Building wellness and respect for children in their gender identify from an early age can lead to a more healthy and robust child. In celebration of Pride Month, the Debra S. Fish librarian, Jennie Walker Knoot, has compiled a list of helpful resources to help facilitate dialog that can help conversation go ‘Beyond the Binary.’

Additionally, Think Small Institute, a Division of Think Small, is offering an instructor-led training around this topic, entitled: “Exploring and Supporting Gender Diversity.” This training is $24 and will be held on Wednesday, June 15th from 6:30pm CDT to 8:30pm CDT.

Exploring and Supporting Gender Diversity from Think Small Institute
Instructor-Led Training from Think Small Institute

An in-person training ”Beyond the Binary: Understanding Gender Development & Identity”.  This training is $10.00 and will be held on Wednesday, June 22 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Creekside Community Center in Bloomington. 


My Shadow is Purple (Age Focus: 3 – 5 years)

“My Dad has a shadow that’s blue as a berry, and my Mom’s is as pink as a blossoming cherry. There’s only those choices, a 2 or a 1. But mine is quite different, it’s both and it’s none. A heartwarming and inspiring book about being true to yourself and moving beyond the gender binary, by best-selling children’s book creator Scott Stuart.” From the publisher 

*Another book by the author you may want to check out: My Shadow is Pink / Mi Sombra Es Rosa (Age Focus: 3 – 9 years)

Miss Rita, Mystery Reader (Age Focus: 3 – 6 years)

“Daddy is the Mystery Reader at Tori’s school today, and he’s coming dressed as Miss Rita! Tori helps Daddy gloss, glitter, glamour, and glimmer to get ready. It takes time―because sparkle is serious business! 

Tori loves helping Daddy become Miss Rita. But will the other kids at school love Miss Rita like Tori does? Luckily, a last-minute idea helps Daddy and Tori find a way to make story time sparkle for everyone. 
This heartwarming and relatable family story celebrates drag queens, reading, and self-acceptance, teaching every kid to let their sparkle shine! And it includes back matter providing an overview of drag performance.” From the publisher 

Julián at the Wedding (Age Focus: 4 – 7 years) 

“Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side” From the publisher 

Grandad’s Camper (Age Focus: 4 – 7 years) 

“Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. Gramps just made everything extra special. But after Gramps died, granddad hasn’t felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again. 
This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.” From the publisher 

Stonewall: A building. An uprising. A revolution (Age Focus: 5 – 8 years) 

“A powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement–a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community–in and around the Stonewall Inn–began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States.  

Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.” From the publisher 

47,000 Beads (Age Focus: ideal for parents & caregivers to read with children of all ages)

“Peyton loves to dance, and especially at Pow Wow, but her Auntie notices that she’s been dancing less and less. When Peyton shares that she isn’t comfortable wearing a dress anymore, Auntie Eyota asks some friends for help to get Peyton what she needs. Peyton’s whole community comes together to support her in her Two-Spirit identity.” From the publisher 

Pride Puppy!

“A young child and their family are having a wonderful time together celebrating Pride Day―meeting up with Grandma, making new friends and eating ice cream. But then something terrible happens: their dog gets lost in the parade! Luckily, there are lots of people around to help reunite the pup with his family. 

This rhyming alphabet book tells a lively story, with rich, colorful illustrations that will have readers poring over every detail as they spot items starting with each of the letters of the alphabet. An affirming and inclusive book that offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year.” From the publisher 

My Maddy 

“Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy. 
My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. 
Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own. 
Randall Ehrbar, PsyD, offers an insightful note with more information about parents who are members of gender minority communities, including transgender, gender non-binary, or otherwise gender diverse people.” From the publisher 

Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman (Age Focus: 4 – 10 years) 

“This acclaimed picture book autobiography tells the triumphant story of Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas. 

The back matter includes information about the Ho-Chunk written by former Ho-Chunk President Jon Greendeer, an artist note, and an inspiring letter to children from Sharice Davids.” From the publisher 

Plenty of Hugs (Age Focus: 2 – 5 years) 

“This cheerful book follows a family from morning to night in lively rhyme that rolls off the tongue. There’s a buzz for each bug, and a breeze for each tree, and plenty of hugs for you and me. The toddler and mommies take a morning bike ride to a farm stand, they visit a zoo in the afternoon, and in the evening there’s the bath and storybook routine before the child is tucked cozily into bed. There are seas for ships and kisses for lips, so we can whisper I love you!” From the publisher 

What Are Your Words: A Book about Pronouns (Age Focus: 4 – 8 years) 

“Whenever Ari’s Uncle Lior comes to visit, they ask Ari one question: “What are your words?” Some days Ari uses she/her. Other days Ari uses he/him. But on the day of the neighborhood’s big summer bash, Ari doesn’t know what words to use. On the way to the party, Ari and Lior meet lots of neighbors and learn the words each of them use to describe themselves, including pronouns like she/her, he/him, they/them, ey/em, and ze/zir. As Ari tries on different pronouns, they discover that it’s okay to not know your words right away—sometimes you have to wait for your words to find you. Filled with bright, graphic illustrations, this simple and poignant story about finding yourself is the perfect introduction to gender-inclusive pronouns for readers of all ages.” From the publisher 

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope (Age Focus: 4 – 8 years) 

“In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson’s adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope’s frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope’s experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.” From the publisher 

Starboy: Inspired by the Life and Lyrics of David Bowie (Age Focus: 4 – 8 years) 

“Inspired by the life and lyrics of David Bowie, author-illustrator Jami Gigot imagines the story of a lonely young boy enchanted by the music of the stars―yet no one else can hear the shimmy-shake rhythm that moves through his body. At first misunderstood and ignored, David ultimately finds the courage to be true to himself, sparking a dazzling revolution… 
At once vibrantly imaginative and true to the spirit of Bowie, Starboy is about embracing your individuality and discovering the cosmic rhythm that hums within each of us.” From the publisher