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Sex And Gender: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about sex and gender?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to sex and gender. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about sex and gender.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about sex and gender, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln to popular sellers like Grandpa Green to some of our favorite hidden gems like Julian Is a Mermaid.

We hope this list of kids books about sex and gender can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Sex And Gender

The Tide book
#1
The Tide
Written by Clare Helen Walsh & illustrated by Ashling Lindsay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, it is difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they are near and full of life. Other times, they are distant and quiet. A story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

The Remember Balloons book
#2
The Remember Balloons
Written by Jessie Oliveros & illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book!

What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

Grandpa Green book
#3
Grandpa Green
Written & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

Big Papa and the Time Machine book
#4
Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

Dad By My Side book
#5
Dad By My Side
Written & illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

Julian Is a Mermaid book
#6
Julian Is a Mermaid
Written & illustrated by Jessica Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

You and Me, Me and You book
#7
You and Me, Me and You
Written & illustrated by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city’s bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father’s Day gift and a year-round “I love you,” parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

Ballerino Nate book
#8
Ballerino Nate
Written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & illustrated by R.W. Alley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox book
#9
When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

When a Grandpa Says "I Love You" book
#10
When a Grandpa Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover all the wonderful ways grandfathers show grandchildren their love in this heartwarming companion to When a Dad Says “I Love You.” Everyone knows grandpas are best at spoiling their grandkids, but it’s just because they love them so much! Whether by attending a tea party or getting an extra scoop of ice cream, there is nothing grandpas won’t do to say “I love you!” From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer A. Bell, a clever and cozy tribute to the special bond between grandfather and grandchild.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Sex And Gender and...

Books About Sex And Gender and Grandparents

Grandpa's Wish List
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Strengthens bonds & emotional security Reinforces use of language patterns Encourages understanding of unconditional love Grandpa Badger has so many wishes for his new grandbaby! With gorgeous artwork and a loving message, this keepsake board book makes the perfect gift for new grandfathers and their grandchildren.

The Tide
Written by Clare Helen Walsh & illustrated by Ashling Lindsay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, it is difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they are near and full of life. Other times, they are distant and quiet. A story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox - In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course! You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

  2. Stolen Words / Kimotinaniwiw Pikiskwewina - The dual language edition, in Cree and English, of the award-winning story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in Cree, he tells her that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

  3. Go, Grandpa, Go! - Perfect for all the grandpas who steer the stroller, splash in puddles, and love their grandchildren dearly, this charming board book celebrates the special relationship between grandfathers and their grandkids. Zig! Zag! Zip! Zoom! Go, Grandpa, go! Puddle stomp Muddy romp Go, Grandpa, go! Grandpa is on the go in this charming board book! From pulling the wagon, to swinging on swings, to splashing in puddles, grandpa and grandchild are always having a blast! This board book perfectly captures the special bond that grandfathers have with their grandchildren.

  4. Grandpa's Great Escape - David Walliams, hailed as “the heir to Roald Dahl” by The Spectator, burst onto the American scene with the New York Times bestseller Demon Dentist. Now the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author is back with this high-flying adventure about a boy and his grandfather, perfect for fans of Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell. Grandpa is Jack’s favorite person in the world. It doesn’t matter that he wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But then Grandpa starts to believe he’s back in World War II, when he was a Spitfire fighter pilot, and he’s sent to live in an old folk’s home run by the sinister Matron Swine. Now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape!

Books About Sex And Gender and Family Life

The Remember Balloons
Written by Jessie Oliveros & illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book!

