Teaching Kids About Pride: 5 Books to Get You Started

Happy Pride Month Lil Helper fam!

If you know anything about Lil Helper, you know that we are a loving little company. We love our planet, we love a good poop joke and, most importantly, we love our customers. 

Basically, Lil Helper loves love. So a whole month dedicated to celebrating acceptance, self-love, and kindness towards others, especially our LGBTQIA+ family, has us like…

And while celebrating Pride has looked a little different this year, it is just as important as ever to be teaching kids about Pride Month.

Going to a parade or other Pride event was likely off the table for you this year. So we thought we would outline some great books you can use to celebrate and learn about Pride with your kids at home.

1. Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Teaching Kids about pride
Check it out on Goodreads

One of the most recognizable symbols of Pride Month is the rainbow flag. But do you know the story behind it? If the answer is no, then Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag is a great addition to consider for your library.

From the publisher:

In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable—and undertold—story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

It should be noted that Harvey Milk was assassinated and that the book deals (very vaguely) with this. So you may make the call that this is better suited to the older readers in your home. That being said, some heaviness is to be expected when teaching kids about Pride Month and the struggle of the LGBTQIA+ community. Overall it is an uplifting and informative read for both young and old.

2. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman teaching kids about pride

I know that many of us are disappointed that we cannot attend a Pride parade this year. But This Day in June is the next best thing.

Filled with lovely illustrations and rhyming couplets, this super cute book takes readers on a walk through a Pride celebration. It highlights the vibrancy and colour of both the celebration and the people you meet along the way. It also includes a guide for how to talk to kids about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways.

From the publisher:

In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.

Also included is a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways as well as a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture. This Day in June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Pretty much every expert agrees that a key aspect of learning about acceptance and diversity is representation. This Day in June does an amazing job representing the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is an excellent resource for teaching kids about Pride Month and Pride celebrations, even when we can’t attend physically.

3. Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman

Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman

Check it out on Goodreads

Many of us don’t realize it until later in life but the division of society into gender-based binaries starts REALLY young. Kids’ toys and clothes (and the colours of those items) start ingraining these divisions from a very young age. And as we come to learn later in life, stereotypical gender-roles can be super harmful to the process of creating our identity. Especially if we don’t “fit” into the boxes created by the pink/blue binary.

Pink Is For Boys takes a crack at breaking down these binaries in a way that is digestible for even the youngest readers.

From the publisher:

Pink is for boys… and girls… and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids – and their grown-ups – to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.

Parents and kids will delight in Robb Pearlman’s sweet, simple script, as well as its powerful message: life is not color-coded.

If you have ever seen Uncle Mo rock one of his fabulous shirts or a beautiful picture of a little boy in a “girly” diaper, you quickly come to realize that these colour binaries are completely ridiculous.

Pink Is for Boys is a great resource for teaching kids about Pride AND making conversations about harmful stereotypes a common part of storytime.

4. Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Check it out on Goodreads

Another great option for the younger readers in your house, Love Makes a Family is a board book that focuses on the diversity of modern families.

From the publisher:

This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family . . . and that’s LOVE.

Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.

Like I discussed earlier, the representation of diverse viewpoints is SO important. Both when teaching your kids about Pride Month and cultivating attitudes of acceptance in general. Love Makes a Family is a great way to add some diverse representation to your library and to show even young kids that families and people are all different and all beautiful.

5. When Aiden Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

When Aiden Became a Brother by Klyle Lukoff
Check it out on Goodreads

Teaching kids about gender identity and gender expression is an essential part of cultivating both their ability to accept others and their ability to accept themselves.

When Aiden Became a Brother does just this in a way that is neither boring nor didactic.

From the publisher:

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. Then Mom and Dad announce that they’re going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning–from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does “making things right” actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.

When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.

Representation of the LGBTQIA+ community is lacking in general but representation for trans folks is especially poor. This book is a great way to add lessons about ALL of life’s important transitions to your kids’ library.

Teaching Kids About Pride: The Responsibility to Love Love

Instilling acceptance, kindness, and love in the hearts of our kids is one of our most challenging and important roles as parents.

It is easy to say that you love love. But it can feel much harder to take concrete actions to truly celebrate and enable love in all its forms.

Teaching kids about Pride and the reason we celebrate is one small but important action. It is a step that we can all take.

To acknowledge the struggle and the beauty of the LGBTQIA+ community. To center and normalize diverse viewpoints. To teach and spread love.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are all kinds of great books to celebrate and teach kids about Pride. So make sure you check out a wide variety of books to add some colour and love to your library.

What are your favourite books about Pride? What are your favourite ways to celebrate pride? Let us know in the comments and by sharing on our social handles using #lilhelperloveslove

teaching kids about pride

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