Compiled by Lee Lesser; formatted by Camille Catlett & Tracy Zimmerman
1-2-3 Family Counting Book by Bobbie Combs. (2000).Ridley Park, PA: Two Lives Publishing. (out of print)
This book both teaches about numbers and the diversity of families. It features rhymes, rhyming and illustrations of loving and playful moments. The book should be available again soon.
ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs. (2000).Ridley Park, PA: Two Lives Publishing.
This alphabet book illustrates moments with different LGBT families for each letter. It is engaging and fun. The illustration for the letter “B” has a little girl wearing an Indian costume, which does not seem culturally respectful and might offer an opportunity for other learning.
All Families are Special by Norma Simon. (2003). Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.
Families of many shapes and sizes — adopted children, single parents, two mommies, stepfamilies, grandparents, divorced parents — are described in this important introductory resource for teachers wanting to explore the diversity of families in a friendly and non-threatening way.
nd Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. (2005). New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
Based on the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who built a nest, and hatched and raised a chick from an egg that a zookeeper placed in their nest. It is a funny and tender story about the love in a family.
Antonio’s Card / La Tarjeta de Antonio by Roberto Gonzalez. (2005). San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
In this bilingual English/Spanish book with vivid illustrations, Antonio searches for how to express his affection for his mother and her partner, on Mother’s Day. He learns to recognize and appreciate the special gifts of his family, even in the face of ridicule from his friends. Asha’s Mums by Rosamund Elwin and Michele. (1993). Toronto: Women’s Press.
A field trip form signed by Asha’s moms and rejected by the teacher sparks a more in-depth discussion about the diversity of families. Asha’s Mums is one of the rare books on this list where the main characters are people of color.
Best, Best Colors / Los Mejores Colores by Eric Hoffman. (1999). St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.
This bilingual English/Spanish book follows Nate with his two moms and his friends as he discovers the richness of having lots of colors and friends
Carly: She’s Still My Daddy by Mary Boenke and Dolores Dudly. (2004). Order from email@example.com This is the only children’s book we found that addresses transgender parents. It is written from a child’s point of view about his father’s transition from Carl to Carly. It is appropriate for elementary school children and introduces responses, experiences, and terms related to transgender people in a simple and clear way.
The Dragon and the Doctor by Barbara Danish. (1995). New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.
Back in print after a 16-year hiatus, this whimsical and fun story features a dragon with a sore tail who visits Doctor Judy and Nurse Benjamin. Once cured, the dragon introduces the female doctor and male nurse to her diverse group of friends, including little Lucy who has two mothers.
Emma and Meesha My Boy, a Two Mom Story by Kaitlyn Considine. (2005). West Hartford, CT: Two Mom Books. http://twomombooks.com/
With cartoon like illustrations, this child-friendly story shares the adventures of Emma, her cat Meesha, and her two moms.
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers. (2001). San Diego, CA:
Featuring expressive pencil and watercolor paintings, this book depicts adults from diverse family structures in loving and caring moments with their babies. It is available as a board book or in hardcover.
F elicia’s Favorite Story by Leslea Newman. (2002). Ridley Park, PA:
Two Lives Publishing.
Felicia’s favorite bedtime story is about how she was adopted and how much her mothers loved her right away. This book is a simple way for children to learn about a loving family with two moms and an adopted daughter. Felicia is from Guatemala; Mama Nessa is from New York; and Mama Linda is from Puerto Rico.
King and King by Linda DeHaan and Stern Nijland.(2000). Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.
This fairy tale has been popular and controversial; leading to lawsuits in some schools where it has been read and used as a graduation play in another. A prince is presented with many princesses to choose from to marry. His heart is stirred by another prince and they happily marry and become the King and King of their land. There is an illustration of a kiss at the end with a heart over their mouths. The illustrations are engaging and fun, and the story is unique in its portrayal of this version of happily ever after.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters. (2004). New York: Little Brown and Company.
This story of a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance is for preteens and also can be very instructive for adults.
Mama Eat Ant, Yuck! by Barbara Lynn Edmonds. (2000).Eugene, OR: Hundredth Monkey Publications.
A playful, funny story about one mother in a two-mom household who by mistake eats some ant-covered raisins and inspires her youngest daughter to begin saying, “Mama eat ant, yuck!”
¡Manu no! / No Manu! and Manu pone la Mesa / Manu Sets the Table and Manu se va a la cama / Manu’s Bedtime by Lucia Moreno Velo. (2006). Madrid, Spain: Topka. www.topkabooks.com.
These three bilingual board books are simple stories about ordinary moments in daily routines with Manu and his two moms. They are excellent and rare resources to use with infants and toddlers.
Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden. (2004).New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
This book provides an important role model for educators in addressing bias that can occur in their classroom. Molly, her teacher and her two moms work together to help children learn more about the diversity of families.
One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine. (1994) Los Angeles: Alyson Wonderland.
In a whimsical and playful manner, a child learns about another child’s “strange” family composed of blue dads. Many of the questions about having blue dads are the same questions often asked about having two dads.
P ugdog by Andrea U’ren. (2001). New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
(out of print).
Gender biases and assumptions are explored in this delightful book about the mistaken gender identity of a dog. This book can open rich discussion for children and though it is currently out of print, it is worth looking for, and should be available soon in paperback.
While You Were Sleeping by Stephanie Burks. (2004). Victoria, Canada:
A lovely and simple story of two moms who are called to the hospital to meet their newborn adopted son right after he is born.
Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch.(1995).Berkeley, CA:
Traditional families, single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents are portrayed in an engaging way for children with fun illustrations of people and animals.