What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

Dad By My Side
Written & illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

Star-Crossed
Written & illustrated by Barbara Dee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Twelve-year-old Mattie wrestles with her crush on Gemma as they participate in their school production of Romeo and Juliet in what School Library Journal calls “a fine choice for middle school libraries in need of an accessible LGBTQ stories.” Twelve-year-old Mattie is thrilled when she learns the eighth grade play will be Romeo and Juliet. In particular, she can’t wait to share the stage with Gemma Braithwaite, who has been cast as Juliet. Gemma is brilliant, pretty—and British!—and Mattie starts to see her as more than just a friend. But Mattie has also had an on/off crush on her classmate Elijah since, well, forever. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things offstage are beginning to resemble their own Shakespearean drama: the cast is fighting, and the boy playing Romeo may not be up to the challenge of the role. And due to a last-minute emergency, Mattie is asked to step up and take over the leading role—opposite Gemma’s Juliet—just as Mattie’s secret crush starts to become not-so-secret in her group of friends. In this funny, sweet, and clever look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to become a lead player in her own life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Drum Roll, Please - Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart? Ami Polonsky, acclaimed author of Gracefully Grayson, raved, “Drum Roll, Please is a perfect middle-grade love story. Bigelow delivers a mighty message to turn up the volume on your inner drumbeat.”

  2. The Day Abuelo Got Lost - A touching story about a boy and his grandfather who enjoy a special relationship—until Abuelo starts to lose his memory. Instead of building model planes and cooking together, Luis and his father have to search the neighborhood for Abuelo, and Luis and Abuelo have to find new activities to enjoy together.

  3. What Riley Wore - Riley wears whatever clothes feel right each day. On Monday, Riley feels shy and wears a bunny costume to school. On Tuesday, a scary trip to the dentist calls for a super hero cape. For a trip out with Otto and Oma, a ball gown is the perfect outfit. This charming picture book is a gentle exploration of self-expression and source of encouragement for being true to oneself despite the expectations of others.

  4. Elle of the Ball - From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall—not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her—and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.

Books About Sex And Gender and Love

When a Grandpa Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover all the wonderful ways grandfathers show grandchildren their love in this heartwarming companion to When a Dad Says “I Love You.” Everyone knows grandpas are best at spoiling their grandkids, but it’s just because they love them so much! Whether by attending a tea party or getting an extra scoop of ice cream, there is nothing grandpas won’t do to say “I love you!” From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer A. Bell, a clever and cozy tribute to the special bond between grandfather and grandchild.

Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush & illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child’s first uttered “Dada” to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, “You are the one made just for me,” Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together—forever.

You and Me, Me and You
Written & illustrated by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city’s bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father’s Day gift and a year-round “I love you,” parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dad and Me in the Morning - Early one morning, a young boy wakes to the light of his alarm clock. He puts on his hearing aids and clothes, then goes to wake his father. Together they brave the cold as they walk down the dirt road that leads to the beach. Lakin’s understated story reminds readers that sometimes the best way to communicate doesn’t involve words, while Steele’s watercolor illustrations show that beauty is never far away.

  2. Just Like Daddy - Who wouldn’t want to be just like Daddy? He’s strong, kind, and practical—and he knows how to have fun! Even if he messes up, it’s never a big deal. Plus, he handles scary monsters (well, spiders), keeps his eyes open on the roller coaster (mostly), and puts on silly voices when he reads a bedtime story. This heartwarming picture book shows why Daddy is the BEST.

  3. Grandpa's Stories - One young girl reflects on a year with her beloved grandpa. She remembers the fields and parks they explored in the springtime and the old toys they fixed up in the summer. She remembers the handmade gifts they exchanged in the fall and the stories Grandpa told by the fi re each winter. But this year, the girl must say good-bye to Grandpa. In the face of her grief, she is determined to find a way to honor him. She decides to record her Grandpa stories in the notebook he made for her and carry Grandpa with her as she grows. An honest and relatable depiction of loss, Grandpa’s Stories celebrates life and the ways in which love lives on.

