Celebrating Pride: Rainbow Read-alouds

June 25, 2020 | Andrea

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Celebrate every child for who they are! Books are wonderful ways to build empathy, and reading together as a family can bring home a message of unconditional love and acceptance. While the library is closed, Storytime at Home videos are available online to watch anywhere and anytime. Read and sing along in these Rainbow Storytimes as we share fun and inclusive picture books, rhymes and songs!





For more children’s books encouraging self-expression and celebrating LGBTQ+ families, check out our Reading with Pride booklist. We also asked library staff to share some of their personal favourites:


The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya and Rajni Perera
The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera

This is a beautifully illustrated book about a five-year-old boy receiving a bindi from his loving mother and learning the significance of it. –Elsa


Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton, illustrated by Dougal MacPherson 

It's all right there in the title: this is an incredibly gentle story of friends who see and accept each other with very little fuss. Love how matter of fact it is, and the subtle way gender norms are challenged. A warm fuzzies kind of read. –Kimberly


Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love 

Julián is a creative kid who is inspired after seeing three spectacularly dressed women on a subway to create his own fabulous mermaid look. Instead of discouraging him, his Abuela supports Julián's gender play and brings him to a parade to show off his look. Positive, uplifting and intersectional! –Scott R.


Neither by Airlie Anderson
Neither by Airlie Anderson

It is such a simple story that speaks volumes. Neither is a lovely picture book for everyone who has ever felt like or have ever been told that they didn't belong, and, isn't that all of us? It takes the reader through a journey of acceptance and celebration of being who you truly are and its positivity is reinforced by its happy ending that comes from finding people who welcome you for being you, whatever that is.  –Katherine McG


Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

I had a memorable Rainbow Storytime sharing this book with families. It's for ages 4 to 8, but features silly images of unicorns roasting marshmallows on their horns and a familiar fairy tale quality that widens the appeal. Kids and adults will laugh at Kelp's innocent frame of reference, shouting "Land Narwhals!" at a blessing of unicorns. Sometimes, love and acceptance can expand our worldview and help us find different ways to belong. –Jennifer B.



Red A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall 

It isn’t exactly an LGBTQ2S+ book, but what it’s about is identity and labels. Red was given a label by the factory, and his family and friends all try to make him accept it. But it just doesn't feel right to Red. Eventually, Red figures out how to express himself and find a label that works for him. It’s a beautiful story, and applies in so many ways to so many children. We all know what it's like when someone labels us in a way we just don't agree with! Great, colourful pictures too. –Amy


And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson  Peter Parnell  Henry Cole
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

Because (gay) penguins are cute! –Norine


When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita (print only) 

One of my favourite picture books of 2019, "When Aidan Became a Brother" is a story about a young mixed race trans boy who finds out he is about to become a big brother. Aidan worries that his parents will make the same mistake with the baby that they made with him, so he sets out to smooth the way for the new arrival. Features fantastic writing, gorgeous art, growth for all the characters and is wrapped up in a blanket of love and empathy. –Kimberly


Worm Loves Worm by JJ Austrian and Mike Curato
Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian and Mike Curato (print only)

This is a cute book that helps to drive home the point that there is not only ONE way to love or have a wedding. Introduction to wedding celebrations or an example of how creativity and individuality can make the event even more special. –Nasim


Our talented staff adapted this tale of invertebrate love into an adorable puppet show!