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Water Cooler: Family reading during Pride month

UPDATED: Tue., June 1, 2021


Pride month can bring up some sensitive topics for younger kids, but there are a lot of great children’s books out there that focus on the universal takeaways of this commemorative month such as not feeling ashamed of non-traditional family structures and embracing people for who they are.

If you and your family would like to have these kinds of conversations during Pride month, here are a few books you may enjoy reading and discussing together. Don’t forget to check with your local libraries and bookstores to see if they have these titles available as well as additional suggested reading.

“Red: A Crayon’s Story,” by Michael Hall A simple story that tackles big emotions, a blue crayon is mistakenly labeled as “red.” Despite the best intentions of those around him trying to teach him how to be red, this blue crayon eventually learns how to embrace being blue.

Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio,” by Rigoberto González and illustrated by Cecilia Álvarez This bilingual book tells the story of a boy who loves to express himself with words. With Mother’s Day approaching, he wants to find the best words to express his love for his mother and her partner, Leslie, but he’s hesitant to write about his family because his classmates often make fun of Leslie. Antonio works through this adversity and finds a way to show his appreciation for both members of his family.

“A Family Is a Family Is a Family,” by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Qin Leng One day at school, a teacher asks her class to think about and share what makes their families special. This causes one child to worry because her family might just be too difficult to explain. As she listens to other students share about their families, she is delighted to discover that everyone’s family is a little different and what matters most is that families are full of people who love and care for one another.

“A Church For All,” by Gayle E. Pittman and illustrated by Laure Fournier A story about a spiritual community that prides itself on embracing all types of people and celebrates the diversity it finds in its own congregation.

“Sparkle Boy,” by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Maria Mola Casey loves playing with his puzzles, trucks and blocks, but he also loves things that glitter and sparkle, too. His sister Jessie shows off her shimmery skirt and glittery nails and is surprised when Casey wants to try the nails and skirt, too. She thought boys weren’t supposed to be interested in things like that. One day when Casey is being teased by his love for shimmery and sparkly things, Jessie realizes that Casey has the right to be himself and proudly stands up for her younger brother.

“Love Makes a Family,” by Sophie Beer A colorful book that depicts all kinds of families having fun and enjoying spending their days together despite all their differences.

“From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea,” by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li Miu Lan is a special child who was born in a magical time, when both the sun and moon were in the sky at the same time. Miu can change into any shape imaginable, but it’s difficult to decide each day what to be. Should they be a bird or a fish, a boy or a girl, or a flower or a shooting star? Miu finds out that their gift isn’t easy for the other kids at school to accept, but luckily Miu’s loving mother reassures Miu that they can be whatever they dream of being.

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