gender symbol

22 Sensitive Children's Books about Gender Identity and Fluidity

my princess boy

My Princess Boy

A fun-loving, imaginative little boy moves gracefully around gender stereotypes by dressing as he pleases. Sometimes it is a pair of jeans, and other times he confidently dons a tiara as he climbs trees, dances through his yard, and enjoys the unconditional love of his family. A beautifully simple story for the preschool and kindergarten age group.

  

 Best Children's Books about Gender Identity 

The number of touching and inspirational children's books about gender fluidity is growing daily. These books are often written by authors based on their own personal experiences raising a child who is on a journey toward self-discovery. Some of these children's book authors are child psychologists and therapists who have diverse and varied experiences working with children. So very importantly, these books cover an incredibly complex topic in accessible, gentle, and loving language. Add some complementary kids' rainbow books about the colorful symbol representing inclusiveness and acceptance among the LGBQ+ community.

 

gender identity symbol

  

 Recommended Kids' Books about Gender 

Here we offer a list of valuable contributions to children's literature on this sensitive topic. There are so many different stories to tell, so many important perspectives, and so many very personal experiences to be told. It is our hope that we have provided you with some stories that resonate with your child's personal experiences. Through these books, children will learn to embrace the  diversity of their friends, neighbors, and classmates. And equally important, they will learn to accept and love their own unique identity that may not always fit neatly into a box.

 

 i am jazz

I Am Jazz

The true account of Jazz Jennings, who is a spokesperson for trans kids everywhere, takes us back to her days as a young child confused about her identity. She was born with the body of a boy, but the brain of a girl. From the time she was a toddler, Jazz was always more comfortable dressing like princesses, mermaids, and more female-oriented fashion. Through the support of her doctor and family, she learns to be confident and happy as her true self.

 

 

 

 introducing teddy a gentle story about gender and friendship

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship

A couple of best friends, Errol and Thomas (who happen to be teddy bears), happily pass their time riding bikes, hanging out in their treehouse, and doing all kinds of other fun things. One day, Thomas  shares his feeling about identifying more like a girl. In a true gesture of warmth and empathy, his friend Errol reassures Thomas that their friendship is unconditional.

 

 

 

morris micklewhite and the tangerine dress

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Winner of numerous children's book awards and highly recommended by teachers and educators. This heartwarming story takes us into the classroom with Morris who loves to wear a tangerine dress. His classmates tease and taunt him. Morris is unwelcome in the pretend spaceship, a place most unfitting for boys in dresses, according to his classmates. A most loving, supportive mother gives Morris the space to explore his identity and find creative ways to carve out his own space at school. 

 

 

 

george 

 George

A chapter book for middle-grade readers that sensitively addresses the conflicting feelings of a child who looks like a boy but feels like a girl. George keeps her secret buried deep inside, saddened that she'll have to hide her indentity forever. An opportunity to appear in a school play provides George the outlet to show her true self to the world. A coming-of-age story that will resonate with kids grappling with the difficult decision to come forward with their sexual identity. Likewise, an important read for all tween readers who will learn to empathize and embrace friends and classmates on this journey.

 

 


 julian is a mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaid

An award-winning book about a little boy who is fascinated with the mermaid costumes he spots some ladies wearing. He falls in love with the billowing, colorful material that comes to a peak in a fabulous tail.  Julián puts his creativity to the test and makes his own mermaid outfit, demonstrating self-love and confidence that will have a positive impact on all your little readers.

 

 

 

 annie's plaid shirt

Annie's Plaid Shirt

Meet Annie, a confident, happy, active little girl who eschews girly clothing. In lieu of frilly dresses, Annie chooses to wear her very favorite, most comfortable plaid shirt. This is all fine and dandy until a wedding invitation arrives. Annie's mother insists that she conform to the standard wedding attire for girls, but this does not go over well. Grab this award-winning, five-star book about a self-assured girl who refuses to let others define her appearance.

 


 

 sparkle boy

Sparkle Boy

It's pretty common for little boys to enjoy their sisters' toys and vice versa. Casey loves his trucks, but he is also drawn to the sparkly things that fill his sister Jessie's closet. Casey especially loves to dress up in her gold sequined skirt, accessorized with his grandmother's glittery bracelets. When he draws the attention of some bullies, Jessie steps up to defend her brother in this heartwarming story of acceptance. 

 


 

 jack not jackie

Jack (Not Jackie)

A very girlie big sister is excited about the arrival of a baby sister. She dreams of the day when they will engage in fairy pretend play and other typically girl activities. But Jack(ie) has other ideas about what is fun and ultimately identifies as male. A progressive look at transgender issues from the perspective of preschoolers.

 

 

 pink is for boys

Pink is for Boys

A simple book with a powerful message: colors are not binary. This popular picture book encourages children to follow their dreams and pursue every interest without regard to gender stereotypes. From cherishing unicorns to racing cars, all kinds of fun activities are meant to be pursued for girls and boys alike. A celebration of color and life!