  4. Maiden & Princess - In this modern fairy tale, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but at the dance, she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place. “The prince is smart and strong,” she confided in her mother. “But if I’m being honest, I see him as a brother.” Her mother said, “Just go! And have a bit of fun. The prince might not be right, but you could meet the one.” Once in a faraway kingdom, a strong, brave maiden is invited to attend the prince’s royal ball, but she’s not as excited to go as everyone else. After her mother convinces her to make an appearance, she makes a huge impression on everyone present, from the villagers to the king and queen, but she ends up finding true love in a most surprising place. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

Books About Sex And Gender and Animals

Ballerino Nate
Written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & illustrated by R.W. Alley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

Is That Your Dad? (a Changing Faces Book)
Written & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Who is Froggy’s dad? Froggy knows who his dad is not—he’s not the roaring lion or the squawking parrot or the growling bear. And with the turn of each page, Froggy gets one step closer to finding him!

Hug a Bull
Written & illustrated by Aaron Zenz
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take a look, my dad’s a Gander. Take a nap, our dads are Boars. From baby geese to kangaroos to humans, every mom and dad is known by his or her own special name. Bouncing texts full of fun wordplay and adorable illustrations feature animal parents of every shape and size, and encourage little readers to express big love. Go ahead and hug a bull!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA - Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, is also a father and his hilarious picture book reveals what everyone already knows: that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” Here he shows us just how it’s done…

  2. Piglet and Papa -

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Sex And Gender and Parents

How to Surprise a Dad
Written by Jean Reagan & illustrated by Lee Wildish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the creators of the New York Times bestsellers HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA and HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDMA comes a charming HOW TO book that’s all about surprises!

So you want to surprise your dad? You’re in luck! The pages of this book are full of tips on how to become a super dad surpriser, including tips for things you can make, do, or find—just for your dad.

Be sure to read up on: · Yummy treats and presents for a dad · What to do if he starts getting suspicious · How to prepare for the big moment (where to hide everyone, and how to practice whispering “Surprise!”)

From the author-illustrator team behind the New York Times bestselling HOW TO… series comes an adorable, funny, surprising celebration of dads!

My Dad Is Amazing
Written & illustrated by Hello!Lucky
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

My Mom Is Magical, featuring a magical unicorn, and My Dad Is Amazing, featuring a mythical yeti, are joyful tributes to just how amazing parents (and their kids!) are.

My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Written & illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A perfect baby shower gift for new dads in your life!

Keith Negley’s playful and emotional art tells this story of a new father who is no longer the cool guy he once was. He looks back wistfully on his crazy times playing in a band, riding a motorcycle, and getting tattoos. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he’s the coolest guy in the world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My Papa Is a Princess - Cuddle up with Dad for this sweet book about a father as seen through his daughter’s eyes. When Papa braids her hair, he’s a hairdresser; when he hangs her drawings on the wall, he’s an art collector. But no matter what happens, he is always her papa, and that’s the most important thing of all!

  2. You Made Me a Dad - A picture book for expectant fathers and already-fathers everywhere created by the author of You Made Me a Mother, Laurenne Sala, and the Marigold Bakes a Cake author-illustrator, Mike Malbrough. In this touching celebration of fatherhood, the close bond between parent and child comes to life with heartwarming resonance. Laurenne Sala’s tranquil text, accompanied by Mike Malbrough’s tender watercolor illustrations, creates a warm look at the joys, fears, and responsibilities of being a dad over the years. A perfect gift for Father’s Day! I loved you before I saw you. When you were just a heartbeat. Then a picture. Then a teeny-tiny kick…

  3. Indestructibles: Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Baby’s favorite book series (rip-proof, drool-proof, and nontoxic—designed for the way babies “read” with their mouths) now features one of baby’s favorite songs, with all the lyrics!

  4. Daddies Are Awesome - Daddies are awesome! They’re warm and delicious. They tickle and hug you and shower you with kisses. Loving and thoughtful, playful and daring, cuddly and caring—daddies are awesome. This gentle rhyming text celebrates the special bond between father and child. Adorable doggy daddy and pup illustrations make this perfect for sharing!

Books About Sex And Gender and Feelings And Emotions

Tough Guys Have Feelings Too
Written & illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A boldly illustrated picture book read-aloud about how everyone gets sad—ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . even daddies have emotions!

