Updated: Jun 26, 2020
As Pride Month draws to a close, we’ve collected 7 books which highlight the diversity of families in our communities and, above all, messages of unconditional love and acceptance.
And Tango Makes Three – Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
The true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who developed a deep, loving attachment to each other and eventually became parents to their own baby penguin! This board book version is illustrated in soft, soothing colours and is perfect for little hands. The story is alternately heart-breaking and heart-warming as the penguin couple try hatching a stone to start their family but are eventually assisted by a zookeeper who recognises their love for one another and helps their dreams come true!
The Family Book - Todd Parr
Parr’s trademark vivid, silly illustrations and concise text statements deliver the message that while families come in many shapes, sizes and appearances, all are equally valid, and all have love in common. Featuring large and small families, families with two mums or two dads, or families with no children at all, this colourful, deceptively simple book will help children to consider their own family and how it may differ from others, and to understand that each is special in its own way.
Mommy, Mama, and Me – Lesléa Newman & Carol Thompson
A sweet ode to a family with same-sex parents, this board book is a great choice for very young children, along with its companion, ‘Daddy, Papa and Me.’ Using rhythmic, rhyming text, the story describes a fun day with plenty of activities that will be be instantly relatable to any little reader, ending in a kiss goodnight from both Mommy and Mama.
Stella Brings the Family – Miriam B. Schiffer
This thoughtful book explores how a child might feel excluded because of their family, but ultimately discover that other families are not better, just different! Stella worries what she will do when her school class hosts a Mother’s Day party because she doesn’t have a Mummy to invite – although she does have a Papa, a Daddy and lots of other relatives who love and take care of her. We love how Stella embraces her special family and finds her own solution to the dilemma, all told through gently colourful watercolour illustrations.
Worm Loves Worm – J.J. Austrian
A quirky picture book that celebrates an unconventional love between two worms! When the worms declare they want to get married, their insect friends remind them of all the necessary traditions that accompany a wedding – but ultimately, Worm and Worm don’t really care about the details, they just want to celebrate their love for each other. This book delivers its warm-hearted message of acceptance with some very sweet details, including how they solve the problem of who is the bride and who the groom!
Julian is a Mermaid – Jessica Love
This ground-breaking, joyful book is a true favourite at Maggie & Rose and we think it will continue to be celebrated for its message of self-expression and acceptance, and its vibrant, beautiful illustrations, for many years to come. Julian is a little boy who sees three women dressed in beautifully bright coloured clothing as he travels on the tube and knows that he is meant to be a ‘mermaid’ just like them. He’s initially a little afraid of how his Nana will react to his own exotic mermaid costume, but she embraces him wholeheartedly and helps him to celebrate his individuality in the mermaid parade. Just wonderful.
When Aidan Became a Brother – Kyle Lukoff
Another story which celebrates in glorious colour a child who is in the process of understanding their unique self and how they may differ from others. The story describes how when Aidan was born, everybody thought he was a girl, but his parents supported him through his discovery that he was a trans-boy and helped him to adapt elements of his life to better fit him. We especially love the way Aidan then reflects on questions of identity and what it means as he prepares for the arrival of a new baby in the family, ultimately learning that his main responsibility as a big brother is to give his sibling lots of love.
Enjoy our Story-time reading of 'Julian Is a Mermaid' by Jessica Love here! And for more of our favourite stories, see our collection of Story-time videos at Maggieandrose.me.