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Picture Books About Gay and Lesbian Families

Updated on November 30, 2012

A List of the Best Gay and Lesbian Themed Children's Picture Books

Once there was a book. And he married another book. And they lived happily ever after.

A collection of the best picture books available for children that include or focus on gay or lesbian characters and topics. Whether it's the beloved uncle, the child raised by two mommies, the confused guinea pig or just the child asking questions, these books are both good storybooks, and helpful for children to read to understand themselves, their families and what being gay might mean.Besides, how can another picture book hurt?

Why should you buy a book about gay people for your child? Well, if you or a family member is gay, then it will help them understand (assuming they find it confusing). It will show them they aren't alone - reading endless books, however good, in which the characters never look or act like you gets wearing.

If your child isn't even aware that gay people exist, these books are a nice and non-threatening way to introduce them to some of the less visible parts of society. Having picture books on a wide diversity of subjects helps to educate kids and normalise those topics for them. Strangeness breeds fear, and familiarity and understanding lead to tolerance. And of course, if they discover they're not quite hetero one day, they are much better adjusted to deal with that fact. One day they might need to decide if they are 'normal' - and if they can talk to you

Do you own any 'gay' themed picture books?

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And Tango Makes Three - A charming real life story about two penguins and the daughter they adopted

And Tango Makes Three is an adorable and enchanting story from real life. Two male chinstrap penguins pair up in Central Park Zoo, and try and hatch their own egg. Sadly, it's a stone. But the keeper took pity on them and replaced it with a real egg - which hatched out Tango, creating a delightful little family.

According to the American Library Association this title also appears in second place out of The 10 Most Challenged Books of 2009 and fourth out of 100 Most Challenged Books of the Decade (2000-2009) due to it containing *gasp* homosexuality.

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous - An incredibly fun book about a fabulous boy

A fabulous, lively and beautifully illustrated book that isn't explicitly about gay people, but about a boy who finds everything quite fabulous and ends up sweeping everyone else along with him.

Heather Has Two Mommies - 20th Anniversary Edition

Probably the best known gay picture book, Heather Has Two Mommies was the first lesbian-themed picture book ever published, in 1989. It had to be sel-published, through donations, as no publisher would go near it. It's certainly well up in the most challenged books - number ninth out of the 100 most frequently challenged books between 1990-1999 but it fell off the Top 100 list in 2009.

The 20th Anniversary Edition is edited and rewritten slightly to make it more child-orientated, removing the excessively-textbook content about artificial insemination among other things (when reading reviews on Amazon, bear in mind that the older reviews from early 2009 and before, refer to the older edition).

Kinderen voor Kinderen song - Two Fathers

King and King - Sometimes Happily Ever After doesn't need a princess.

An alternative fairytale, this book tells the story of a Prince who has to wed. After rejecting princess after princess, one arrives with her brother in tow and it's happily ever after.

Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin - Mette bor hos Morten og Erik

Published in Danish in 1981 as Mette bor hos Morten og Erik, this book was one of the first picture books published about gay families and is still considered one of the best.

Do You Think Letting Children Read Books About Gay People Is A Good Thing?

Education or censorship? Which side are you on?

Education

Education

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    • wiseriverman 4 years ago

      Letting Children Read Books About Gay People Is A fabulous Thing.

    • ratetea 4 years ago

      It's a basic reality that some people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. I think it's important to talk about these things with children; if you leave something out of books that you read to children, it implicitly sends them a message that these things are somehow abnormal. When you actually interact with these people, you learn that they're just normal people like everyone else. I think this is a good and important message to send.

    • Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I think that all people can be loving and kind - great parents no matter how they express themselves sexually. And gay parenthood is more popular now, children will see their class mates with gay parents and they will want to know what is going on.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Of course it is a good thing. People need proper education about all types of relationships not just the ones which have been forced on people over the years.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      It is absolutely a good thing. I has to wonderful to read "gay" themed story books growing up. I know I would have loved it. In fact, I strongly desire homo-centered animated movies (Disney type films.)

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes, of course!

    • James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

      of course children should know about all the different types of people in the world.