Did you know wrestlers have feelings? And knights. Even superheroes and ninjas feel sad sometimes. In fact everyone has feelings—especially dads who love their children!

Children will love recognizing their feelings in Keith Negley’s bold illustrations which accompany a fun-to-read-aloud narrative.

Parents can joyfully engage with children in a lighthearted discussion about emotions and how they affect us all!

With My Daddy
Written & illustrated by Jo Witek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A young girl describes all of the wonderful feelings she has while spending time with her father, knowing that they love one another no matter what.

I Love My Daddy
Written & illustrated by Sebastien Braun
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Sebastien Braun’s celebrated I Love My Daddy is now in board book format—perfect for little hands in strollers and highchairs! Sometimes daddies are loud and playful. Other times they are quiet and compassionate. And they are always loving. Sebastien Braun’s appealing text and charming illustrations follow a day in the life of a bear and his bear cub in this celebration of the bond between father and child.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Love Dad - Show Dad how much you care with this delightful board book from the creators of The Perfect Hug and The Biggest Kiss. From his stubbly kisses to his sky high piggyback rides to his bedtime stories, no one is quite like Dad. This charming Classic Board Book is a celebration of dads everywhere!

  2. When a Dad Says "I Love You" - How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best. Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear! From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer Bell, a sunny, cuddly testament to the bond between father and child.

  3. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs - A unique masterpiece about loss, love, and the world’s best bad dog, from award-winning author Leslie Connor, author of the National Book Award finalist The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. It’s a life-altering New Year for thirteen-year-old Lydia when she uproots to a Connecticut farm to live with her aunt following her mother’s death. Aunt Brat and her jovial wife, Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord, Elloroy, are welcoming―and a little quirky. Lydia’s struggle for a sense of belonging in her new family is highlighted when the women adopt a big yellow dog just days after the girl’s arrival. Wasn’t one rescue enough? Lydia is not a dog person―and this one is trouble! He is mistrustful and slinky. He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past. Meanwhile, Lydia doesn’t want to be difficult―and she does not mean to keep secrets―but there are things she’s not telling… Like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important… And why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger… And why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past―but at what cost? Award-winning author Leslie Connor crafts a story that sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family, along with the world’s best bad dog. This uplifting story about recovery features strong female characters, an adorable dog, and the girl who comes to love him.

  4. One Wave at a Time - After his father dies, Kai experiences all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, guilt. Sometimes they crash and mix together. Other times, there are no emotions at all—just flatness. As Kai and his family adjust to life without Dad, the waves still roll in. But with the help of friends and one another, they learn to cope—and, eventually, heal. A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.

Books About Sex And Gender and Boys And Men

Grandpa Green
Written & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

Radiant Child
Written & illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe. Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean—and definitely not inside the lines—to be beautiful.

Underwear!
Written & illustrated by Jenn Harney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Bare bear! Stop right there! Underwear! Under where? So begins the dialogue between a tired bear dad and a rambunctious bear cub who would rather play with his tighty whities than get into bed. Underwear makes great hair. It can even turn one into a superber, or a goggle-wearing swimming bear. But beware of a big scare! Rhymes, homonyms, and conjunctions abound in this book that could be used to teach reading, but its primary purpose is to make bedtime fun.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Preaching to the Chickens - Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis. John wants to be a preacher when he grows up—a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm’s flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice. Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim’s stirring prose and E. B. Lewis’s stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author’s note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. John Lewis is now a Georgia congressman, who is still an activist today, recently holding a sit-in on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol to try to force a vote on gun violence. His March: Book Three recently won the National Book Award, as well as the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award, and Sibert Award.

  2. A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln - Follows the life of the popular president, from his childhood on the frontier to his assassination after the end of the Civil War.

