Pride Month, which takes place each June, is about people being proud of who they are no matter who they love. Picture books are a great way to raise young children’s awareness of different types of families which sews the seeds for tolerance, understanding and kindness.
The picture books we have chosen here celebrate diversity and they are perfect for children up to the age of seven. They have vibrant illustrations, gentle and engaging storylines, and fabulous characters to keep children hooked!
And Tango Makes Three
Justin Richardson, Simon & Schuster Children’s Books 2007
This charming picture book is about two male penguins called Roy and Silo who live in New York Zoo. Roy and Silo do everything together; they bow at each other, sing and swim together and wind their necks around each other. Their keeper, Mr Ramsay, realises they are in love.
Roy and Silo make a nest together like the male and female penguins, but one day they notice the other penguin couples can do something they can’t – hatch eggs. Mr Ramsay sees their sadness and he finds an egg that needs looking after.
Roy and Silo are as dedicated as the other penguin couples in caring for their egg. One day the egg hatches and Tango is born. They treasure Tango, taking turns to feed her from their beaks and leading her to the water to swim.
At the end of the day, they snuggle together in their nest and fall asleep like all animals and people everywhere. The message of the story is that we all thrive on love.
The Family Book
Todd Parr, Little Brown Young Readers, 2010
This bright, fun picture book is a celebration of families. Some families have one parent, and some have two. Some families are the same colour, and some are different colours. Some families have two mums, and some have two dads… and so on.
The book is a lighthearted introduction to different types of families (some even look like their pets!) It ends with a heartfelt message from the author: “There are lots of different ways to be a family. Your family is special no matter what kind it is. Love Todd.”
The Girl With Two Dads
Mel Elliot, Egmont, 2019
Pearl is so excited she goes to bed early. A new girl is starting school tomorrow and her name is Matilda. When Pearl meets Matilda she discovers they have plenty in common – they both like to get muddy, to climb and to run.
One day Pearl notices something is different; Matilda is picked up from school by two different dads. Pearl is excited when Matilda invites her to tea because she’s never been to a house with no mum. She thinks there will be pop and sweets and cakes and definitely no strict rules. When she visits Matilda she finds she’s wrong. They have vegetables for tea and they’re not allowed to jump on the bed but have to read instead!
Told in rhyme, this is beautifully illustrated picture book about two lively little girls conveys the message that families have a lot in common no matter how different they seem.
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding
Sarah Brannen and Lucia Sotto, Hodder Children’s Books, 2021
Bobby is Chloe’s favourite uncle. They always have lots of fun together. They climb the lighthouse to look at the stars, fly kites and go on picnics. One day Chloe’s world is turned upside down when Bobby announces that he’s getting married. Chloe doesn’t want to share Uncle Bobby with anyone else and she doesn’t understand why people get married.
Sitting on the swings in the park, Bobby helps Chloe to understand why he wants to get married. He explains that they’ll always have fun together and she’ll always be his “sweet pea”.
Chloe soon gets to know and like Jamie, Bobby’s boyfriend, as the three of them spend lots of quality time together. They go to the theatre, swim in the lake and light a campfire. Chloe tells Jamie she wishes he was her uncle too, and her wish comes true!
Who’s Your Real Mum?
Bernadette Green and Anna Zobel, Scribble UK, 2020
Elvi has two mums, but her friend Nicholas wants to know which one is her real mum. Elvi says they are both her real mum and Nicholas argues that this isn’t true because her real mum is the one who had her in her tummy.
Elvi gives Nicholas a series of clues so he can guess her ‘real mum’. At first the clues are too similar because both mums both wear jeans, both have dark hair and so on. Then the clues get outrageous: “She’s the one who can pull a car with her teeth!”
As Nicholas probes further the clues become truthful as Elvi says her real mum is the one who holds her when she’s scared, tucks her in bed and kisses her goodnight. Nicholas asks, “Don’t all mums do that?” and Elvi replies: “Exactly.”
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