Parents looking for age-appropriate reading material for younger children who are transgender, gender expansive, or simply have a lot of questions, might think that their options are limited. Happily, that’s not the case. The books below each offer a different way to affirm, to learn, and to start important conversations. You can donate to PFLAG National by signing into Amazon Smile—smile.amazon.com—prior to purchasing any of the titles below.
Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr: This charming children’s story, written by a mom, tells of her own experience of raising and supporting her transgender child, and how she helped the school to support her as well.
Gender Now Coloring Book by Maya Gonzalez: A coloring book meant to provide reflection and support unity by showing multiple genders standing together. Inside you’ll find stories, pictures, games and more to encourage and remind you that you are free to be!
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings: The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transgender kids everywhere.
If You Believe in Mermaids…Don’t Tell by A. A. Phillips: Todd Winslow has just finished seventh grade. He has always struggled with his own identity and what it means to be a boy, being perpetually measured against what his father views as the ‘perfect son.’ Philips presents a difficult gender issue to readers in a delicate manner.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman: This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.
Meet Polkadot by Talcott Broadhead: Polkadot as well as Polkadot’s big sister Gladiola and best friend Norma Alicia, introduce readers to the challenges and beauty that are experienced by Polkadot as a nonbinary, transgender kid.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino: Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. One day when Morris feels all alone and sick from their taunts, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.
My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis: Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees. He’s a Princess Boy.
Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe: Pinky’s favorite color is pink, and his best friend, Rex, is a girl. Kevin, the third-grade bully, says that makes Pinky a sissy. Deep down, Pinky thinks Kevin is wrong, but he’s still worried. Does Pinky have to give up his favorite things, and worse, does he have to give up his best friend?
Pugdog by Andrea U’Ren: Mike and his pup are great friends. But Mike doesn’t know very much about dogs. Not only is Pugdog not a pug—Pugdog is not even a he, as Mike had thought all along, but a she! Mike feels obliged to give Pugdog a crash course on how to look and act the way a girl dog should. The only problem is Mike doesn’t know much about this subject either.
Sissy Duckling written by Harvey Fierstein and Illustrated by Henry Cole: Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. But when his father is wounded by a hunter’s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Illustrated by Robert Lawson: Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful—and beloved—little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic.
What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth: A wonderful children’s book that takes gender out of making a baby.