It's never too early to introduce children to a diverse range of people and perspectives. Books provide a great means to broaden their understanding of the world and in this article we will introduce you to the top 10 best LGBT books in the UK!
Whether you are looking for a picture book to read with your child, or one to use with your class if you're a teacher, we've found books which celebrate a wide array of LGBTQ+ topics including same-sex parenthood, non-binary and transgender characters and important historic moments for the LGBT community. All available to buy online on eBay and Amazon.
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Table of Contents
In this guide we will take a look at the different factors to consider when choosing an LGBTQ+ book for kids. There are all kinds of books on a range of topics, so read on for advice on shopping for suitable reads for your little ones!
Of course it's vital to pick an LGBTQ+ book aimed at the age bracket your young'un falls into. Books for children of different ages appeal to different reading comprehension levels and learning styles.
Even if they are not yet ready to understand more complex topics, children are never too young to be introduced to diverse, queer-friendly narratives.
If you're picking a book for very small kids, look out for one with fewer words and lots of lovely images or illustrations to keep their attention. This way you can read out loud to your child while they follow along and enjoy the pictures.
For children around 4 to 5 years of age who are just embarking on their reading journey, try books with easy-to-follow text and illustrations to help move the story along.
This type of book will be perfect for early years pupils who want to flex their reading muscles. If they get stuck, they can always use the illustrations to learn new vocabulary and boost their confidence with tricky words.
For older children who are beginning to enjoy reading by themselves, you can go ahead and choose a text with more complex vocabulary or which looks at more detailed issues from LGBT life.
These books tend to be longer and more advanced than those aimed at younger kids. Though they will often still have smashing illustrations, which help developing brains retain new info.
There are books on various different aspects of LGBTQ+ life, from gender transition and gender neutrality, to same sex parents and important moments in queer history. Try to think which topics you would like to introduce your little ones to, to help you discover books on particular themes.
Books with transgender characters are a great way to introduce kids to the concept of gender transition and what it means to be transgender. Whether you are looking for relatable stories for transgender children, or ones to help non-transgender children learn about and better understand life from a transgender child's point of view.
Books that celebrate transgender people and their stories are worthwhile reads for little ones, no matter their own gender identity. We've included books on our list that tackle the issue of transitioning head-on, as well as ones that feature transgender kids as main characters in part of a larger narrative.
Stories where the main character has no obvious gender identity, or specifically identifies as gender neutral, are another great addition for your child's bookshelf. The strict boy-girl gender binary that's still so prevalent in the media they see can be pretty restrictive and sometimes damaging to little ones, even if they more or less fit on one side or the other.
By choosing a book where the character openly states their gender neutrality or fluidity, or one in which the character's gender simply isn't given, will allow all kinds of children to celebrate themselves and understand that they are valued for their actions and qualities, rather than their gender.
No matter the shape your family takes, books with same-sex parents recognise the wide variety of family backgrounds found all around the UK.
These kinds of books help children with less traditional family units feel proud and seen, while helping children who have a more typical family structure appreciate the different types of family that exist.
To help educate kids, and maybe even yourself, on key moments in LGBTQ+ history, pick a children's book celebrating a certain area of queer life or a particular well-known figure in the liberation movement.
These kinds of books are particularly helpful for school projects and for encouraging youngsters to better understand, contextualise and memorise important facts pertaining to LGBTQ+ issues.
There are plenty of benefits to choosing both fiction and non-fiction books for kids. When deciding on which to pick, consider the intention behind your purchase and the style of book your child likes to read.
Non-fiction books are great for supplementing your child's education, helping them to absorb knowledge of the world while they read. While fiction will spark their imagination, inspiring curiosity with an intriguing storyline to keep little ones gripped.
You may also want to choose a fiction-style book that's based on a true story. That way your child can enjoy all the typical storybook tropes, while learning about events which really took place - the best of both worlds some might say!
Board books are a good choice for very young children as they're sturdy and easy to grip for tiny hands. They're also tough enough to be bashed around and dribbled on, which will help them to last a bit longer.
Hardcover books make lovely gifts and look enticing on book shelves. However, paperbacks are the top pick for schoolbags and backpacks. They are lightweight enough to be comfortably held and carried, and can also be bent back on themselves and squished into bags where space comes at a premium!
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Kai Cheng Thom
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
A Mesmerising and Dreamlike Story of Fluidity and Freedom
Julian Is A Mermaid
A Proud Message of a Acceptance and Love
And Tango Makes Three
A Bestseller That'll Leave You With A Warm, Fuzzy Feeling
Love Makes a Family
A Lively Illustrated Board Book About Family and Love
I Am Jazz
A True Story of Gender Transition
The Little Book of Pride: The History, The People, The Parades
A Bold Book for Kids and Young Teens Exploring Pride Celebrations Past and Present
Maya Christina Gonzalez
Llámame Arbol (Call Me Tree)
A Whimsical Tale of Self Discovery
Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson
Mommy, Mama and Me
A Lyrical Celebration of Same-Sex Parents
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
A Heartwarming True Story Kids Will Love to Read Again and Again
When Aidan Became a Brother
A Sweetly Illustrated Tale of Welcoming a New Sibling
Author Kai Cheng Thom brings to life the story of a child who doesn't choose, or need to choose which gender they are. The dreamy watercolour palette and lyrical text promote a message of fluidity which feels at once fantastical, and totally real.
