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A Holiday Gift Guide to LGBTQ-Inclusive Children’s Books

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books can make great holiday presents. Here are some new ones from the past year to add to your kids’ collections.


New Christmas Book Features Child with Two Dads

The Christmas Truck

Many of us are starting our holiday shopping this week, so it’s great to be able to share a fun new Christmas picture book starring a child with two dads!


New Picture Book for Donor-Conceived Kids of Two Moms

Zak's Safari

If you’re part of a two-mom family, like mine, that had kids through donor insemination, you may have had trouble finding books that explain to your young children how they came to be. A new Kickstarter project hopes to add to that small list.


Two-Dad Family Shines in New Middle Grade Novel

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

Combine four boys of assorted ages, two dads, a Maine coon cat, and a dog named Sir Puggleton into a home and stir well. Sprinkle on a doting aunt, a surly neighbor, and assorted classmates. Season with a collapsing backyard hockey rink, an untimely power outage, and a Thanksgiving culinary disaster. Dana Alison Levy’s superb new middle-grade novel, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (Delacorte Press), combines all these ingredients and more to create a hysterically funny story that is simultaneously full of heart.


Why Aren’t More LGBTQ-Inclusive Books for Kids Banned?

Banned Books Week 2014

This week marks not only the start of fall, but also Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read. LGBTQ-inclusive books for children and young adults are often among those challenged by parents or library patrons — but many have escaped attempts to ban or restrict them. Is this good news or bad?


“Heather Has Two Mommies” Author Pens New Children’s Book of Jewish Holidays


Just in time for the Jewish New Year comes a new picture book by Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies, taking us on a year-long journey through the Jewish holidays.


Madame Martine: Charming New Picture Book by Gay-Inclusive Author


Madame Martine is the latest picture book from Sarah Brannen, the author and illustrator whose gay-inclusive children’s book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding sits on many of our shelves. It doesn’t have any explicitly LGBTQ characters this time, but it’s a charming tale and I’m happy to support an LGBTQ-inclusive author even on other projects, especially when they’re as charming as this one.


Fanciful New Picture Book Stars Girl with Two Moms


What do you do if you’re sure a gremlin is sneaking into your house at night, but your moms don’t believe you? That’s the dilemma for a girl named Emlyn, star of Emlyn and the Gremlin, a fanciful new picture book in which the fact of her two moms is merely incidental to the tale.


Children’s Books with LGBT Parents of Color


I wrote recently about a new Kickstarter campaign by Flamingo Rampant, which will launch a book club for new LGBTQ and two-spirit picture books, committed to making half of them by and about people of color. I was happy to see the project mentioned at Slate — but the article incorrectly says that the last children’s book featuring same-sex parents who are not White was Asha’s Mums, published in 1990. That’s not true. Although the number is small, and we desperately need more, there have been a few.


Does Harry Potter Help Reduce Hate?


Today is the birthday of both Harry Potter and his creator, author J.K. Rowling. I’m an unashamed Potterhead, for many reasons, and was thrilled to see results of a new academic study indicating that reading the Harry Potter series can help reduce prejudices.


New Book Club Delivers LGBTQ-Inclusive Picture Books to Your Door


The past few years have been sorely lacking in quality, LGBTQ-inclusive picture books. There have been some, but they’ve been few and far between. Author and educator S. Bear Bergman aims to change that with the launch of a subscription-based book club that will deliver a new LGBTQ and two-spirit picture book to your home or school every other month.


Two Kids’ Books about Pride Span the Decades

Go to almost any LGBTQ Pride parade these days, and the number of strollers rivals the number of motorcycles. Somewhat older children march with their families, schools, or religious groups. Unlike other holidays, however, Pride has had few children’s books written about it—but there are two: one that is more than two decades old, by […]


Want Gay Prince Stories? We’ve Got Gay Prince Stories


The Princes and the Treasure is the second children’s book this year, and the third in existence, to feature a gay prince. Let’s take a look.


Tell the World Why We Need Diverse Books


Most of us LGBT parents will agree, I think, that we need more LGBT-inclusive children’s books — and more inclusive books across various dimensions of diversity. That’s why I’m so excited that a wonderful group of writers and publishers has created the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign to “to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored.” All they need now is people’s participation.


New Gay-Inclusive Children’s Book Gives Old Themes Fresh Twist


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: In a children’s fairy-tale story, a noble young man may marry a princess, but chooses her brother the prince instead. That’s right, it’s the plot of King and King, Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland’s 2003 picture book. It’s also a major part of Daniel Errico’s The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived, a recent addition to the LGBT-inclusive children’s book genre. Does the new book bring anything new to the table?


New Book About Gender Nonconforming Child Adds to Growing Genre


A new picture book by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, Jacob’s New Dress (Albert Whitman, 2014), is welcome addition to the small but growing number of books for and about young gender nonconforming and transgender children.


My Son Offers His Favorite Book Picks for Read Across America


I asked my son to share some of his favorite books, in honor of this week’s Read Across America — the National Education Association’s annual celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the excitement of reading. Here’s what he picked, along with his reasons for doing so. My son is now 10, and plowing through young adult fare […]


Jewish Book Project Offers Free Purim Picture Book with Gay Dads


One of the more delightful recent picture books featuring a child with LGBT parents is Elisabeth Kushner’s The Purim Superhero, about a child with gay dads celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim. I wrote about the book last year when it was first published — and am pleased to see that PJ Library, a project that sends free children’s books to Jewish families, is offering free copies of the book to subscribers who request it.


ALA Announces Stonewall Awards and Rainbow List for LGBT-Inclusive Kids’ Books


The American Library Association (ALA) on Monday announced its annual Stonewall Book Awards for LGBT-inclusive children’s and young adult books, as well as its more extensive Rainbow List of notable titles. What did they choose this year?


Lesbian Penguins in Israel Zoo


Same-sex penguin pairs aren’t a new phenomenon. At least four male pairs have hatched eggs together. But a zoo in Israel reported recently that a pair of female penguins are building a nest. Suki and Chupchikoni “have clearly set up house together, creating a scrape into which they collect nesting materials,” reports Haaretz. Zookeepers originally thought […]


Catholic Educators’ Group Bans Books with Same-Sex, Divorced Parents — Pope Should Say Something


A Catholic educators’ group responsible for developing Catholic school curricula based on the Common Core State Standards has removed three books from its first-grade plan because they include same-sex and/or divorced parents.


Trivia Question: What Was the First Children’s Book in the U.S. to Feature Lesbian Moms?


Lesbian mom trivia question: What was the first children’s book in the U.S. to feature lesbian moms? Hint: It’s probably not what you think.


LGBT-Inclusive Books for Middle-Grade Readers


My son’s a middle-grade reader—beyond picture books, although not quite ready for young adult fare. LGBT-inclusive books for this age group seem to get less coverage than picture books and young adult ones, but here’s a nice new list—along with a longstanding one.


Lesbian and Gay History for Teens


(This is a slightly revised version of a piece I wrote for my Mombian newspaper column several years ago, but which seemed worth reposting in honor of LGBT History Month.)

Gay AmericaLGBT History Month is the perfect time to write about Linas Alsenas’ Gay America: Struggle for Equality (Amulet: 2008), a history of gay men and lesbians in the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century through 2005. It fills a much needed gap, not because of the subject (there are a small but a growing number of LGBT-specific histories), but because of its audience: teens.


Celebrate Banned Gay-Inclusive Books for Kids!

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

It’s Banned Books Week once again — a national celebration of the freedom to read! Check out these children’s and young adult books that have been challenged in the past year because of gay- or lesbian-related content.