 

 

 

 when aidan became a brother

 

When Aidan Became a Brother

A well-received picture book tells the story of a transgender child in a most direct, straightforward manner. With loving, supportive parents behind him, a little girl transitions to become the boy that has always lived within. As Aidan adjust to his new life as a boy, he prepares for the arrival of a sibling. A children's book about transgender that does not dance around the topic with subtleties; rather, it is a refreshing look at a family maneuvering through life's transitions with love and grace.

 

 

 it feels good to be yourself

It Feels Good to be Yourself

A vibrantly illustrated book for parents who want to address the subject of gender fluidity with their young children. Packed with vocabulary to help parents talk to kids about a topic that can oftentimes be confusing, this book is a valuable guide for parents and children alike. 

 

 

 red a crayon's story

Red: A Crayon's Story

A creative story with a message about being true to yourself that applies to gender identity as well as to so many other scenarios a child will encounter in his or her lifetime. The analogy in this story will appeal to preschool and elementary school children. Our protagonist is a blue crayon who received a red label in error. No one can see past the label (nor do they try) and Red is consistently forced to be the color he truly is not. An amazing introductory book for young readers about the unfortunate use of labels and stereotypes. 

 

 

 

neither 

Neither

An appealing book for young children, especially for those that struggle with fitting in. In a land that exists for two very specific creatures-  blue bunnies and yellow birds- along comes a unique animal that doesn't fit the mold. So off this critter goes to find a new place that is more welcoming. A charming book that opens a conversation about including all people, no matter what they look like.

 

 

 jacob's new dress 

Jacob's New Dress

This is a sweet book about a gender non-conforming little boy named Jacob. He loves to play dress-up, and he especially loves wearing dresses. His desire is so strong that he convinces his parents to let him wear a dress to school. A great contribution to the growing list of children's books about gender identity.


 

 

 are you a boy or are you a girl

 

Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?

A child named Tiny enjoys pretend play, dressing up in costumes, and ignoring all gender norms. But when friends ask Tiny, "Are you are boy or a girl?", no answer is given. Tiny prefers to play in a space where gender is neutral. A simple, accessible story for really young children whose parents want to explore the idea of a more flexible identity.

 


 

 who are you a kids guide to gender identity

 

Who Are You?: The Kids' Guide to Gender Identity

Parents will find this guide to be a valuable resource to aid in conversations about gender identity with their children. Topics like physical appearance, hobbies, self-expression and more are covered. A how-to discussion guide is a useful tool to encourage open dialogue about the fluidity of gender, especially for kids who don't fit squarely in the male or female box.

  

 

 

from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea 

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea

A gentle, fairytale-like children's book about a nonbinary child named Miu Lan. A magical gift allows Miu to magically transform into anything at all, drawing criticism and confusion from others. Miu has the good fortune of parents who love unconditionally and teach their child to be true to one's self.

 


 

 one of a kind like me

One of a Kind, Like Me

A bilingual story about a little boy who knows exactly what he wants to wear in his school parade- a princess dress. With the full support of his mother, they scurry out to the store to find the perfect costume.  A refreshing book about gender non-conformity in which there is no mention of bullying or teasing. It's a matter-of-fact race against time to find a princess dress...and that's it!

 

 

 a fire engine for ruthie

A Fire Engine for Ruthie

If you want to break the gender norms with your little girl, grab this awesome book and buy her a toy fire engine to go along with it! A girl named Ruthie doesn't particularly like playing with the dolls and having tea parties with her Nana. She'd much rather join the boy next door, who is playing with fire trucks, cars, and trains. A supportive Nana encourages Ruthie to play with these "boy" toys and even has fun with them herself.

 

 

 

 roller girl

Roller Girl

A Newbery Honor Winner and New York Times bestseller about a girl who turns to roller derby as an outlet for middle school angst and social drama. This graphic novel tells the story of Astrid, who parts ways with her best friend (who prefers dance), and chooses her own path instead. It's a fast-paced read that empowers girls to ignore gender norms and follow their dreams.

 

 

 

 the moon within

 

The Moon Within

A coming-of-age novel for middle grade readers about a Mexican girl figuring out how to assert her independence and individuality.  She is experiencing physiological changes but chooses not to engage in the rituals that are part of her ancestry. While she is learning to understand her changing body, she's also helping her best friend explore all that it means to be gender fluid.

  

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Why Read Kids' Books about Gender Identity and Expression

The messages, lessons, and values conveyed through children's books are impactful and long-lasting. Expert storytellers working with talented illustrators can share complex themes that resonate with the youngest of readers.  It's easy to find books with little girls dressed up as princesses. And you don't have to look very hard to find lots of adorable picture books about little boys playing with trucks. But to expand a child's view of humanity and gender prototypes, you will want to read books that offer a more diverse perspective. 

 

transgender

 

Embrace Diversity Through Children's Books on Gender Fluidity

Raising our children to embrace diversity with open hearts starts with messaging from a very young age. We can teach our kids to love one another and respect the special ways that make us each unique by reading children's picture books about gender identity. By introducing our kids to characters in books that don't always fit into stereotypes, we are helping to instill values of inclusion, empathy, and respect. 

 

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