Love From The Start: 10 Queer Board Books For Baby’s First Library


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Margaret Kingsbury grew up in a house so crammed with books she couldn’t open a closet door without a book stack tumbling, and she’s brought that same decorative energy to her adult life. Margaret has an MA in English with a concentration in writing and has worked as a bookseller and adjunct English professor. She’s currently a freelance writer and editor, and in addition to Book Riot, her pieces have appeared in School Library Journal, BuzzFeed News, The Lily, Parents, StarTrek.com, and more. She particularly loves children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, horror, graphic novels, and any books with disabled characters. You can read more about her bookish and parenting shenanigans in Book Riot’s twice-weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter. You can also follow her kidlit bookstagram account @BabyLibrarians, or on Twitter @AReaderlyMom.

You are here, which means curating a queer-inclusive first library full of affirming board books is a vital goal in building your baby’s first library, as it was for me when I was putting together my child’s book collection. I can still remember searching the board book section at the used bookstore I was working at while pregnant, on the hunt for diverse, queer board books to bring home and set inside my daughter’s first bookshelf. When she was born, the books were just as much for me as they were for her. Then they became a source for teething and developing fine motor skills, as well as learning about queer joy and social justice. My daughter is six now, yet she still enjoys pulling out these (well-chewed) queer board books and reading them to me now! 

Despite relentless book bans, children’s publishers are thankfully continuing to publish wonderful queer board books like these. Many, if not all, of these authors have had their books banned at some point, sadly. I’m so glad these books exist so kids can learn acceptance and love from the start. Some of these queer board books are new, some were originally published as picture books and have been reformatted into board books, while others are older and were part of my baby’s collection. I’m so excited to share these queer board books to help you build your baby’s first library.

10 Queer Board Books For Baby’s First Library

Cover of A is for Activist by Innosanto NagaraCover of A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

This was one of the first board books I bought for my baby’s first library. It’s an alliterative, rhyming call to action for social justice that includes LGBTQ+ rights. It’s an inspiring and hopeful read for both adults and babies. Prompting questions ask young readers to find hidden images in the warm illustrations, including a cat. Innosanto Nagara has a few other inclusive, justice-oriented board books to check out, including Counting on Community and Together, which was written by Mona Damluji.

Cover of Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson & Julie McLaughlinCover of Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson & Julie McLaughlin

Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson & Julie McLaughlin

Initially published as a picture book, this colorful alphabetical celebration of Pride is now available in board book format. It follows a young child and their family as they attend a Pride celebration with Grandma and a beloved dog. When the dog gets loose, the family searches high and low, with celebrators lending a helpful hand. The rhyming words make this super fun to read aloud to little kids, and each page’s illustrations have so much to pour over and notice. It’s a perfect book to read before attending a Pride celebration!

Cover of P Is for Pride by Greg PaprockiCover of P Is for Pride by Greg Paprocki

P Is for Pride by Greg Paprocki

Pride books do seem to lend themselves to the alphabetical format! When my child was little, I collected all the BabyLit board books for her first bookshelf, and now there’s one celebrating Pride. Each colorful page with retro-style illustrations shows different scenes illustrating the alphabetical term. For “B is for Bedazzle,” two children play dress-up with heavily bedazzled clothes. “U is for Unity” shows a grandmother playing with grandchildren with a rainbow flag, while “Z is for ze/zir” shows three adults at a party with pronoun nametags. Back matter includes more details about each letter. It’s a delightful first alphabet board book.

Cover of My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten & Izak ZenouCover of My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten & Izak Zenou

My Two Moms and Me and My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten & Izak Zenou

Two for one! Joosten and Zenou team up on two board books to illustrate a day in the life of babies and their same-gender parents. My Two Moms and Me depicts moms taking their babies on a play date at the playground, to the duck pond, swimming, and more. My Two Dads and Me show dads taking their babies to the farmer’s market, a café, a park, and more. Both open and close with babies in their cribs. These are such sweet board books — modern classics.

