. Please visit his website at edtrejos.com to learn more about him and his work.

I also want to thank AK Press for publishing such a wonderfully inclusive book, and sending a copy my way.

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Already A Butterfly: A Meditation Story

Did you know that today is World Meditation Day? In celebration, I would like to share Already a Butterfly by Julia Alvarez with you all today. The calming, gentle picture book follows a young butterfly name Mari Posa, as she buzzes about her busy days.

With so much to do, Mari finds she may not be paying enough attention to her days, as everything becomes a blur of activity. Her mind races about the things she needs to do, and she doesn’t seem to rest or enjoy her accomplishments at the end of the day.

One day, Mari meets a new friend who helps her recall the peaceful feelings she had inside her chrysalis. He teaches her how to go back to that calm place in her mind through controlled breathing and meditating, before he makes a transformation of his own.

I was really surprised to find myself relating to Mari Posa. I’ve always known that I have a lot of irons in the fire being a mom, a writer, a reviewer, and having a day job. But I never really thought about the way I might not be sitting with each of those activities and enjoying them in the moment. Already a Butterfly inspired me to set some time aside for yoga and meditation every week, to make sure I’m being a bit more mindful. I always love when a children’s book teaches me a lesson!

The illustrations by Raúl Colón are beautiful. They reminded me of classic illustrations from the books I read as a child, and they bring such a calming energy to Mari Posa’s story.

You can pick up your own copy of Already a Butterfly wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. I will also be partnering with Blue Slip Media to giveaway a copy on Instagram to celebrate World Meditation Day, so be sure to enter over there. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American poet, novelist, essayist, and the recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award and National Medal of Arts. To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at juliaalvarez.com.

Raúl Colón is an award-winning illustrator based in New York. Please visit his Instagram to learn more about him and his work, including one of my personal favorites Counting The Stars by Lesa Cline-Ransome.

Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing me with a review copy of this beautiful book. I hope you all enjoy your World Meditation Day celebrations and find a bit of peace in your busy days.

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What Are Your Words: A Book About Pronouns

I’m so excited to share What are Your Words? by Katherine Locke with you all today! Just in time for Pride, this delightful picture book follows a young child named Ari as they explore their identity and pronouns during their Uncle Lior’s visit.

Uncle Lior uses they/them pronouns, and always asks Ari, “What are your words?” when they come to visit. Ari is growing every day, so he uses different pronouns on different days—sometimes he/him, sometimes she/her, and sometimes ey/em—but today, none of those options seem quite right. We follow Ari and Uncle Lior through their day as they prepare for the neighborhood summer bash. Ari introduces us to the diverse cast of characters that make up their neighborhood and provide young readers with straightforward explanations of each person’s identity and pronouns. Ari eventually finds the right words to describe their identity and encourages young readers to explore the words that best describe them.

What Are Your Words? is a wonderful introduction to gender inclusive pronouns for young readers, providing answers to so many questions folks have about using the correct pronouns for their friends, family, and acquaintances. But it is also a celebration of exploring our identities, encouraging young readers to trust others when they tell us who they are. We need so much more of this in children’s books, and I’m so happy to see this book exists today.

The illustrations by Anne (aka Andy) Passchier are wonderful! The bright, playful colors really draw you in, and they’re sure to please young readers.

What Are Your Words? officially releases next week (May 25, 2021), but you can preorder your copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Katherine Locke is the author of both young adult and children’s titles, such as The Girl with the Red Balloon and Bedtime For Superheroes. Please visit their website at katherinelockebooks.com to learn more about them and their work.

Anne (Andy) Passchier is an illustrator and queer advocate from the Netherlands, currently living in the US. They have illustrated other queer children’s books, including Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhar, and Benny’s True Colors by Norene Paulson. To learn more about them and their work, please visit their website at annepasschier.com.

I want to thank Little, Brown Books For Young Readers for both making books like What Are Your Words? possible, and for generously providing me with a review copy. I know books like these will make the world a kinder place to be, and I can’t wait to see this one in the hands of young readers everywhere.

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