These new stories for the youngest book lovers highlight queer identity and community togetherness.

Joyful Song

Lesléa Newman, illus. by Susan Gal. Levine Querido, May. Ages 4–8

Newman, whose numerous books for children include Heather Has Two Mommies, and Gal, most recently the illustrator of Dear Stray, follow Zachary, Mama, and Mommy as they make their way to synagogue for a Jewish naming ceremony for Zachary’s baby sister. On the way, per PW’s starred review, readers encounter “the coziness of Zachary’s home, their neighborhood’s tropical setting, and the sacred space where a loving, variously inclusive community has gathered to welcome their newest member.”


Marley’s Pride

Joëlle Retener, illus. by DeAnn Wiley. Barefoot, Apr. Ages 3–9

Retener debuts with a story PW’s starred review called a “lively intersectional jaunt,” about a Black nonbinary kid whose grandparent Zaza is receiving an award for transgender advocacy at their community’s Pride parade. Crowds and noise make Marley uncomfortable, but armed with their noise-canceling headphones, lavender bunny, fidget spinner, and affirmations from Zaza, they make it to the parade.


Rainbow Allies

Nancy Churnin, illus. by Izzy Evans. Beaming, July. Ages 4–7

In a story based on real events, married couple Cari and Lauri return home one day to find their Pride flag stolen and their house pelted with eggs. When Brendan and his friends Sommer and Landon find out, they debate how best to make Cari and Lauri feel welcome again, ultimately deciding to hand out rainbow flags to people all over the neighborhood.


The Rainbow Parade

Rick Hendrix and Shane Jordan, illus. by Jieting Chen. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, May. Ages 4–10

A child celebrates at a stormy Pride parade with their father; there, they meet a nonbinary child in need of a friend—and an umbrella—to feel welcome and safe. After the sun comes out, Chen’s illustrations show diverse parade-goers rendered in all the colors of a rainbow.


A Song for Nolan

Rushie Ellenwood, illus. by Sally Chen. Little Bee, June. Ages 3–6

Published in partnership with GLAAD, Ellenwood’s debut centers on a birthday party at a roller rink. When the DJ calls “boys skate!” and then “girls skate!,” Nolan struggles with feeling like they don’t belong. Then, they get an idea—they request that the DJ play a song everyone can skate to. It’s an “uplifting tale,” PW’s review said, “about making room for oneself—and all.”


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