One of the ways we’re celebrating Pride Month is by rounding up a few of our favorite books that feature LGBTQ+ stories, history, and characters. Whether you’re searching for a story that your child can see themselves in, or looking to show them a different perspective, here are 15 great reads for kids of all ages.
P.S. Check back here throughout the month to see a few Book Reports on the titles below from Team Primary!
For Babies & Toddlers (0-3 years)
Bye, Bye, Binary
They She He Me: Free to Be!
For Young Kids (4-8 years)
A Family Is a Family
It Feels Good to Be Yourself
Jacob’s Room to Choose
Papa, Daddy, & Riley
Phoenix Goes to School
Real Sisters Pretend
When Aidan Became a Brother
For Older Kids (9-11 years)
Melissa’s Story (Read more about the title here!)
Team Book Reports
Members of Team Primary share key takeaways and reflections about a few of the titles in our Pride Reading List.
By Teddy Quinn, Performance Marketing Director, and Dad to Waverly (3-years-old) and Domino (13 months)
Bye Bye, Binary is a brand new book written by Eric Geron, and illustrated by Charlene Chua. I had the privilege to receive an advance copy, which I'm excited to tell you about.
Bye Bye, Binary is a board book–suitable for all ages–though targeted to newborns to kids aged 4 (would make a great first reader!). The book tackles gender norms, and presents itself as a "board book about gender expression and being true to oneself".
Here’s Teddy’s take away:
As you read the book, the topic of gender identity is nicely presented through very common situations– ‘boy or girl?’, ‘pink or blue?’, ‘bows or bowties?’, etc. One may think that gender identity is too robust a topic to broach in a kids’ book, though Bye Bye Binary does it very well through a very relatable narrative.
Charlene Chua's illustrations are fantastic, which should keep the attention of even the littlest readers–lots of rainbows, bright colors, and big smiles. One page even has Baby in a very Primary outfit:
So many pages are really just about treating babies and kids (and anyone really) with respect, and not forcing them into a single choice. At Primary, we have often said, "kids don't need a t-shirt to tell them who they are." And while that's especially relevant to clothing, that sentiment extends to most everything in life–nobody likes to be put into a box and told who they are, and everyone wants to choose what they want for themselves.
Bye Bye, Binary is a great read even for adults. If you're expecting parents, and want to help guide extended family members, or soon-to-be older siblings, on how you'd like gender to be (or not be) discussed for your new baby, this could be a great reference point.
I would also like to add that the idea of being respectful to others, extends also to different parenting styles. I recognize that not everyone will see value in a book like Bye Bye, Binary. At Primary, where we used to reference having "no logos, slogans, or sequins", we've received customer feedback about loving sequins, and who are we to insinuate that sequins aren't right for kids? In that light, many families may still find comfort in more traditional gender-forward parenting, baby clothing options, nursery decor, etc. Still, all families should be able to resonate with the lasting sentiment from Bye Bye, Binary, in that it's important - above all else - to be true to oneself.
By Nina Kocendova, Senior WOW Specialist
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity written by Theresa Thorn is a great book for introducing the younger crowd (think ages 4-8) to the subject of gender identity. I read it to my tiny humans, ages 6 and 8. They both enjoyed it, with my little one asking for repeat reads!
Here’s Nina's take away:
The book is written in a very straightforward way using language that is easy for little kids to understand and relate to. The story makes it easy for kids to understand the concept of gender identity as there aren’t any analogies to work through or complex explanations regarding the different ways that one may identify. Just nice, easy-to-grasp language that any kid can comprehend without overcomplicating the message.
It is centered around the main character, Ruthie. She has many friends who each identify a little bit differently from one another. As the book introduces you to Ruthie and her different friends, beautifully vibrant illustrations bring these characters to life and help offer a visual representation of the many unique ways that a person can choose to express their individuality in the world, breaking away from the common “boy” or “girl” depictions.
The gorgeous illustrations in the book are wonderful on their own, and work so well with the message of the book — to be yourself, whoever that may be, while acknowledging and celebrating the fact that people can be different in very specific ways.
A great and compassionate way to introduce the spectrum of gender identity to the younger crowd by stripping away all the extra opinions and assumptions that can often make gender identity feel more complex than it really is.
Stay tuned with more book reports by the Primary team and book giveaways, and share what you're reading this month with us on social @primarydotcom with #yesprimary. Happy reading!