International Children’s Book Day is a celebration of the transformative power of literature for young readers. It’s a day to recognize and honor the importance of books in shaping the minds of future generations. In the spirit of inclusivity and diversity, we’ve compiled a list of six children’s books that cover Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) topics, helping to promote understanding and acceptance for all children.
Love Makes a Family
Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.
My Own Way: Celebrating Gender Freedom for Kids
Joana Estrela and Jay Hulme
Small children are often asked to choose between a gendered binary–“boy” or “girl”, “pink” or “blue”. This colorful picture book smashes these stereotypes and encourages the reader to follow their own way!
The Circles All Around Us
This is the story of a circle. When we’re first born, our circle is very small, but as we grow and build relationships, our circle keeps getting bigger and bigger to include family, friends, neighbors, community, and beyond. Brad Montague originally created Circles as an Instagram video adorably narrated by his kids, and now this picture book adaptation is the perfect way to start a conversation about how to expand our worlds with kindness and inclusivity—even if it seems scary or uncomfortable. This book makes an ideal new-baby, first day of school, or graduation gift, or any milestone that celebrates someone’s world getting bigger.
Stella Brings the Family
Miriam B. Schiffer
Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? It’s not that she doesn’t have someone who helps her with her homework or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn’t have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.
Love Is Love
When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn’t have a real family, he discovers that his friend’s parents―a mom and a dad―and his two dads are actually very much alike. Dr. Michael Genhart’s debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with kids. This sweet and straightforward story shows that gay families and straight families and everything in between are all different kinds of normal. What makes a family real is the love that is shared.
Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes
Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.