When Kayla was Kyle (2013), written by Amy Fabrikant and illustrated by Jennifer Levine, is a thoughtful book about an unhappy transgender child who bravely confides her gender identity to her parents and begins to transition.
At the start of the book, Kayla’s father polices her gender by pressuring her to play basketball with boys even though she is clearly uncomfortable with masculine gender expression. Although her mother is loving she does not understand what Kayla is experiencing and is unable to support her. Continue reading
The Zero Dads Club (2015) written by Angel Adeyoha and illustrated by Aubrey Williams is a delightful Flamingo Press publication that celebrates multiple family forms. The story unfolds around Father’s Day. Two children with dark brown skin sit next to each other at a desk. One, Akilah, complains to the other, her friend Kai, about painting an image of a tie. She is upset because their families do not include fathers. The activist minded Akilah suggests they protest Father’s Day. Instead of a protest, they decide to start a club, which they name the Moms Only Club. They quickly change the name to the Zero Dads Club to account for the club’s growing membership. Some members do not have moms or dads. Continue reading
Is That for a Boy or a Girl? (2015) is a Flamingo Press publication written by S. Bear Bergman and illustrated by Rachel Dougherty. This fun picture book challenges gender policing by proclaiming that children should be free of needless restrictions. Continue reading
Jamie is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way (2018), written by Afsaneh Moradian and illustrated by Maria Bogade, is the story of a non-binary child named Jamie’s first day at a new school.
Jamie has a gender ambiguous name, appearance, and choice in play. When they arrive at their new school wearing a red and white striped top with purple pants and red shoes, their brown hair cut short, their new peers end up reading their gender through their play preferences. Continue reading
Neither (2018), created by Airlie Anderson, is a study in collapsing binaries. It’s both silly and serious, or perhaps neither of those things, depending on your point-of-view.
Anderson’s book opens like a fairy tale and reads like an allegory. Once upon a time, in a far way place named the Land of This and That, there were blue bunnies and yellow birds. Then something that was both, or neither, hatched. This thing that was both or neither had a bird body, bunny ears, and a bunny tale. Instead of being yellow or blue, it was green. The birds and bunnies didn’t know what to make of the new arrival and so they made fun at its expense, naming it Neither. Continue reading
Goblinheart: A Fairy Tale (2012), written by Brett Axel and illustrated by Terra Bidlespacher, is an allegory of transgender experience told through the story of a goblin named Julep. Continue reading
Zak’s Safari: A Story about Donor-Conceived Kids of Two-Mom Families (2014) is written by Christy Tyner and illustrated by Ciaee. The narrator, Zak, is a rosy-cheeked boy stuck inside on a rainy day. He entertains himself by telling the story of his family to an imaginary audience. He begins by discussing how his moms met and fell in love. He then tells the story of his conception with the help of donor sperm. Accessible information about where babies come from follows. Finally, he talks about his very happy life with two loving, silly, caring moms. Continue reading
My Uncle’s Wedding (2011), written by Eric Ross and illustrated by Tracy K. Greene, is a story about two men planning their wedding. The story is told from the perspective of their nephew, a young boy named Andy, who is helping them. Continue reading