Cover of All Moms by Sarah Kate Ellis, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, & Max RambaldiCover of All Moms by Sarah Kate Ellis, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, & Max Rambaldi

All Moms by Sarah Kate Ellis, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, & Max Rambaldi

This joyous celebration of moms of all types radiates love and acceptance. It shows moms marching in Pride parades, moms who are doctors, moms who love to cook, moms pretend playing, moms roughhousing, and so much more. It also includes a two-dad family. It’s a rhyming board book that makes sure to include moms of all types, from single moms to grandmothers to queer moms.

Cover of Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack & Stevie LewisCover of Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack & Stevie Lewis

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack & Stevie Lewis

I loved reading fairytales to my daughter as a baby — something for us both to enjoy! Prince & Knight is another modern classic that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. It’s a rhyming story (sold in multiple formats) about a handsome prince whose parents want to provide him with a bride before he takes the throne. They present him with several princesses, but none are right for him. Then a dragon attacks the kingdom. The prince races to battle the dragon, and a knight joins him. Together, the two defeat the dragon and find love with one another. It’s such a sweet story. There are other books in this series — Maiden & Princess and Tale of the Shadow King — but they’re not yet available in board book format.

Cover of We Are the Rainbow! – The Colors of Pride by Claire Winslow & Riley SamelsCover of We Are the Rainbow! – The Colors of Pride by Claire Winslow & Riley Samels

We Are the Rainbow! – The Colors of Pride by Claire Winslow & Riley Samels

This is a vibrant board book celebrating colors. The book’s edges even form a rainbow, which teethers will enjoy, ha! The purple page, for spirit, shows a child dressed in a purple tutu and heart glasses in front of a mirror. Green shows a family caring for nature by gardening, while brown, for inclusivity, shows a clubhouse where all children are welcome. It ends with a rainbow, affirming that all children are unique and loved. Back matter includes more details about the Pride flag. This is an excellent introduction to colors.

Cover of Together by MadisonCover of Together by Madison

Together: A First Conversation About Love by Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, & Anne/Andy Passchier

I’ve been collecting the First Conversations board book series since my daughter was an infant, which are wonderful introductory board books that are always inclusive of queer families. I frequently buy these for baby showers and toddler birthdays. This one specifically addresses love and families of all types. It opens with the words, “Everyone is born to love and be loved.” Illustrations depict incarcerated family members, queer marriages, lesbians, and more. It shows many types of love, like between friends, siblings, with loved ones far away, romantic love, etc. The authors ask questions to prompt young readers to think about how love touches their own lives. Back matter includes more questions and considerations for caregivers.

cover of The Pronoun Bookcover of The Pronoun Book

The Pronoun Book by Chris Ayala-Kronos & Marco Tirado

This is an excellent, vibrant pronoun primer. It’s simply presented, with pronouns on each page in big, bold lettering accompanied by colorful illustrations of a person with that pronoun plus other people in the background with dialogue bubbles with the same pronoun. It encourages young readers to ask for people’s pronouns and not make assumptions about pronouns. It’s a straightforward board book and perfect for babies and toddlers to be first introduced to different pronouns.

cover of whoever you are board bookcover of whoever you are board book

Whoever You Are by Josephine Wai Lin & Sandy Lopez

This dynamic board book’s colorful illustrations will draw baby eyes. Written from the caregiver’s perspective, it depicts a caregiver’s unwavering love and acceptance of their child no matter who they choose to be. “I’m not here to judge,” says one page, “I’m just here to find out.” Imaginative illustrations show babies cupped in a caregiver’s hands in space, flying on a pegasus, sitting on a caregiver’s shoulders, and more.

For more queer board books for baby’s first library, check out these amazing 15 LGBTQ+ board books. You can also follow more of my children’s book reviews on Book Riot’s kidlit newsletter, and more LGBTQ+ book reviews for all ages on Our Queerest Shelves.





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