Read with Pride for Kids!

Now that Wellington Pride is over you may be wondering how to introduce tamariki to LGBTQIA+ stories. Why teach children about the LGBT community, you may ask? Firstly, it helps teach children about the diverse people they will meet during their lifetimes, and it also helps them understand family structures different to their own and learn about the rainbow community.

Also, many tamariki have family members who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, or may be a part of the community themselves, and we think all of our readers should be able to find books on our shelves that reflect their experiences of the world.

Our libraries have many excellent books for tamariki of all ages to learn about the LGBT community, so we’ve made a list to get you started. You can also ask our friendly librarians to point you in the right direction if you’d like additional suggestions, or if you know of a great LGBT book for kids that we don’t have, you can recommend it to our selectors here!

Picture Books:

Julián is a mermaid / Love, Jessica

“One day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about how Julian sees himself?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

My shadow is pink / Stuart, Scott

“Inspired by the author’s own little boy, ‘Shadow’s’ main character likes princesses, fairies and things ‘not for boys’ and he soon learns (through the support of his dad) that everyone has a shadow that they sometimes feel they need to hide. This is an important book for a new generation of children (and adults alike) which exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect and positive parenting.” (Catalogue)

Heather has two mummies / Newman, Lesléa

“When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The name I call myself / Namir, Hasan

“This sophisticated picture book depicts Ari’s gender journey from childhood to adolescence as they discover who they really are. Throughout this beautiful and engaging picture book, we watch Ari grow up before our very eyes as they navigate the ins and outs of their gender identity. Who will Ari become?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Children’s Fiction:

Proud of me / Hagger-Holt, Sarah

“Becky and Josh are almost-twins, with two mums and the same anonymous donor dad. Josh can’t wait until he’s eighteen, the legal age when he can finally contact his father, and he’ll do anything to find out more, even if it involves lying. Becky can’t stop thinking about her new friend, Carli. Could her feelings for Carli be a sign of something more? Becky and Josh both want their parents to be proud of them, but right now, they’re struggling to even accept themselves.” (Catalogue)

Unicorn power / Tamaki, Mariko

“Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin–Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley–love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen. and go on supernatural adventures.  This adaption of the graphic novels features same-sex parents, and trans and lesbian characters.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Better Nate than ever / Federle, Tim

“An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of “E.T.”” (Catalogue)

Answers in the pages / Levithan, David

“When Donovan leaves a school book on the kitchen counter he doesn’t think anything of it. But soon the entire town is freaking out about whether the book’s main characters are gay, Donovan’s mom is trying to get the book removed from the school curriculum, and Donovan is caught in the middle. Donovan doesn’t really know if the two boys fall in love at the end or not–but he does know this: even if they do, it shouldn’t matter. The book should not be banned from school. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rainbow Storytimes with Erika and CoCo Flash!

Soon, from 13-27 June, we will be taking part in Out On The Shelves, a special celebration of LGBTQIA+ stories in libraries and schools across New Zealand. To help us get in the festive mood, before Out On The Shelves begins, why not come along to one of our fabulous rainbow events at your local library on the 9th and 10th of June?

Join Erika and CoCo Flash for magical Rainbow Storytimes at your local library!

Rainbow Storytimes

Taranaki icons Erika and CoCo Flash, fully clad in glitter and sequins, are coming out to He Matapihi, Miramar, and Cummings Park Libraries to bring us some special rainbow storytimes. These glamorous and colourful queens will be leading interactive games and reading stories to our tamariki all about acceptance, inclusion, and having confidence in yourself. Embracing sequins, colours, and all things rainbow, expect to have an electric storytelling experience like no other!

Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their caregivers — deck yourself our in your rainbow regalia, bring your teddies or unicorn plushies, and get ready to have a super awesome time!

Where and When?

Join us — we’d love to see you there, glitter and all!

Rainbow Living Library

If you’re especially keen to learn more, Erika and CoCo are also hosting a glitzy and glamorous Rainbow Living Library at Johnsonville Library on Friday 10 June, 3.30pm. Aimed at the curious and the fun-loving, the Living Library is a storytelling, lip-syncing, and singing interactive performance just for you! Bring along your friends and your questions, and join us for a fun and glitter-filled frolic. No question is taboo as Erika and CoCo educate you on LGBTQIA+ and drag culture, and promote the importance of being allies to the rainbow community.

The Living Library event is targeted mainly at teens and adults, but curious tamariki are more than welcome to come along as well, with your caregivers in tow!

Where and When?

If you’d like more information about these events, or would like to know how else you can get involved in Out On The Shelves, please contact the Children’s and Youth Services Librarian. Keep an eye out on our blog and on social media for more rainbow goodness to come!

Wellington Pride: Rainbow Storytimes with Hugo Grrrl!

The Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara is coming up this month, running from 13-27 March 2021, and as usual, Wellington City Libraries will be hosting a range of events to help celebrate Wellington’s LGBTQIA+ community! To help us celebrate, why not come along to our special Rainbow Storytimes at your local library?

Join Hugo and team for our magical Rainbow Storytimes at your local library!

Wellington icon Hugo Grrrl and his glitter-clad crew are coming out to Johnsonville, Karori, Kilbirnie and Te Awe Libraries to bring us special rainbow storytimes featuring stories, songs, and games celebrating love, acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their caregivers — deck yourself out in your rainbow regalia, bring your teddies or unicorn plushies, and get ready to have a super awesome time!

Where and When?

Join us — we’d love to see you there, glitter and all! If you’d like more information about these events, please contact the Children’s and Youth Services Coordinator by emailing enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Keep an eye out on our blog and on social media for more to come about Wellington Pride!