Top Diverse Picture Books for a Welcoming School — Gender and LGBTQ Inclusive

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And Tango Makes Three. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. (Pre-K – 2) Penguins Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park Zoo keep putting a rock in their nest to try to hatch it. The zookeeper gives them a real egg that needs care. The penguins take turns sitting on it until it hatches, and Tango is born. Lesson plan.

Bling Blaine: Throw Glitter, Not Shade. Rob Sanders. (Pre-K – 1) Blaine’s a boy who loves to shine . . . well actually, he loves to sparkle. But when his bling rubs some people the wrong way, and the bullying begins, Blaine—along with the entire school—starts to lose his shine. Can Blaine's friends help bring back his glimmer?

The Day You Begin / El día en que descubres quién eres. Jacqueline Woodson. (K – 3) Follow the experience of students who feel like they stand out and are teased by their classmates. Woodson reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes—and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. English and Spanish editions.

The Family Book. Todd Parr. (Pre-K – K) All kinds of families are celebrated in a funny, silly and reassuring way. Includes adoptive families, stepfamilies, single-parent families, two-mom and two-dad families and families with a mom and a dad.

The Great Big Book of Families. Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K  – 3) Features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each two-page spread showcases one aspect of home life—from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. Lesson Plan.

Looking Like Me. Walter Dean Myers. (K – 2) An African American boy celebrates all of who he is, including a dancer, an artist and a writer. Colorful collage illustrations and catchy rhymes.

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina. Monica Brown. (K – 2)  Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness. Bilingual. Lesson Plan. 

My Family, Your Family. Kathryn Cole. (Pre-K – K) Makayla is visiting friends in her neighborhood. Some families have lots of children, but others have none. Some friends live with grandparents or have two dads or have parents who are divorced. This diverse cast allows readers to compare and contrast families in multiple ways.

The Name Jar. Yangsook Choi. (K – 2)  The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. Lesson Plan.

My Rainbow. Trinity and DeShanna Neal. (Pre-K – 2) A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

One. Kathryn Otoshi. (Pre-K – 1)  Red picks on Blue. The other colors don’t know what to do until One shows them how to stand up, stand together, and count. Also see, Zero. A lesson using this book is featured in the Welcoming Schools video "What Can We Do?" about preventing bullying and bias in school. Lesson Plan.

Red: A Crayon's Story. Michael Hall. (Pre-K – 1)  A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis. Almost everyone tries to “help” him be red until a friend offers a new perspective. He’s blue! About finding the courage to be true to your inner self. This can be read on multiple levels. Lesson Plan.

When Aidan Became a Big Brother. Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita.
(Pre-K – 2) When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl, but as he grew older, he realized he was a trans boy. When he finds out he is going to be a big brother, he learns the most important thing about being an older sibling: how to love with his whole self. Lesson Plan.

Wings. Christopher Myers. (1 – 5) Take flight with Ikarus Jackson, the boy with wings who remains true to his dreams despite taunts. One girl realizes he must be lonely and resolves to stop the hurtful words. Lesson Plan.