Category Archives: Infant – Preschool

Picture Books – ages infant – 5

Pink! by Lynne Rickards

aThe Chicken House, 2009

Gender-conformity concerns – Infant-Preschool

Patrick the penguin is horrified to wake up pink one morning. Boys can’t be pink! He will be teased at school! This is the end of the world!

Patrick’s parents reassure him that it’s okay to be different, and his father pulls out a book of birds of the world to show him photographs of flamingos, half of whom are definitely boys.

But after a few days of misery, Patrick packs his knapsack, and tells his parents he’s going to Africa where he will fit in better with the flamingo flocks. To his dismay, while the flamingos are friendly, he doesn’t fit it there either. He can’t fish like they do, and he can’t fly like they do. And the water is awfully warm for a penguin.

When he returns home, he is welcomed by friends, classmates, and family alike, and gives a presentation in class about everything he learned about flamingos.

Maybe being a pink penguin isn’t the end of the world after all.

This is a great book to use with children about feeling comfortable about their differences, and also to potentially explore gender issues with.

Also available in Spanish: ¡Pink! El pingüino que se volvió rosa.  Trapella Books, 2010.


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Filed under **** Highly recommended, 2000s, Gender-conformity concerns, Infant - Preschool, Soldier Girls and Dancing Boys

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah Brannen

Putnam, 2008.  a

Gay – Infant-Preschool

Guinea pigs Chloe and her Uncle Bobby are best buddies. They do everything together. When Chloe learns that Uncle Bobby will be marrying his friend Jamie, she worries she will be left out in the cold. After a talk with Uncle Bobby she feels reassured, and even grows to appreciate Jamie.

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Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr

aAuthorHouse, 2010.

Transgender – Preschool/Elementary School

Nick has felt like a girl for as long as he can remember. When he tells his parents, they tell him they love him any way he feels. Nick’s parents let him grow his hair, buy him dresses, and when things start getting difficult at school, they talk to his teacher, and take him to a therapist who supports children “who felt like they were born in the wrong body.”

Nick continues to identify as a girl, and tells her parents that she doesn’t want to be called a boy, or be called Nick anymore. They support her decision to change her name to Hope, and when she wants to meet other children like her, they find other families with children like her that she can play with and talk to.

Hope’s little brother, Will, is relieved that they can still share a room, but doesn’t know what it will be like to have a sister instead of a brother. The family goes to the library to check out books about sisters and brothers loving each other, which makes him feel better.

Will has questions for Hope, which she always answers, and he is relieved when she says she is the same person as always and will always love him.

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Filed under **** Highly recommended, 2010s, Infant - Preschool, Soldier Girls and Dancing Boys

The Purim Superhero by Elizabeth Kushner

purimKar-Ben, 2013.  

Gay – Preschool/Elementary School

Nate is encouraged by his two fathers to follow his own way when choosing his Purim costume, rather than being pressured to be a super-hero like all the other boys plan to be. Abba tells him that not all boys need to be alike, and that makes Nate think about his family with two fathers. They also use the example of Queen Esther, who dared to be herself in order to protect the Jewish people, and Abba explains that being yourself can make you stronger, even if you are different – an oblique reference to being openly gay. Additionally, Nate’s family is shown as being well integrated into their synagogue community.


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Filed under **** Highly recommended, 2010s, Infant - Preschool

Carly, She’s Still My Daddy by Mary Boenke

Transgender Network of PFLAG, 2004.

Transgender – Preschool/Elementary School

This pamphlet explores the transition of Carl to Carly, from a child’s point of view. Tommy explains his feelings, and his mother’s reactions through the process of Carly’s transition, and notes how much happier his daddy seems to be.

The book explains what it means to be transgender, to have an intersex condition, and also to be a cross-dresser in an age-appropriate way.

Better illustrations would help this title find a place in library collections, but this book serves a real need.

Available from:

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The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy by S. Bear Bergman

aFlamingo Rampant, 2012.

Transgender – Preschool/Elementary School

Tulip, an adorable little fairy with a bow-tie and a top-knot, has a job as a Birthday Wish Fairy. He sorts all the birthday wishes into piles, dealing with the easy ones, for a new doll, or truck, first. He sends wishes for new brothers or sisters upstairs to the department that handles things like that, and for those who wished not to have a new sibling, the wishes are washed into their underlying concern – to still have the love and attention of their parents. Some wishes he can’t do anything about, like making parents recover from illness, or to stop hitting, or to bring more money to the family, but even for these children, Tulip tries to find small ways to brighten their days.

For children who wish they looked different, he devoted a good fifteen minutes of smiling to each, so they would feel better about themselves and realize they weren’t so different from anyone else.

But then a wish that stumped Tulip arrived. A boy named David had wished on his birthday candles to become a girl named Daniela. After thinking for a while about this wish, Tulip consulted the Birthday Wish Fairy Rule Book, and followed the instruction to meet with the Wish Fairy Captain. She explained to Tulip that some children are born into bodies that don’t match who they are inside.

Following the Wish Fairy Captain’s instructions carefully, he granted Daniela the bravery she would need when people didn’t understand her, Clear Sight Sparkles for Daniela’s family so they can see her as she really is, and Teaching Toothpaste for everyone, so they can help Daniela’s teachers and doctors understand her, and lastly, a special Wish Fairy Kiss, so she will know that her dreams will come true if she holds onto them.

Somehow, although it’s not in his job description, Tulip continues to visit Daniela and her family to see how they’re doing and to help them if he can. One day, the Wish Fairy Captain calls him to her office to ask why he’s doing this since it’s no longer Daniela’s birthday. Tulip explains that he thinks Daniela and her family can use some extra help now and then, and the Wish Fairy Captain smiles and offers him the job of Gender Wish Fairy.

While wordy for the youngest audiences, this is a delightful book for families with transgender children.

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Filed under **** Highly recommended, 2010s, Infant - Preschool, Soldier Girls and Dancing Boys

“Mommy, Mama and Me,” and “Daddy, Papa and Me” by Leslea Newman

aTricycle Press, 2009

Lesbian, Gay – Infant/Preschool

Written by the well-known author of  “Heather has Two Mommies,” these two titles are the first board books to focus specifically on same-sex parents. Illustrated by Carol Thompson, they depict loving families in warm, inviting colors, with the brief story about a day in each family told in easy rhyme.

These books will be welcomed by the thousands of same-sex parents looking for books reflective of their families, but all children will enjoy the familiar stories of a day spent with loving parents.

The books have won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Best Book Award.

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Filed under ***** Must Read, 2000s, 2010s, Book Awards, Gay, Infant - Preschool, Lesbian