9 Books About Families With Gay and Lesbian Parents

Books about same sex families June is LGBT Pride Month and every child should feel the pride of seeing their family structure in a picture book. Some of the books below go into explaining how a family can have same-sex parents and some simply have them , both are important. Kids need to relate and connect with books and it’s a powerful thing to see your family reflected in a book at bedtime or circle time at school. I hope that you find a new title to share with your family no matter how many mommies or daddies you have in it.

Molly's Family

Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden had both my kids captivated when I read it to them at lunch yesterday. The story is about Molly who is in kindergarten and after she draws a picture at school of her two moms she is faced with a classmate telling her she can’t have two moms. There are many things I love about this book but most of all it is the adult reactions to this child saying it’s not possible that drew me in. Molly’s classmate that was sure two moms was simply impossible wasn’t told that he was wrong instead the teacher discussed how different every family was and how Molly’s was just as much a family has his or any other. I loved even more how Molly became shy about displaying her drawing because it gave me a chance to talk to my 6 year old about the power of words and not listening to others and how dismissing people can hurt . I also loved how the next day the little boy who was so sure that two moms wasn’t possible was totally cool with it. He just didn’t know it was a possibility and I think that is a good reminder for why books like this matter.

king and king

King and King by Linda de Haan is a fairytale and a funny one at that. The queen is old and cranky and wants her son to take over the kingdom but he must be married to do so. He tells her he’s not really into princesses but Mama doesn’t take the hint. After finding fault with every princess presented to him he falls in love at first sight with a prince and they live happily ever after. I like the whimsical illustrations and my kids thought the prince was funny. My son thought the book had a twist at the end with the princes falling in love, but just like the queen in the story there was no debate over why.  I like that this book uses the familiar fairytale structure to make an important statement about the existence of same sex marriage and can be a great ice breaker to talk about it with your kids.

Everywhere Babies

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee .This  book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do.  My daughter points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families.  The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my daughter doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of  families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.

Heather Has Two Mommies

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman was widely banned when it was first released. It is probably the best known picture book about a family with same sex parents . When you read it the first thing you will probably think is that it doesn’t live up to the banning. I always imagine banned books to be truly out there and this book is about a family with a doctor , a carpenter and their daughter. Heather is starting a new school and she is nervous and exploring all the possibilities of what a family looks like just as her classmates are. She recognizes that her family is different but not less than.  The illustrations are black and white and a little dated but the story is on the right track.

Mommy, Mama and Me

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman is a book about everyday life of a family with two moms.  What I love about this book is that it showcases parts of the day that young toddlers through preschoolers can relate to easily. They have bath time, they go to the park, they cook dinner, in other words they are a family like any with a small child.  My son loved this book and related easily to the baby in the book and to the experiences that they share.The book makes no political statement, no explanation of two mommies and it shouldn’t, it’s a book targeted to toddlers about one loving family and nothing more. There is also a version with two dads called Daddy, Papa, and Me .

2 mommies

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager got my kids out of their seats at the table and glued next to me because they wanted to be that close to the illustrations by Mike Blanc . They were so vibrant and the perspective was so great that both my kids ( 6 and 3 ) were immediately smitten. The story is great too, it’s really a collection of questions from two friends asking a third about how  his family with two mommies work. Sometimes adults go straight for the deep big issues when really kids just want to know which mom is the one to coach little league and which one bakes cakes. The overall feeling readers are left with is that this little boy’s life isn’t all that different at all. There is also  A Tale of Two Daddies which is very similar with dads and a daughter.

The Family Book

The Family Book by Todd Parr is a book that doesn’t give readers a narrow definition of family , it doesn’t say that your family has to look a certain way, or be the same as your neighbors. As a teacher I really appreciated the matter of fact way it embraced diversity. It makes mention of some families having  two moms or two dads in the same vein as all the other similarities and differences. Kids see that families are not all like theirs and it’s important to validate the truth while recognizing that while families may not all look alike, all families are made with love. Great book , cute illustrations ,and children love it.

tango

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson is a much debated book. It’s the true story of two male penguins in central park zoo who didn’t have any interest in the girl penguins but definitely liked each other. When the zoo keepers noticed that they were in every way a matched pair they also noticed that they prepared for a baby just like the other penguins. Time after time they were sad until they were given an egg to care for. Just like all families love and care is what matters when creating a family and baby Tango and his two daddies have thrived . My son loved this book and asked me to please go see the penguins when I was in NYC. I didn’t have time to but I wish I had. Their story simplifies a very debated topic and I think it’s a great book not only to explain how all families are different but also how love and care are really what makes a family even for penguins.

