Books are an important part of children’s development, informing their imagination and inspiring creativity, all while introducing children to different customs, cultures and social concepts.
In a time of increasing awareness and acceptance, it’s important for children from various backgrounds – such as the LGBT+ community – to see themselves and their families reflected in the books they read.
It’s also important for children who do not necessarily belong to these communities to learn about inclusivity, acceptance, and equality.
These children’s books about LGBT+ characters celebrate diverse families, helping to establish a healthy foundation from which your child can begin exploring their own sexuality and gender identity, as well as develop their own view on these subjects.
That’s why we’ve picked out our top 5 books that feature LGBT+ characters and stories, to help you teach your child about acceptance, sexual orientation and unconditional love.
Love Makes a Family
This beautifully illustrated picture book from author Sophie Beer explores the different ways that love is shown in various families with two mums, two dads, one parent and everything in between.
From finding the biggest puddles, to lending a helping hand, to making cake, this brightly coloured read-aloud book celebrates different family structures and the love that is at the heart of them all.
And Tango Makes Three
Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
Based on a true story, this delightful tale tells the story of two male chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo.
Set in New York’s Central Park Zoo, and illustrated by Henry Cole, And Tango Makes Three tells the story of penguin couple Roy and Silo, who walk, swim, and sing together in the penguin enclosure. Given an egg to care for by their zookeeper, Roy and Silo hatch their very own baby, Tango, whom they love, nurture, and raise together.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
It’s likely that you and your child recognise the iconic rainbow Pride Flag, but do you know the story behind its creation?
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag tells the moving, inspiring tale of the Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activists Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker, to its blooming significance as a symbol of equality across the globe. This uplifting children’s book is a perfect introduction to the history of the
LGBT+ community, and its key figures.
Errol and his toy teddy, Thomas, do everything together. They ride bikes, plant vegetables, and have tea parties inside when it is raining. However, one day, Thomas is sad, and Errol can’t figure out why – that is, until Thomas reveals what the teddy has been too 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, not Thomas.”
A gentle story, this children’s book explores gender identity, focusing
on the importance of friendship, acceptance, and respect.
Heather Has Two Mommies
One of the first LGBT+ children’s books to garner broad attention when it was published in 1989, ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ follows child, Heather, and her two mothers, as she starts school for the first time. At school, Heather realises she doesn’t have a daddy like some of the other children do.
She is upset at first, until her class all draw pictures of their families, and she realises that every drawing and every family is completely
different. One of the first of its kind, this classic LGBT+ picture book
celebrates the joy and diversity of non-traditional families.
The LGBT+ representation in these children’s books provide a great starting point for educating your children about acceptance, inclusivity and equality, helping to broaden your child’s understanding of gender and sexuality.
If you are interested in providing a safe home for some of the UK’s most vulnerable children, please get in touch with us. Our friendly local team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also find out more about fostering with our top picks for foster care books here.