  3. Once Upon a Potty (Boy) - Joshua learns how to use a real potty with the help of his mother.

  4. Lost Property Office - A little girl and her mother are on the train, going to visit Grandpa. It’s very busy—hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination and get off the train they realize something is wrong: the little girl’s beloved teddy bear has gone missing! Just when it looks like she’ll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her favorite stuffed friend. Have you ever wondered where your lost objects go? With charming and stylish illustrations, this book is perfect for curious minds.

Books About Sex And Gender and Lgbtq

Julian Is a Mermaid
Written & illustrated by Jessica Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself
Written by Theresa Thorn & illustrated by Noah Grigni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

Our Rainbow
Written by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

In this beautiful, bold board book, children will learn about the colors of the iconic pride flag! Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and brown . . . These are the colors of our rainbow flag. Do you know what they stand for? Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, Our Rainbow can teach toddlers all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

Honorable Mentions
  1. P.S. I Miss You - Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters.

  2. A Church for All - This simple, lyrical story celebrates a diverse community on a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that welcomes all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Come to the church for all!

  3. The Rainbow Flag: Bright, Bold, and Beautiful - Flags are brilliant and clever works of art and design, and they bring people together under a common banner. This colorful story follows a group of friends who helped dye and sew strips of cloth to create the first Rainbow Flags for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. Led by a young artist named Gilbert Baker, the friends set out to create a flag that people could march behind during the Pride Parade. They knew the flag needed to be bright, in order to be seen by everyone as they marched. It needed to be bold, to lead the crowd. And it needed to be beautiful, like the love celebrated by the parade! The result is an iconic flag that has become an international symbol of the gay pride movement.

  4. Jack (Not Jackie) - In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as “Jack”? Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle! She can’t wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together. But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug! Jackie also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack. Readers will love this sweet story about change and acceptance.

Books About Sex And Gender and Family

Yes We Are
Written & illustrated by Michael Genhart
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A boy confides in a friend that he doesn t know what to say when he’s teased for having two dads, and when kids say that they’re not a real family. In their conversation, his friend helps him see how her family (with a mom and a dad) isn’t all that different from his: they both have parents who love them, and they both love their parents. And it’s love that makes a family.

I Miss My Grandpa
Written & illustrated by Jin Xiaojing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For fans of Ed Young and Peter Sis, this breathtaking picture book, from LBYR’s first Emerging Artist Award Winner, Jin Xiaojing, is the perfect read for anyone who has lost a loved one.

A young girl has never met her grandpa. He passed away before she was born, but she misses him every day. She often wonders…what did he look like? Grandma says: His face was shaped like the moon, his mouth was good at telling stories, and his hair was as curly as a bird’s nest. With the help of her grandma and the rest of her loving family, will this young girl be able to imagine her grandpa’s face in her mind—and feel the love that he shared with others?

Love, Penelope
Written by Joanne Rocklin & illustrated by Lucy Knisley and Joanne Rocklin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Penny is excited to welcome her new sibling, so throughout her mom’s pregnancy she writes letters to it (not it, YOU!). She introduces herself (Penelope, but she prefers “Penny”) and their moms (Sammy and Becky). She brags about their home city, Oakland, California (the weather, the Bay, and the Golden State Warriors) and shares the trials and tribulations of being a fifth-grader (which, luckily, YOU won’t have to worry about for a long time). Penny asks little questions about her sibling’s development and starts to ask big questions about the world around her (like if and when her moms are ever going to get married “for real”). Honest, relatable, and full of heart, Love, Penelope explores heritage, forgiveness, love, and identity through the eyes (and pen) of one memorable 10-year-old in a special year when marriage equality and an NBA championship made California a place of celebration.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The - A soccer dad misunderstands when he hears that his son’s team needs his help. Instead of taking care of halftime snacks, the dad grabs a jersey and runs onto the field to play! And what an embarrassment he is: he hogs the ball, complains about his teammates and throws a hairy fit when the referee doesn’t call a play his way! Can the boy find a way to teach his dad how to be a good sport before he drives the whole team crazy?

  2. Global Baby Boys - A book featuring photographs of boys from all around the world celebrates global diversity.

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