Building a diverse library for your little one is one of the most exciting ways to help them explore the vibrant world around them. Storytelling builds their imagination while opening their eyes to new communities, both developing their own personal story while understanding others as well. Throughout their early years, children will get the chance to both see themselves on the page—going about all their daily childhood adventures and family activities—as well as unfamiliar ways that other children live.
For this reason, children’s books with same-sex parents are integral for normalizing LGBTQ families through their everyday life. These storybooks send the message from day-one that families come in all forms, and that all centralize around the ideas of love and support. Your son or daughter may already connect with the book’s main character, but the added touch that the character has two moms, or two dads adds an extra level of personal association.
Additionally, many new storybooks include characters that explore self-expression as well, such as in Jessica Love’s book listed below, Julian is a Mermaid. These books help create a home where individuality is celebrated in every form.
Explore our list of books below to foster a home of self-expression and a love of every family structure. These make for excellent baby shower gifts, birthday presents or even a great library find for an afternoon at home.
Daddy, Pappa and Me by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson
Leslea Newman is known and celebrated for her extensive collection of same-sex parent children’s books, many highlighting the simplicity and love within an LGBTQ home. The young boy in this story spends his afternoon jumping from game to game with his two dads, running from dress-up to tea time and even out to the park. Just as any toddler does, he wears out his parents as they lovingly leap into each activity with joy. By the end of the book, they’re all worn out and snuggle in for bedtime.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Falling into the self-expression category of this list, Julian is a Mermaid is a recent popular publication that beautifully paints the story of a young boy in New York City who longs to look just like the beautiful people dressed as mermaids on his subway train one afternoon. He goes on an adventure in full costume to find his own true mermaid self with the beautiful acceptance and support of his Abuela.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Also set in the heart of NYC, And Tango Makes Three explores the animal families throughout the Central Park Zoo, including the story of two male penguins that fell in love, spend their lives together and then—with the help of their zookeeper who brings them an egg—raises a baby of their own. The penguin family spends their days doing all their favorite things as park visitors look on with delight. This book is based on the true story of two chinstrap penguins from Central Park Zoo.
The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya and Rajni Perera
Similar to Julian is a Mermaid, The Boy and the Bindi expresses how a storybook can help children further understand their own cultures as well as other children’s heritages and identities. Observing the bindi that his mother wears on her forehead, the boy of the story goes on a personal and spiritual journey of wearing a bindi himself. Through vibrantly illustrated pages, he relates to all the beautiful reasons his mother explains for wearing it, and expresses how it helps him stay honest, imaginative and brave.
Heather has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman and Laura Cornell
Another Leslea Newman gem, Heather Has Two Mommies was published back in 1989. The main character is a happy, enthusiastic child who loves to count and learn everything about the world around her. When drawing her two-mommy family at school, she notices that everyone in her class draws their family differently. Ahead of its time, this book explored when communities and teachers support the loving differences between every family and how love is always the thread that binds them together.
In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Pollaco
Based on the true story of this vibrant family, the two-mother Pollaco house has all the famous tales every home can recognize—getting puppies, cooking with local neighbors and building a treehouse. It also dives into a time when a neighbor confronts parents with anger and fear about their family structure at a block party. But with patience and support, the rest of the community rallies around the family to reassure them that they are loved and accepted nonetheless. This beautiful book follows then follows the Pollaco family story all the way through the next generation, even as the children start new families.
Families, Families, Families! By Suzanne Lang and Max Lang
This playful story takes a multifaceted look into all types of families. Joyously told with different groups of animals, this book explains that families sometimes have two dads, two moms, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, and one or many siblings and step-siblings. No matter the family structure, each family enjoys all the same activities, especially taking loving family photos together.
This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD and Kristyna Litten
An exuberant way to introduce children to the pride community, This Day in June vibrantly follows everything the pride parade stands for and includes. It has music, dancing, cheering and chanting as well as rainbows and all types of costumes. This book provides an age-appropriate way to speak about gender identity, sexual orientation and the celebration and journey of a community.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer and Holly Clifton-Brown
In a family with two daddies, Stella isn’t quite sure what to do at their school’s celebration for Mother’s Day. Worried she’ll be left out of the party, Stella expresses her concern to her classmates and in the process, explains that her dads and extended family do the exact things that other children’s moms do at home. Realizing this, Stella decides to bring the whole gang to school—every family member that supports her throughout her life. This book is both a lovely celebration of same-sex parent homes and the role large families play in raising a child.
The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon and Holly Clifton Brown
Winner of a Jewish, LGBTQ literary competition, The Flower Girl Wore Celery tells the story of a girl named Emma who acts as the flower girl in a same-sex, Jewish wedding. This book explores both the traditions of a Jewish wedding while celebrating the inclusivity of same-sex marriages. Emma, confused about what being a flower girl means, imagines up an elaborate idea of how the big day will go. Though she’s surprised and confused by the wedding, she works through her questions with the help of her parents, the brides and by experiencing the beautiful wedding itself.
These storybooks open your child up to the endless possibilities of family, self-expression and above all, love. Whether you’re filling your own library for your anticipated new family member or gifting a thoughtful present to a member of your family, these books make for an excellent addition to a supportive home.
We couldn’t have said it better, that is why this is a direct repost from Simple Surrogacy