Supportive Books & Media for Gender Variant / Non-conforming Kids

Children’s Books About Uniqueness and Self-Esteem

Oliver Button is a Sissy, Tommie de Paola, 1979. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Children’s Books, Ages 4-8

William’s Doll, Charlotte Zolotow and Wlliam Pene Dubois, 1985. USA: HarperTrophy, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, Young children

Pinky and Rex (part of a series), James Howe and Melissa Sweet, 1990. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks, an imprint of Simon and Shuster Children’s Division, Young children

The Big Orange Splot, D. Manus Pinkwater (aka Daniel Pinkwater) , 1993. New York, NY: Scholastic Paperbacks, Ages 4-8

Caleb’s Friend, Eric Jon Nones, 1993. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Ages 5-8

The Straight Line Wonder, Mem Fox and Marc Rosenthal (Illustrator), 1997. New York, NY: Mondo Publishing, Ages 4-8

Best Best Colors / Los Mejores Colores, Eric Hoffman and Celeste Henriquez (Illustrator), 1999. Minnepolis, MN: Red Leaf Press (Anti-Bias Books for Kids)

Jack and Jim, Kitty Crowther, 2000. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children, Young children

Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying, 2001. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, 2001. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 4-8

It’s Okay to Be Different, Todd Parr, 2001. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. Megan Tingley Books, Young children

The Sissy Duckling, Harvey Fierstein and Henry Cole, 2002. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Ages 4-8

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting off a Little Self-esteem, Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, 2002. USA: Joanna Cotler Books, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, Young children

Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores, James Howe and Amy Walrod, 2003. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks, an imprint of Simon and Shuster Children’s Division, Young children

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, Lesléa Newman and Peter Ferguson, 2004. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, Young children

Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls, J. T. Bunnell and Irit Reinheimer, 2004. Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, Young children

Dumpy La Rue, Elizabeth Winthrop and Betsy Lewin, 2004. New York, NY: Owlet Books, Henry Holt and Co., Ages 4-8

Princesses Are Not Quitters, Kate Lum, Sue Hellard (Illustrator), 2005. USA: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, Ages 9-12

Fancy Nancy, Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illustrator) , 2005. USA: Harper Collins, Ages 4-8

The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson (Illustrator), 2007. Puffin Storytime; Pap/Com edition, Ages 4-8

Teens’ Fiction

What I Know Now, Rodger Larson, 1997. Henry Holt & Company, Ages 12 and up

The Misfits, James Howe, 2003. Aladdin; Reprint edition, Ages 10 to 14

The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington, Brian Francis, 2005. Harper Perennial, Ages 12 and up

Luna, Julie Anne Peters, 2006. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, Ages 14 and up

So Hard to Say, Alex Sanchez, 2006. Simon Pulse, Ages 14 & up

Totally Joe, James Howe, 2007. Aladdin; Reprint edition, Ages 12 and up

If You Believe in Mermaids … Don’t Tell, A. A. Philips, 2007. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Publishing, Ages 11 & up

Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger, 2007. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Ages 14 and up

Books about Bodies

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships, Ruth Bell, 1998. Three Rivers, MI: Three Rivers Press; 3rd Rev edition, Teens

The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls, Valorie L. Schaeffer, Norm Bendell (illustrator), 1998. US: American Girl Books

What’s Going on Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask, Karen Gravelle, 1999. New York, NY: Walker Books for Young Readers, Grade 5-10

It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley (Illustrator), 2004. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, Baby-Preschool

Amazing You! Getting Smart about Your Private Parts (A First Guide to Body Awareness for Preeschoolers), Dr. Gail Saltz and Lynne Cravath (Illustrator), 2005. New York, NY: Dutton Children’s Books, Ages 4-8

It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberly (Illustrator), 2006. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, Ages 4-8

The Bare Naked Book, Kathy Stinson and Heather Collins (Illustrator), 2006. Toronto, ON: Anick Press, Ages 4-8

Books about Bullying

When Kids Drive Kids Crazy, Eda LeShan, 1990. New York, NY: Dial Books, a division of Penguin Books

How to Handle Bullies, Teasers, and Other Meanies, Kate Cohen-Posey, 1995. FL: Rainbow Books – A Parent-Child How-To Resource, Pre-teens/teens

Pinky and Rex and the Bully (part of a series), James Howe and Melissa Sweet, 1996. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks, an imprint of Simon and Shuster Children’s Division, Young children

Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes, 1996. USA: HarperTrophy, an imprint of Harper Collins, Ages 4-8

Bullies are a Pain in the Brain, by Trevor Romain, Elizabeth Verdick (Editor), 1997. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing , Ages 9-12

Stop Picking On Me, Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker, 2000. Hauppauge NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Ages 4-8

Nobody Knew What to Do, Becky Ray McCain, 2001. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 4-8

The Recess Queen, Alexis O’Neill, Laura Huliska-Beith (Illustrator), 2002. New York, NY: Scholastic Press, Babies to Preschool

Say Something, Peggy Moss, 2004. Gardiner, ME: Tilbury House Publishers,

A Bad Case of Stripes, Peggy Moss, 2004. Gardiner, ME: Tilbury House Publisheres, Ages 4-8

My Secret Bully, Trudy Ludwig and Abigail Marble (Illustrator), 2005. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, an Imprint of Ten Speed Press, Ages 4-8

Just Kidding, Trudy Ludwig and Adam Gustavson (Illustrator), 2006. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, an Imprint of Ten Speed Press, Ages 4-8

The Bully Blockers Club, Teresa Bateman, 2006. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 4-8

