• Same Sex Parents

Top 10 Books for Children of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Parents


We recently shared our top 10 books for children of same-sex parents, but finding books for children of transgender and gender-diverse parents can be quite a challenge. As far as we're aware, there aren't any children's books out there that feature transgender or gender-diverse parents, and if there is, they are extremely hard to come by.

So rather than focusing on children's books that feature transgender/gender-diverse parents, we're focusing on those that feature a transgender/gender-diverse character, or educational books that give children of trans/gender-diverse parents a better understanding.

When a child becomes aware that their parent is trans or gender-diverse, they are likely to have a few questions, and books & stories like these are the perfect go-to for addressing those questions!






I Am Jazz

By Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings.


Overview: I Am Jazz is based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who is notable for being the youngest person to become a national transgender figure.

Jazz always knew she was different from other kids. She had a girl's brain and a boy's body. This is her story.


Why we like it: A truly beautiful story that will bring tears to your eyes. It's heart-warming and beautifully written from a child's perspective. It's simplistic and approaches the subject matter in a way that is easy for children to understand.


We recommend for children aged: 4-8 years.




Introducing Teddy

By Jessica Walton.


Overview: A beautiful story about a little boy, Errol, and his teddy, 'Thomas'. Errol and Teddy are the best of friends, and they do everything together. One day, Teddy is feeling sad and Errol can't figure out why. Teddy confesses to Errol that she has always known in her heart that she is a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and wishes her name was Tilly, not Thomas. Errol says "I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend."

The story begins and ends with showing us what Errol and Teddy like to do together, and demonstrates that nothing has changed since Thomas became Tilly.


Why we like it: It's great for helping younger readers to learn about the concept of being transgender without directly using the term. It teaches empathy and acceptance.


We recommend for children aged: 3-7 years.




Julian Is a Mermaid

By Jessica Love.


Overview: Julian loves mermaids, and one day on his way home with his abuela (nana), he sees three women dressed up as mermaids. Julian is mesmerized and daydreams of dressing up just like the women he saw. When he gets home, he makes his own fabulous mermaid costume and shows his abuela. When she sees him, she doesn't say anything and walks away. Julian and the reader are left wondering if she disapproves, but she soon comes back with a beautiful pearl necklace for him to wear, and takes him somewhere special!


Why we like it: We love the way that the illustrations do most of the talking in this beautifully unique book. The minimalist text and the breathtakingly beautiful illustrations work so well together. A great way of introducing children to gender diversity while teaching about acceptance and individuality.


We recommend for children aged: 3-7 years.




Red: A Crayon's Story

By Michael Hall.


Overview: A crayon is labeled as Red but he is, in fact, blue. Red's teacher and family try to help him to be red, but everything he draws comes out as blue. He just can't be red no matter how hard he tries.

When a friend asks him to make a blue ocean for his boat, he was the perfect crayon for the job! Despite his 'Red' label on the outside, he is blue on the inside. Red learns to accept himself for who he really is and embraces it.


Why we like it: The story has a beautiful message about embracing who we are. Fantastic way to explain gender dysphoria to children in a way they can easily understand. The story can easily be related to the child's transgender parent, for example, "Daddy is just like Red! How I looked on the outside didn't match who I was on the inside. I tried so hard to be a girl, but it just wasn't who I was!"

A great go-to book for the initial stages of explaining your transition to your child.


We recommend for children aged: 3-7 years.




Be Who You Are

By Jennifer Carr.


Overview: Nick was born in a boy's body, but has always felt like a girl inside. Nick's parents are extremely accepting and supportive, and reassure her to be who she is. But this experience isn't the same at school. Nick's teacher tries to discourage her from drawing herself as a girl, or from lining up in the girl's line. Nick's parents meet with her teacher so that she can feel good about going to school. They also take her to see a specialist doctor. Nick confides in her parents that she no longer wants to be called Nick, she wants to be called Hope. Hope's parents find a group that help families just like theirs, and Hope gets to meet other children just like her!

