The best LGBT picture books – in pictures

Everyone should be able to see their own family setup reflected in the books they read, however many mums or dads they have! Here author and illustrator Vanda Carter gets together with the Letterbox Library to pick out 10 gorgeously LGBT-friendly picture books
LGBT picture books: 100 mummies
I'm Vanda Carter and I think it's really important that children get to read about all different types of families and that's why I've picked out some brilliant examples in this gallery with the help of my friends at the Letterbox Library. We think that everyone should be able to see themselves in the books they read. I wrote and illustrated this book If I Had a 100 Mummies because one day at bedtime, my daughter said "I wish I had a hundred mummies". "Aha!" I thought. "That would be a good story for a book." A little girl (Eleanor) imagines what it might be like to have 100 mummies. They might buy you 100 ice creams. Wouldn't it be fun to have them queuing up to give hugs at bedtime? But what if they caused traffic jams and bossed you about and made a terrible lot of noise? In the end, Eleanor decides that she's happy just having two mummies. Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Tango
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole, is about two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who build a nest together at Central Park Zoo in New York. The zookeeper gives them an abandoned egg to sit on. They look after it very carefully, taking turns to sit on it for months, just like the other penguin couples do, until one day "Craaaack!", the egg hatches. Their keeper names the baby penguin Tango. This a particularly cool book because the story of Roy and Silo and their daughter Tango is a true story. Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Hello Sailor
Hello Sailor is by Andre Sollie and Ingrid Godon. Matt the lighthouse keeper and his friend Sailor have made plans to sail around the world. But Sailor went away to sea and has not returned. Matt's friends are worried because Matt is very sad and stares into the distance every day looking for Sailor's ship. One stormy night on Matt's birthday, Sailor comes back and they sail away together.
This is a wonderful, simple story about friendship, love and holding onto your dreams. The pictures are beautiful. We bought this book without seeing inside it, because it had a funny title and a nice picture on the cover and we love it.
Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: 10,000 dresses
Have you ever felt like you want to be one person but the people around you want you to be someone else? It’s a tricky one, that. In 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray, we hear that Bailey is a girl but all the other characters reckon that Bailey is a boy. Dilemma! Meanwhile, all Bailey really wants to do is to design and wear the most amazingly incredible dresses. Dresses made of windows, of rainbows, of crystals. Luckily, Bailey meets Laurel and she ‘gets’ the whole dresses thing because she wants to design dresses too. So Bailey gets to live out her dream after all. Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Daddy, papa
Daddy, Papa, and Me is by Lesléa Newman & Carol Thompson. Sometimes, books can look cute enough to cuddle. Yes, you'll actually want to hug the pictures this book and its partner book you will see in the next slide. These are just two simple celebrations of mums and dads and their bundles of joy. They’re also boardbooks so they’re great for babies and tiny tots - tough enough to survive quite a lot of hugging and dribbling and teething. Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Mommy, Mama
If you like the look of Daddy, Papa and me you're bound to also love Mommy, Mama and Me also by Lesléa Newman & Carol Thompson. Nice set! Photograph: Letterbox library
LGBT picture books: Donovan
Lesléa Newman has also written the wonderful Donovan's Big Day this time she worked with illustrator Mike Dutton. Donovan has landed the job of carrying the ring for the wedding of the century. Well, not quite the wedding of the century, but it might as well be with all the careful planning he’s done to carry out his job absolutely, super-amazingly perfectly, down to the teeniest detail. When your two mums are getting married there’s no room for error. Trust me. Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Great Big Book of Families
The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith is one of those brilliant books with loads of funny pictures with loads of details. EVERY family you can possibly think of is crammed in here. Whether you’ve got one dad, two dads, no dads, a step-dad, a funny dad, an annoying dad – your family is in this book. Yes it is. Mary and Ros made sure of that. Did you know that Ros, the illustrator of this book, also does cartoons for The Guardian? Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: King and King
King & King by Linda De Haan and illustrated by Stern Nijland was originally written in Dutch. The Queen has decided that her son must marry. She invites a series of eligible Princesses to visit but the Prince isn't interested. When Princess Madeline comes the Prince suddenly perks up. But it is Madeline's brother Prince Lee who the Prince is swooning for. The two Princes fall in love and get married and no one makes a fuss that they are two boys and everyone lives happily ever after.
This is great and fun variation on the traditional Prince-gets-Princess fairy tale. The illustrations are jolly multimedia collages which look like a bunch of kids had a fight in the craft cupboard.
Photograph: Letterbox Library
LGBT picture books: Spacegirl pukes
And I'll end with Spacegirl Pukes, written by Katy Watson and illustrated by me. Just as Spacegirl is about to leave on her latest mission, she gets sick. Her Mummies (she has two) take her home and put her to bed. But then the Mummies get sick too and turn green. Even Trotsky the cat vomits. When everyone has recovered from the gruesome tummy-bug, Spacegirl returns to the launch pad but "Oh no!", her rocket isn't feeling well either... Better late than never, Spacegirl blasts off into space. I hope you enjoyed reading about this selection of picture books on all different kinds of families and that you will love reading the books! Photograph: Letterbox library
Vanda Carter

The GuardianTramp

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