Books about Families and Relationships

Families: A Coloring Book, Michael Willhoite, 1991. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Publications, Young children

Daddy’s Roommate, Michael Willhoite, 1991. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Wonderland, and Imprint of Alyson Publications, Young children

Families are Different, Nina Pelligrini, 1991. New York, NY: Holiday House, Ages 4-8

Daddy’s Wedding, Michael Willhoite, 1996. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Publications, Young children

Who’s in a Family?Robert Skutch and Laura Nienhaus (Illustrator), 1997. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, Ages 4-8

Lucy Goes to the Country, Joseph Kennedy and John Canemaker, 1998. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Wonderland, and Imprint of Alyson Publications, Young children

Heather Has Two Mommies, Lesléa Newman and Diana Souza, 2000. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Publications, Young children

All Families Are Different, Sol Gordon and Vivien Cohen (Illustrator), 2000. New Yrok, NY: Prometheus Books, Ages 4-8

ABC: A Family Alphabet Book, Bobbie Combs, Desiree Keane and Brian Rappa, 2000. Ridley Park, PA: Two Lives Publishing, Young children

King and King, Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, 2002. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, Young children

The Family Book, Todd Parr, 2003. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. Megan Tingley Books, Ages 4-8

King and King & Family, Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, 2004. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, Young children

One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads, Johnny Valentine, Melody Sarecky, 2004. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Publications, Ages 4-8

Molly’s Family, Nancy Garden and Sharon Wooding (Illustrator), 2004. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Ages 4-8

Mom And Mum Are Getting Married, Ken Setterington & Alice Priestly, 2004. Second Story Press, Ages 4-8

And Tango Makes Three, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, 2005. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing , Ages 4-8

Emma and Meesha My Boy: A Two Mom Story, Kaitlyn Taylor Considine, 2005. Twomombooks.com, Baby – preeschool

Videos, Fiction

Oliver Button is a Star, Tommie de Paola, 1990. Tommie de Paola, Ages 4-8

Sissy Duckling(not commercially released), Harvey Fierstein, HBO Studios Productions. Ages 4-8

Videos, Documentary

That’s a Family, A film by Debra Chasnoff, Women’s Educational Media, 8 and up

Let’s Get Real, A film by Debra Chasnoff, Helen S. Cohen and Kate Stilley, Women’s Educational Media, 11 and up

Posters

Every Girl Every Boy Poster:Available form multiple internet sources. Also available in Spanish language: Cada Niña Cada Niño

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy Moss June 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

Thank you for this great list. For teenagers, I would add Harry Potter – there is great talk about difference and coping with being “exceptional” and so many kids embrace the story, that it’s easy to get a conversation started. Kids really respond to the importance given Neville Longbottom at the end of the first book – he won the house cup for his team because he stood up to his friends… and that’s REALLY hard to do.
I also wanted to let you know that my new picture book “One of Us” (Illustrated by Penny Weber) deals directly with being a non-conforming kid, and addresses some gender stereotyping in (I hope!) a pretty upbeat way. I hope you’ll check it out!
Thanks again for getting this list out there!
Peggy

ejayo June 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

I love the politics of Harry Potter, the gentle way it encourages readers to both question authority, and do the right thing. Dumbledore’s homosexuality, so understated, is also wonderful.

I need to add more books and work on the categories; lots of books have messages that are tangentially supportive of Being DIfferent; what I wonder is, if this list should really focus on this particular kind of difference.

Thank you for the pointer to your book; I’m stalled on my own children’s book about our experience pareting our gender non-conforming kid. THe text is done but I’m still looking for a publisher or illustrator, or both.

Phyllis November 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Feel free to add my book, “All I Want To Be Is Me” onto your list- I have used it for children from preschool age through elementary, and it has been well received and is now part of the inclusive school curricula in parts of the bay area. You can also access the accompanying song off my website, http://www.alliwanttobeisme.com.
~Phyllis

Jen November 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I would add Free To Be You and Me for children. This 1970s classic, edited by Marlo Thomas, is available in CD and DVD format, as well.

Aidan Key April 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

UPDATED PHONE NUMBER: Parent Group at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s Support Group Transgender & Gender Variant Support Group: the group meets monthly on the third Sunday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. For more information contact Aidan Key at 1-855-4 GENDER (1-855-443-6337)

Julie Cross October 10, 2011 at 1:34 am

Is anyone aware of any children support groups in the Dallas area? Thanks!

N December 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm

And may I also humbly suggest: The Boy with Pink Hair by Perez Hilton
My 6-year-old’s eyes popped at the idea that a boy would have pink hair! She was _very_ interested in it, and the story is pretty decent (as in, she liked it and I didn’t mind it). One thing I like is how what is special about the boy is not only his pink hair, it’s a talent/interest that he has, and then how he uses it (with the support of a friend) to contribute to his community!

Melissa Bollow Tempel December 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hello,
I just wanted to let you know that an article I published in Rethinking Schools magazine that linked to this resource list has been republished in the Huffington Post… in case you’re wondering where the new traffic is coming from. Thank you making this great list. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-bollow-tempel/teaching-gender-variant-children_b_1163459.html?ref=gay-voices

zorayda December 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Hi! I am a preschool teacher on my way to getting my Associate degree. I am also part of the lgbt family. I am honored that there are these types of books out there for children but most special of all is the fact that little kids are expressing their true selfs early. I feel honored to help out our younger generation in such fun & accepting way. I definitely will be using these resources. Thank you so much!

Heather December 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for this list. I might also suggest the short story, “The Story of X.” I think it is a great way to get kids thinking. You can read the story at the link below.

http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/women/blog/file.axd?file=2011%2F4%2FBabyX.pdf

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