17 Trans and Gender-Creative Books for Preschoolers

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Raych Krueger

Staff Writer

Raych has so many kids (like, two, but they’re super young, which makes it seem like there are more of them) and this really cuts into her reading time. She’s using her degrees in Early Childhood Education and English Literature to teach the toddler to read to the baby so she can get back to her trashy Victorian sensation novel, or whatever. She’s also teaching her kids to travel and eat broadly, mostly through example (Do As I Do is super important, you guys), and hasn’t gone a year without hopping on a plane since she was a teenager. She recently moved from the Canadian coast to the Canadian prairies, where it gets hella cold, and if not for the internet, she’d surely be dead. Blog: Books I Done Read Twitter: @raychraych

My oldest daughter is at that delightful age where you say, Sometimes boys wear dresses, and she says, Yes! And sometimes people have brown hairs! And you say, Yes, because in her tiny, untainted brain, these are equivalent revelations. She has not yet met the internet, she doesn’t know about trolls, and op eds, and the comment section.

I keep hoping that bigotry is going to die off with this generation of cranky old dudes, so that if my daughters are gay, or are actually sons and I don’t know it yet, they won’t have to put up with this shit. I want to lean back in my HoverLounger and watch it pass from existence like the useless psychological trait that it is. But the bigots and the trolls are VERBAL WITH A FIERCENESS and I can’t just hope that good sense will prevail. So as with every bad habit I want my kids to avoid (Fighting! Picky eating! Peeing just like wherever!), I’mma kill narrow-mindedness with books.

Kelly has done an excellent round-up of YA books on the trans experience and Rah did an all-ages one. But my daughter is three and girlfriend cannot read. I’m still in charge of every bit of media she consumes and you’d better believe I’m curating that shit. I’m hoping to so firmly ground my girls in the normalcy of a non-binary gender system that by the time they can read headlines, they’ll be like, Well that’s dumb. Of course Caitlyn Jenner can be a girl if she wants, why are we even talking about this and where is my hoverboard (hovering is literally the only technological advancement I can think of, which is why nobody puts me in charge of things).

I’m looking for books featuring trans characters, but also books about boys and girls at home in their biological bodies who are resistant to gender-based stereotypes. I want children like Jazz in I Am Jazz, who realize that their boy bodies house girl brains, and I also want, like, boys who want to wear dresses (little did I know what a sizeable sub-genre this is). I want fluidity. I want a gender spectrum. And I want these books.

my princess boyMy Princess Boy  – Cheryl Kilodavis

10 000 Dresses – Marcus Ewert

Jacob’s New Dress and My New Mommy – Lilly Mossiano

When Kathy is Keith – Wallace Wong

Are You a Boy or a Girl? – Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

All I Want To Be is Me – Phyllis Rothblatt

I am Jazz – Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

X: A Fabulous Child’s Story – Lois Gould

Roland Humphrey is Wearing a What? – Eileen Kiernan-Johnson

jacob's new dressJacob’s New Dress – Sarah Hoffman

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress – Christine Baldacchino

Not Every Princess – Jeffrey Bone and Lisa Bone

Play Free – McNall Mason and Max Suarez

When Leonard Lost His Spots: A Trans Parent Tail – Monique Costa

The Adventures of Tulip: Birthday Wish Fairy – S Bear Bergman

Meet Polkadot – Talcott Broadhead

Do you have any good book recs for the very young and malleable?


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