Daddy’s_Roommate_cover

Daddy’s Roommate by Micheal Willhoite is a little different from the other books in this list in that the child in the book has a mommy, a daddy ,and daddy also has a roommate. The book was written in 1990 and even though we don’t often hear “roommate” as a euphemism for partner or boyfriend anymore but in 1990 is was probably more common. That aside the book does a good job of explaining what this little boys life is like. Bug catching, reading, scary dreams… it’s pretty average stuff but he has three adults to care for him. I also like that the boy’s parents are divorced which will be something many readers will connect with. The books explanation of what gay means is really simple and perfect for the books audience. I do think that the pictures are dated but I don’t think kids will pick up on that as much as adults will.

 

Are we missing a book you think should be added to the list? Leave a comment and let us know so we can check it out!

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Comments

  1. says

    These are excellent books. Teaching children to accept the diversity all around us is a gift to them.
    Not just about having parents with the same parts, but differences like having unmarried parents, or a family member with a disability, or having a family of another race/ethnicity. Thank you for sharing this post.

  2. Sad says

    I will no longer subscribe to you emails. This post disappoints me. I will not respond to any comments added below mine.

  3. Shawna says

    Ignore the haters. Children don’t get to pick their parents (whether they be gay, biracial or any ‘non-traditional’ option)…so I think its wonderful that you’ve made some suggestions on books that will help those children feel ‘normal’.

  4. says

    What a great a round up of books. Thanks for sharing this. Todd Parr is a favorite around here (for Father’s Day we made our own version of The Daddy Book). We will be requesting many of these from the library and I know the boys will love The Family Book.

  5. Cynthia Wood says

    Thank you! I got your website from a friend and have to say, it is wonderful to see someone standing up for MY family! With five kids from all walks of life, some of these books are lifesavers. I’ve never had to read them to my Children because they have known And understood from early on what the true meaning of family is… They are well adjusted, happy, caring kids… However, these are books that they like to read and show to their friends. It really makes a difference!

  6. Chris says

    Thank you for this list! My good friend and her partner are going to have a baby soon and it is great to have a compiled list if books to refer to. It is so important for all children to appreciate the variety in family structures. Thank you!!

  7. says

    You are amazing, and thank you for this list. “Tango Makes Three” is one of our favorite books to read to our child (as heterosexual parents to our two year old — shock, gasp, horror!) and it’s so important to us to teach him that LOVE is what conquers ALL. I have never heard of the other titles in this round up and will be sure to add them to our library list. Living down in liberal, diverse Southeast Florida, I’m sure I can have no trouble finding these at our main library but if not, I will definitely be ordering them. How beautiful a gift we can give our children, to teach them LOVE. And for those children with families represented by these books, how beautiful to give them an accurate representation of the beautiful family who loves them.

  8. says

    A fantastic round-up and much needed. Thank you for having the courage to stand behind your beliefs (and many others) and post such a list! Bravo!

  9. says

    YES! What a great list! Thank you! Can you believe that And Tango Makes Three is on the Banned/Challenged book list? I had my Kindergarten teacher buy it for that very reason at the last Book Fair at school!

  10. Allison McDonald says

    Thank you all for the support – I knew this post would cause a stir and I’d lose some followers but I am happy to say I think I have gained more than I lost. Not because this post was about followers but because I hope it’s s sign that no matter what people’s personal beliefs are that they see that kids deserve to be seen , be validated and be accepted.

  11. Nikki says

    My wife & I read many of these stories to our 16 month old son. We are both teachers as well & I have read And Tango Makes Three to my class. A couple of other books which have same sex parents are A Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan & Patricia Polacco’s book In Our Mothers House. Thanks for the post!

    • Allison McDonald says

      I tried so hard to find that book- it was no where and of course I didn’t plan this far enough in advance to get it in time. Do you like it?

      • Colleen says

        After reading Nikki’s comment I requested In Our Mothers’ House from our library. It was a sweet book about a family in which all 3 children were adopted by their two mothers. I was looking for a gift for my new nephew (the son of my sister and sister-in-law), so I chose Mommy, Mama and Me because I was looking for a book about everyday life rather than one in which the family confronts discrimination. The one negative character in In Our Mothers’ House was a neighbour who wouldn’t have anything to do with the family. Happily, their community rallied around the family with love and support.

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