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Celebrating Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

Best Books for LGBT Families

These seven books will have your kids clamouring for bedtime…
Looking for bedtime stories that reflect your own family? Here is an inspiring reading list of books that celebrate diversity, inclusivity and, most importantly, self-acceptance:
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino; pictures by Isabelle Malenfant
Ages 4 to 7
Morris Micklewhite’s absolute favourite thing to do is to play dress-up, but “astronauts don’t wear dresses,” the other boys tell him. So Morris decides to make his own spaceship, proving that bright orange dresses make space walks even more exciting. This is an uplifting read for any kid (or grown-up) who dances to the tune of their own drummer.
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary; illustrated by Qin Leng
Ages 4 to 7
Every family is special, no matter what its shape or size. When a teacher asks the students in her class to describe their own families, the children’s answers are all different. From step-siblings and same-sex parents to foster moms and adoptive dads, O’Leary’s award-winning book reinforces the idea that the true definition of family is one where there’s plenty of love and affection.
Be Who You Are by Todd Parr
Ages 3 to 6
All of Parr’s books are like a giant rainbow-hued hug. With its themes of joy and self-acceptance, this drag queen storytime favourite encourages children to feel good about themselves. Simple but powerful, Be Who You Are is filled with the author’s trademark colourful drawings while teaching kids to be brave, be funny, to share their feelings and, most of all, to accept themselves as unique.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer; illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown
Ages 5 to 8
When Stella’s class decides to have a Mother’s Day party, she wonders whom she will invite. Daddy reads her bedtime stories, Papa packs her lunch, and both give kisses when she’s hurt, so why is she feeling so worried? On the day of the party, Stella makes a bold decision proving that many people in a child’s life can play a loving central role.
In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Palacco
Ages 5 to 7
Meema and Marmee live with their three adopted children in big old house where they dance, build a tree house, read bedtime stories and grow up. When the mothers have a confrontation with a narrow-minded neighbour, the street rallies around to show its support. Told from the perspective of the kids, this warm and wonderful story depicts a multicultural family where each member is nurtured and loved.
The Zero Dads Club by Angel Adeyoha; illustrated by Aubrey Williams
Ages 4 to 8
Kids can see themselves and their own families reflected in the books produced by Toronto-based micropress Flamingo Rampant. In The Zero Dads Club, Akilah and Kai’s Grade 1 class is tasked with making a craft for Father’s Day. Instead of opting out, the duo decides to form a club for kids, like themselves, who don’t have a father in their life. Each child makes their own beautiful card that fetes the Mammas, Babas, Abuelas and Tias who lovingly take care of them.
M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book by Catherine Hernandez; illustrated by Marisa Firebaugh
Ages 4 to 8
From A for Ally: “speaking up for people who need someone on their side,” to Z for zzzz: “the sound I make after mama and I end our long march,” M is for Mustache is told from the perspective of a girl experiencing Toronto Pride Day with her larger-than-life family. Inspired by the author’s own daughter, the book celebrates being who you are and not being afraid.

MARIANNE WISENTHAL is a Toronto-based writer and content strategist. When she’s not wrangling words with aplomb you can find her singing show tunes with her community choir.

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