Today my guest author is Laurin Mayeno. She’s an activist mom at OutProudFamilies, and a Huffington Post blogger. Her new children’s book, One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo (oneofalikeme.com), is illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo and translated by Teresa Mlwar. You might recognize Robert Liu-Trujillo’s work from his poster for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo by Laurin Mayeno, illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo
This bilingual Spanish picture book gently introduces gender diversity. Danny wants to be a purple princess for the school parade, and his family helps him create a costume from thrift store finds. The author hopes that her book gives children a sense of belonging, courage to be who they are, and an appreciation for people who are different from themselves. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
This bilingual book (Spanish/English) is based on Laurin’s son, Danny. We are giving away a copy of One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
p.s. I wanted to add a few more books to this list:
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
This New York Times bestselling picture book about Mike Pence’s gay pet rabbit has a message of tolerance and demonstrates how democracy works to protect the rights of minority groups, in this case, those advocating for same-sex marriage. With humor that also teaches, this book celebrates anyone who has ever felt different from the crowd. 100% of this book will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.[picture book, ages 4 and up]
Rainbow Revolutionaries by Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager, illustrated by Sarah Papworth
Learn about LGBTQ+ history through these stories of 50 luminaries including an Angolan queen, an Olympic athlete, a Civil War soldier, and other notable people. [middle grade anthology, ages 8 and up]
Second Dad Summer by Benjamin Klas
Review by Ms. Yingling Reads:
“This includes a lot of practical information about the LGBTQIA+ community in a very age-appropriate and straight-forward manner. While Jeremiah loves his dad and understands his dad’s lifestyle in the abstract, it’s interesting to see how he processes the reality of moving from his mom’s to his dad’s. The inclusion of some history, via Mr. Keeler, adds some depth to the story. There’s plenty of fun activities for Sage and Jeremiah to investigate, which keep the story from becoming too didactic.” [early chapter book, ages 7 and up]
Great news! The list of LGBTQ-themed children’s books is growing! Here are some of my favorite releases from the past two years, with a special focus on those that reflect many types of diversity in our families and communities.
10 Groundbreaking LGBTQ Children’s Books
1. The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera
A boy asks his Ammi about the dot above her nose. When she gives him his own bindi, he discovers that it watches over him and allows him to explore and express who he is. This book is nothing short of magical! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
2. Call Me Tree/Llamame árbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez, translation by Dana Goldberg
Just as a tree, a child grows tall and strong, reaches out, belongs, and is free to be. I love the carefree child in this book, who could be any gender. English, and Spanish words and vivid illustrations flow together like a song. [picture book, for ages 3 and up]
3. Who You Are? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, illustrated by Naomi Bardoff
Hooray for this book that helps explain gender to children and supports them to be who they are! It breaks down concepts like expression, and gender identity using language and vivid illustrations that make it easy to understand. [non-fiction picture book, ages 3 and up]
4. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
This book is a fantastic way to send a powerful, yet simple message. Everyone in this humorous story wants to the crayon to be red, just like the paper it is wrapped in. Will the crayon eventually learn to embrace its true color? [picture book, ages 4 and up]
5. George by Alex Gino
George is a fourth grader who everyone thinks is a boy, but she realizes that she’s a girl. Readers follow George’s journey as she comes to terms with, and finds ways to express, who she is. The fun story line keeps us wondering what will happen next. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
6. Sex is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and You by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smith (Middle Grades)
This book is a great tool for talking with children about a range of topics including the word “sex”, bodies, crushes, consent, and more. Written and illustrated in a playful, engaging, and empowering way, it is inclusive of many types of diversity. [comic book, ages 7 and up]
7. Meet Polkadot by Talcott Broadhead
Yay for a book that highlights a child whose identity is neither boy nor girl. Told through the eyes of a child named Polkadot, it is an information-packed resource that can help us learn about gender, explore who we are, and become better allies. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
8. El Dragon Diferente by Jennifer Bryan, illustrated by Danamarie Hosler, translation by Alba Clarke
In this Spanish translation of The Different Dragon, a child named Noé and one of his moms make up a magical bedtime story about a ferocious, but sad dragon. They bring us into a loving home and encourage us to celebrate our differences. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
9. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Laura Cornell
This new edition of a classic is an affirming story about Heather who lives happily with two mommies. At school, she realizes her family is different. She and her classmates discover the beauty of family diversity through art. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
10. Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton, illustrated by Dougal MacPherson
Errol and Thomas the teddy play together every day. Thomas is afraid to tell Errol that she’s really Tilly, a girl teddy. This story about friendship and being who you are can help young children understand and appreciate gender diversity. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Klecker
Review from Ms. Yingling Reads:
” There’s a lot of good LGBTQIA+ representation; in addition to Rowan and Calum, Alicia has two mothers. Maisie herself isn’t sure where her attractions lie, and the discussion with Rose about how to be an effective ally is an important one. I’m a fan of any book that involves traveling to other countries, and Maisie does manage to enjoy her time away from home. The struggling art business, as well as Maisie’s artistic aspirations, will appeal to many readers. ” [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
Win One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo GIVEAWAY!
Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
Laurin Mayeno is a consultant, blogger, and first-time children’s book author, who is inspired by her gay, gender-expansive son. She helps organizations work effectively with children across the gender spectrum and their families.
p.s. Related posts:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.