Include all families in your storytimes by making sure that you’re including LGBT books in storytime. According to Family Equality, between 2 million to 3.7 million American children under age 18 have an LGBTQ+ parent. An estimated 29% of LGBTQ+ adults are raising a child and many more than that have nieces, nephews, or other children in their lives. Chances are, you have a family coming to your storytimes that would appreciate seeing themselves or their family member represented! But what do you read?
While many picture books with LGBTQ+ themes center around a person or family being LGBTQ+, there are lots of books with positive representation where identity is not the main focus of the story. You can include LGBT books in storytime on lots of different themes. Representation matters, and not only in the month of June. I have some suggestions of books you can include in themes throughout the year.
Theme: Knights, Castles, or Fairy Tales
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis, Little Bee, 2018. In this rhyming story, a prince comes of age and is expected to marry. But he doesn’t meet anyone he’s interested in until a knight comes along and helps him slay a dragon terrorizing the kingdom.
Theme: Dogs, Pets, Parades, or Lost & Found
Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, Orca, 2021. In this colorful alphabet book, a family attending a Pride parade loses their dog and much chase him through the parade. It features a diverse parade crowd, including people of different races, skin tones, body shapes, abilities, and more.
Theme: Travel, Vacation, Grandparents
Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate, Little Bee, 2021. Grandad hasn’t felt like adventuring since Gramps passed away, but his enterprising granddaughter has a plan to fix up the camper and motivate Grandad to travel once again.
Theme: Clothes, Dress-Up
Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown, Little, Brown, 2021. Fred loves being naked, but when he wanders into his parents’ closet and decides to get dressed, he finds that he doesn’t like how his dad’s clothes look on him. But his mom’s clothes are a different story!
Theme: Siblings, New Baby, Families
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, Lee & Low, 2019. There’s a new baby on the way and Aidan is excited to be the best big brother he can be. But there’s something he’s worried about. When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. How can he make sure his little sibling has all the right things and what if they get it wrong again?
Theme: Valentine’s Day, Love, Friendship
Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, illustrated by Charlene Chua, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2021. Mira is the only kid in their class that Violet wants to go on adventures with. As Valentine’s Day approaches, can Violet find the perfect way to let Mira know?
These are just a few suggestions of titles to include LGBT books in storytime. Make sure you check out the Rainbow Book List for more! Selected each year by the Rainbow Book List Committee of ALA’s Rainbow Round Table, these lists include books for all ages, including picture books. It’s a great resource to bolster your collection of LGBTQ+ books for kids.
What other LGBTQ+ books have you included in your storytimes?
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, III. Programming Skills, IV. Collection Knowledge and Management, V. Outreach and Advocacy