Books For Parents & Teachers

Suggestions for books that address issues of difference.

Some of the stories have the issue of ‘difference’ as a focus, whilst in others the fact of being in a slightly different family is incidental to the main plot. All the books reinforce the important message that whoever you are and in whatever type of loving family you live – it is all okay!

Most books are available from Gay’s The Word bookshop ( or from one of the other websites listed at    the bottom of this page.

This book list is just a small selection of books that would be a welcome addition to the Primary School classroom, but a visit to any of the listed web sites will bring many more ideas.

‘It’s Okay to be Different’

Todd Par
ISBN 978-0-316-04347-2
A bright picture book with simple text that celebrates difference and makes us laugh

‘We’re Different, We’re the Same’

Bobbi Jane Kates
ISBN 978-0-679-83227-0
Sesame Street characters show us how we are different but also the same and we are all wonderful

‘The Family Book’

Todd Parr
ISBN 978-0-316-07040-9
A picture book with simple text, celebrating different families with fun and laughter

‘The Great Big Book of Families’

Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith
ISBN 978-1-84507-999-4
A book looking at all types of families and how people live in different ways. The illustrations are full of fun and provide many talking points to complement the text

‘Who’s in a Family?’

Robert Skutch
ISBN 978-1-883672-66-9
Who’s in a family? The people who love you the most! Chances are your family is like no one elses and that’s just fine.

‘We Belong Together’

Todd Parr
ISBN  978-0-316-01668-1
A first book looking at adoption and families, with bright colours, fun illustrations and a message of belonging and love

‘A Mother for Choco’

Keiko Kasza
ISBN 978-0-698-11364-0
Choco is a bright yellow bird with stripey legs and he is searching for a Mum who looks just like him. Eventually Choco finds a kind and loving Mum who is everything he needs – and she doesn’t look a bit like him!  This is a lovely little story with a happy ending

‘If I Had a Hundred Mummies’

Vanda Carter
This is a funny book about a child wondering what it would be like to have a 100 Mummies. After a range of madcap ideas, she decides that maybe she would be better off sticking with the two she already has!

‘Josh and Jaz have three mums’

Hedi Argent
ISBN 190566412-2
A great book from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering. A lovely story that encourages an understanding of adoption and   reinforces that families come in all shapes and sizes and that’s okay!

‘Mom and Mum are getting Married!’

Ken Setterington
When Rosie finds out that her two mothers are planning to get married, she has only one worry…. Will she get to be a flower girl? A simple but happy story of love and celebration.

In Our Mother’s House’

Patricia Polacco
ISBN 978-0-399-25076-7
This is a beautiful and uplifting story of growing up in a house filled with love. It is possibly best suited for older children, partly because of the complexity of the text with American vocabulary and phrasing, but also because the story takes us through the whole of life with the two wonderful mothers, including touching briefly on their ageing and death (when the children are grown up and married with babies of their own). The illustrations are joyful and capture the happiness of a loving family perfectly!

‘King and King’

Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland
ISBN 978-1-58246-061-1
Lots of Princesses would like to marry the Prince and the King and Queen would like this too, as they want a rest from palace duties. Will the Prince choose one of the Princesses or will he follow his heart? This is a charming variation on the traditional, although the illustrations are a little disappointing. Nonetheless, a story with a happy ending, celebrating difference.

‘King and King and family’

Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland
ISBN 1-58246-113-9
The sequel to ‘King and King’ – the Kings go off on honeymoon and see lots of animals in the jungle, many with babies. The Kings wish they had a family and their wish is granted when they discover a stowaway on their return home!

‘and Tango makes three’

Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
Based on a true story of two male penguins in Central Park Zoo who are devoted to each other and try to hatch a stone. Their keeper gives them an egg to hatch and Tango arrives. Tango is the first penguin in the zoo to have two Daddies, and what great parents they prove to be. Only a heart of stone could fail to be moved by this lovely story! The illustrations are great too.

‘Dad David, Baba Chris and Me’

Ed Merchant
ISBN 978-1-905664-89-4
Another book from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering. Eight year old Ben lives with his two Dads and is very happy until some children at school start being unkind because his family is different. Ben just wants to be ‘ordinary’. With help from his teacher and his Dads, Ben learns that we are all different, both ordinary and special at the same time and settles down into his loving family and spends time with his good friends at school.

‘The Boy in the Dress’

David Walliams
ISBN  978-0-00-727904-3
Dennis lives in a boring house in a boring street in a boring town – but finds out that when you open your mind, life becomes anything but boring!
“Tender and kind – a touching story” (Independent on Sunday)

‘RED: A Crayon’s Story’

Michael Hall

ISBN 9780062252074

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. Although his mother and teacher try to help him be red, he is miserable. Finally, a brand new friend offers a brand new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This is a funny, heartwarming, colourful picture book for young children about finding the courage to be true to your inner self and can be read on multiple levels.


Johnny Valentine

Five very different fairy tales, all including gay or lesbian parents in some context.

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