    • jenms lm 6 years ago

      Count me as another MS in Library Science who thinks banning books is always a bad thing. When people have access to information and can learn to think for themselves, everyone benefits. I have a feeling no one is going to openly admit they are "for" censorship. Those who are for censorship tend to not see it as censorship, but as "protecting children."

    • callinsky lm 6 years ago

      Censorship has never solved much of anything. Education is key.

    • sallemange 6 years ago

      Why not. It's a fact of social life regardless of your moral position.

    • JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      Yes, its just like any challenging issue, books can help explain things to children.

    • resabi 6 years ago

      Of course it is. The best chance our children have to grow up free of prejudice is to expose them to many cultures and lifestyles (obviously excepting criminal ones!) It's always possible to educate oneself or to unlearn bad lessons, but the ideal is to be untainted by the negatives to begin with. My daughter went to a middle school that had 25 different nationalities in the student body, when several of her closest friends went to more homogenous schools. Now she is comfortable pretty much everywhere; that isn't the case with some of the students who didn't have the same exposure to variety.

    Censorship ("protect the children")

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      Some of the Most Banned Books of All Time - Including three picture books...

      Heather Has Two Mommies, And Tango Makes Three and Daddy's Roommate all turn up on this list of terrifying and vile titles, such as The Catcher In The Rye and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

      Everyone Should Learn How To Think - Although GLaDOS makes me fear thinking robots

      Here's a charming little video from the ALA about freedom from censorship, in which Z-Bot becomes a wonderful and fulfilled robot. The only problem is, after GLaDOs, the concept of a smarter robot is ...worrying.

      Guestbook - How many of these books have you read?

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        • Gypzeerose profile image

          Rose Jones 5 years ago

          I haven't read any of these books, because I am not in the demographic anymore, but you came up with a great selection. This lens is tasteful, with products obviously hand picked, and with wonderful choice of videos. Angel Blessed!

        • hotbrain profile image

          hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

          This is a great list of children's books about gay and lesbian couples! I hope that these picture books will help kids feel comfortable with the topic.

        • Hairdresser007 profile image

          James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

          Thank you for the lens. The more this information is shared the sooner people we just see being gay as just another way to live.

        • callinsky lm profile image

          callinsky lm 6 years ago

          Living out in the country and see many gay prejudice; although, it has gotten much better than what it was when I first moved here 12 years ago. I am delightfully surprised to see by the comments that it's come even further in places that aren't in the middle of nowhere.

        • sallemange profile image

          sallemange 6 years ago

          An informative lens. Anything that helps people make sense of the world as it is has to be a good idea. Censorship is bad because it is the imposition of one persons world view on another. Therefore it is an abuse of power driven from a place of fear.

        • profile image

          resabi 6 years ago

          This is a wonderful -- and needed -- lens. I haven't seen any of these books, since my daughter is long past the picture book stage. But now I need to go read them. I haven't visited the world of children's picture books in awhile, so it will be nice to see some new things. Blessed.

        • JenOfChicago LM profile image

          JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

          This is a very useful list for folks with kids. I'm so glad these books exist.

        • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile image

          Bus Stop Toy Shop 6 years ago

          This lens made me think - despite the fact we have a number of gay friends, our children don't have a single picture book featuring a gay character (unless you count PC Plum from Balamory obviously). I must make a point of getting hold of one of the ones you've recommended.

        • daoine lm profile image

          daoine lm 6 years ago

          I think I will probably avoid making an issue of it unless my toddler asks specifically. We've already met one lesbian couple with two children, and I'm sure we'll meet other gay families, so I'm sure it will just be something perfectly normal for him growing up.

        • jenms lm profile image

          jenms lm 6 years ago

          Great lens - I'm glad you are talking about the concept of censorship, which goes beyond books into any form of media or source of information, including the internet. I've been intentionally keeping myself out of a specific thread in the forum... I could go on a good long rant about the topics in question but I won't - I'm trying to remain neutral... :)

        • NanLT profile image

          Nan 6 years ago from London, UK

          We have come a long way in the past 20 years. I think it is wonderful that children with parents who happen to be gay or lesbian can now see books which reflect the family they live in.