New Kids’ Books and Music for Pride and Beyond

Library with many shelves and books, diminishing perspective and shallow dof
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This year has seen a rainbow explosion of new children’s books and music about Pride and LGBTQ+ history. Here are some of my favorites.

Board Books

“P Is for Pride,” by Greg Paprocki (BabyLit) is a bright alphabet board book that takes us from Activism to Ze/Zir. A few of the pages showcase words directly related to LGBTQ identities or LGBTQ history, but the majority focus on words that simply express the joy and pride of the LGBTQ community, such as Equality, Family and Unity. Colorful retro illustrations add to the fun.

P is for Pride

Picture Books

“The ABCs of Queer History,” by Seema Yasmin, illustrated by Lucy Kirk (Workman), is a simple exploration of some of the people, emotions, and ideas that have contributed to queer history. While some of the rhymes bump awkwardly, the joyful, affirming, diverse and resilient character of the LGBTQ+ community comes through.

“I Think We Can! A Visit to the Pride Parade,” by G. M. King, illustrated by Jill Howarth (Grosset & Dunlap), shows the classic character, The Little Engine, excited about going to the Pride Parade—but having to enlist the help of the diverse community when a wheel falls off. The plot may be simple, but the bold, colorful, and retro illustrations make it a delight.

“It’s Pride, Baby,” by Allen R. Wells, illustrated by Dia Valle (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), focuses on two dads and their daughter getting ready for and celebrating Black Pride in Washington, D.C. The message from the dads to their child is one of affirmation and support, no matter who the child grows to be or love.

It’s Pride, Baby

“Marley’s Pride,” by Joëlle Retener, illustrated by DeAnn Wiley (Barefoot Books), is a brightly colored story about a nonbinary child who learns to overcome their fears so they can attend Pride with their nonbinary grandparent. There’s much to love about this story: a protagonist and speaking cast entirely of color; a trans elder mentoring a trans youth—in a grandparent-to-grandchild relationship, no less; and a message about the importance of queer community and supportive peers.

“The Rainbow Parade: A Celebration of LGBTQIA+ Identities and Allies,” by Rick Hendrix and Shane Jordan, illustrated by Jieting Chen (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), shows a gender creative boy heading out to a Pride parade with his parents—and offering support to a child who is finding it hard to let their rainbow shine. There’s a clear pedagogic intent, but it’s carried out with thoughtfulness and an emphasis on the joy in being oneself—and helping others be their true selves, too.

“Queer and Fearless: Poems Celebrating the Lives of LGBTQ+ Heroes,” by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Harry Woodgate (Penguin), offers biographical portraits of 17 historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ political and social activists. Sanders carefully matches various poetic forms with his subjects, for example, deploying the march-like beat of rhyming couplets for the poem about Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington. A few paragraphs of prose on each figure add informational substance to the emotional connections that the poems create.

Queer and Fearless: Poems Celebrating the Lives of LGBTQ+ Heroes

Middle Grade

“Queer History A to Z: 100 Years of LGBTQ+ Activism,” by Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Vivian Rosas (Kids Can Press), is a thoughtful and wide-ranging book offering informative and inspiring snapshots of people, movements, events and concepts from LGBTQ+ history in the U.S. and Canada. The illustrations are bright, bold and contemporary, despite the historical focus, adding to its appeal for tween readers.

“The Queen’s English: The Young Readers’ LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases,” by Chloe O. Davis (Simon & Schuster), is an adaptation of Davis’s book for grown-up readers. This edition for older middle-grade readers and up combines definitions of terms related to LGBTQIA+ identities, historical tidbits, and examples of usage to create an entertaining and informative reference guide.

Queer History A to Z: 100 Years of LGBTQ+ Activism


“Rainbow Seekers,” the fourth album from the Philadelphia-based music trio Ants on a Log is a celebratory exploration of gender identity, gender expression and queer families. The album features songs from the original musical of the same title, and covers a range of genres and styles, making this an album that even adults won’t tire of when the kids have it on repeat. (And heck, there wasn’t music like this when we were kids; I suspect some of us grown-ups will have it on repeat, too.)

“The Many I Am,” a single from nonbinary and queer Massachusetts musician Carrie Ferguson, is what they call “a gender queer disco rock dance party anthem” that will have listeners of all ages dancing and singing along with the affirming lyrics. The song is first and foremost an anthem for nonbinary and gender diverse folks—but really, it should appeal to anyone who contains multitudes. And don’t we all?

“I’m Marvelous,” a single from the Austin-based Strawbitty Yops, is a runway-style dance number about celebrating individuality. “Look at me, I’m marvelous, I’m fabulous, splendiferous,” say the lyrics as the beat ramps up, and listeners will know immediately that this is a song of pure queer joy.

For dozens of other Pride-themed books published in past years, plus more LGBTQ-inclusive titles that aren’t specifically about Pride, please visit my Database of LGBTQ Family Books at

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