It's whimsical and imaginative stylisation aside, this book has its feet firmly on the ground. Rooted in a simple parable about identity, it extols the joy of freely finding one that works for you. This book is our number one pick and gorgeous bedtime story material if ever there was some!
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award and Wasterstones Children's Book Prize, Julian Is A Mermaid has become a popular hit amongst primary students, teachers and care givers alike. The vibrant illustrative style will truly spark kids' imaginations and help bring the tender story to life
In this story of magic and exploration Julian's abuela casually embraces Julian's dream, no questions asked. Beautifully blending fantasy and reality, this book allows young readers to embrace their potential to be whatever and whoever they want to be.
And Tango Makes Three approaches the topic of same-sex parenthood through an adorable animal-themed narrative. The story of Roy, Silo and baby Tango is a particularly touching read as, let's face it, everyone loves a penguin.
Not only is the story a bit of a tear-jerker, but this award-winning book celebrates kindness and hope. Nate that this book is available both as a boardbook for more rambunctious households, and as a paperback for any school-age kids who fancy taking it along to class.
This delightful boardbook is illustrated in eye-popping primary colours, scattered with rainbows and bursting with energy. Although the text is minimal, the message comes loud and clear; families need not fit into cookie-cutter moulds, but come in all shapes and sizes. And, of course, are made all the better with a side-serving of love!
A perfect read for little eyes that celebrates same-sex parents, single mums, dads, grandparents and all sorts of diverse and unique family structures. This book is pure joy.
One top reason to choose this book is for its simple, easy to follow narrative which doesn't shy away from or hide information about main character Jazz's understanding of herself and her gender. Based on a true story, it shines a light on what it means to transition from a young age.
Jazz Jennings, the co-author who inspired the book, is a well-known Youtuber advocating for trans rights and celebrating herself and her trans peers with regular videos and updates. Since it comes from a real place, the honest emotion in this book will touch young readers with its tender approach to gender and family.
Choose this handy little Pride-guide for slightly older kids who are considering attending a Pride event, or want to learn more about the real history behind the parades, and increasingly corporate celebrations we see today.
This book features quirky, modern illustrations to guide youngsters through the origins of Pride and navigate a contemporary Pride celebration. From ideas for placards, to the crucial work of activists like Silvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, your kid will find all kinds of illuminating info among this book's colourful pages.
This book is a great example of a narrative in which gender stereotypes are completely omitted. The main character is not described as fitting into either side of the binary allowing for universal tale of empowerment and growth.
The lovely illustrations utilise deep, bold colours that sing harmoniously from the pages, with detailed pattern work that more curious children will notice and admire. Written in both English and Spanish, it's a fun and simple celebration of identity fluidity written in a poetic style.
The rhythmic text in this tender portrayal of same-sex parenthood will catch children's ears and will surely have them asking for second, third and fourth reads!
The charming story takes readers through a day in the life of a toddler with two mothers, exploring the games they play and their loving family bond. Whatever form your family takes, this is a nice choice for young readers, just beginning to branch out on their own.
The story of Harvey Milk is an important part of learning about the history of gay liberation. In this book, kids will be able to meet him and learn about his powerful work in the founding stages of the fight for equal rights.
A great choice for reading together with your little one. The soft, smudgy pencil illustrations have a dreamlike quality, with clear easy-to-follow text for early readers. Kids and adults alike can't fail to be moved by this touching story.
Coming in at number 10 on our list is When Aidan Became A Brother, the story of a child who was assigned female at birth, but transitions to male with the love and support of his parents. In this gorgeously illustrated story, Aidan welcomes a new baby sibling into the family.
While Aidan's transition is valued and respected, it doesn't form the entire basis of the book's narrative. The close relationship between Aidan and his parents is heart-warming, and his excitement at the imminent arrival of a new baby is relatable for young kids about to meet a newborn sibling.
If you want some more ideas for books to read with your kids, we have plenty of resources! You might want to consider some of the suggestions below. These top ranking titles include history books, activity books and some serious escapism. All available to buy online in the UK.
We hope our list of LGBTQ+ books for kids has been uplifting and inspiring. Whether you plan to share these books with your little one, or with a whole classroom of kids, we reckon we've drawn together a joyous collection of reads that will surely become firm favourites!
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Kai Cheng Thom｜From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
No. 2: Jessica Love｜Julian Is A Mermaid
No. 3: Justin Richardson｜And Tango Makes Three
No. 4: Sophie Beer｜Love Makes a Family
No. 5: Jessica Herthel｜I Am Jazz
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