The story is based on the author's experiences with her own children.


Why we like it: The story gently addresses the struggles and experiences that transgender people can face, giving children an insight into what life can be like for trans individuals. This will help them to empathize with their transgender parent and gain a better understanding.


We recommend for children aged: 4-8 years.




Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?

By Sarah Savage & Fox Fisher.


Overview: A sweet story about a gender non-conforming child named Tiny. Tiny loves to dress up - as an animal, a doctor, or a butterfly! Tiny also prefers not to tell other children whether they are a boy or a girl. Tiny's friends don't mind, but when Tiny starts a new school their new friends can't help asking one question:

"Are you a boy or are you a girl?"

You can also check out this YouTube video from the creators of the book.


Why we like it: This book is excellent for helping children to understand gender diversity and is a great conversation starter for children with gender-diverse parents. It will allow parents to relate the book back to themselves and explain to their child how they are just like Tiny. The book is gentle, charming, positive and features bright and colorful illustrations.


We recommend for children aged: 3-7 years.




Neither

By Airlie Anderson.


Overview: In the Land of This and That, there are only two kinds: blue bunnies or yellow birds. But one day a little creature hatches that's not quite a bird and not quite a bunny, it's neither!

Neither tries hard to fit in, but its bird legs aren't good for jumping like the other bunnies, and its fluffy tail isn't good for flapping like the other birds. It sets out to find a new home and discovers a very different place, one with endless colors and shapes and creatures of all kinds. One where everyone is welcome - the Land of All.


Why we like it: A beautiful story about acceptance and diversity. The 'bunnies' and 'birds' can easily be compared to 'boys' and 'girls' for relating the book to gender diversity. A great book for helping children to understand that people can be this, that, neither, either, and everything in between.


We recommend for children aged: 3-7 years.




Who Are You?

By Brook Pessin-Whedbee.


Overview: This book provides a great introduction to gender - our bodies, our expression and our identity. Appropriate for slightly older children (5+), the book discusses how sex and gender are not the same and our biological sex does not determine our gender (however we'd like to mention that the book states “This is the sex assigned to you at birth, male or female” - we suggest adding intersex when reading with your child). The book also shares a list of gender identity terms, such as non-binary and gender fluid.

Includes an interactive wheel to clearly demonstrate the difference between our body, how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies, and our gender identity.


Why we like it: It's interactive, straightforward, and features beautifully inclusive illustrations. It discusses gender in a way which is easy for children to understand. A great conversation starter for children with gender-diverse parents.


We recommend for children aged: 5-9 years.




George

By Alex Gino.


Overview: When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part - because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte - but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


Why we like it: Charming, warm and inspiring. George is referred to as "she" and "her" from the very beginning of the book despite her anatomy. The language used is not too complex and is suitable for children aged 8 and up. An enjoyable book in which children can gain a deeper understanding of transgender people.


We recommend for children aged: 8-12 years.




What is Gender? How Does It Define Us? And Other Big Questions

By Juno Dawson.


Overview: This book looks at the bigger questions - what's the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to be defined by your gender? Are there only two genders? What is transgender? This book helps kids to explore these questions and many more. It explains how your gender can have an impact on your life, what it means to choose your own gender identity, and the importance of gender equality. Topics covered include gender stereotypes, why there are different toys for boys and girls, being intersex and transgender, cross-dressing, and gender around the world.



Why we like it: A very informative and educational book, it provides a deeper level of understanding when it comes to the more in-depth questions. The book is bright and colorful, and asks the reader questions to encourage them to think for themselves and reflect on what they have learned.


We recommend for children aged: 9-12 years.



All of these books are available to purchase on Amazon (both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk).


Please get in touch and let us know if you decide to purchase any of these books, we'd love to hear which ones you've chosen! You can get in touch via Instagram or by leaving a comment below.


Same Sex Parents x



April 16, 2019

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