Coming soon in May 2018: Rainbow Book Packs for early childhood services & primary schools!

Books aimed for, and including, rainbow families have been around for a long time. Here at Rainbow Families Victoria we recommend visiting Hares & Hyenas bookshop in Fitzroy (Melbourne, Victoria) to check out books that are suitable for someone thinking of starting their parenting journey to explaining to children how they were created.  The bookshop includes excellent children and parenting sections with books covering all aspects of parenting, conception and raising children. New books are produced regularly and your recommendations for new books, including books for children, are always gratefully received by Hares & Hyenas owners, Rowland and Crusader.

Books for children in rainbow families

The book listed below are just some of many books that focus on exploring family diversity including being part of a rainbow family.  They talk about how families are created in lots of different ways and include children with sole parents, living in step-parented families, children who are adopted or who have two mums or two dads, for example. You might like to recommend these books to your childcare, kindergarten or primary school library as reading a book together in a class can be useful starting point for a discussion on how families come in all different shapes and sizes as well as starting to talk about gender stereotyping and gender diversity too.

Board books and picture books for babies & young children


Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman




Mommy, Mama and Me by Leslea Newman




It’s ok to be different by Todd Parr

The Family Book by Todd Parr

Todd Parr is an author/illustrator that writes amazing books about inclusion and difference – his books are great for younger kids with lots of colourful pictures. “The Families Book” includes families who are adopted, with two mums, one parents and other family forms. Visit his website for more:




Books exploring family diversity

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman (2015)

What is a family? Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden. But as times have changed, families have changed too, and now there are almost as many kinds of families as colours of the rainbow – from a mum and dad or single parent to two mums or two dads, from a mixed-race family to children with different mums and dads, to families with a disabled member. Mary Hoffman takes a look through children’s eyes at the wide varieties of family life: from homes, food, ways of celebrating, schools and holidays to getting around, jobs and housework, from extended families, languages and hobbies to pets and family trees – and she concludes that, for most people, their own family is the best one of all!

  • Who’s in my family? by Robbie H Harris
  • Family Forest by Kim Kane
  • All you need is Love by Shanni Collins
  • Who we are! All about being the same and being different by Robie H.Harris
  • Families, families, Families by Suzanne Lang & Max Lang
  • And tango makes three by Justin Richardson

Books exploring gender diversity and gender expression

Who are you? A kid’s guide to gender identity by Brook Pressin-Whedbee (2017)

What do you like? How do you feel? Who are you?

This brightly illustrated children’s book provides a straightforward introduction to gender for anyone aged 3+. It presents clear and direct language for understanding and talking about how we experience gender: our bodies, our expression and our identity.



Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton (AUS -2016)

Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do together. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas the Teddy is sad, and Errol can’t figure out why. Then Thomas the Teddy finally tells Errol what Teddy has been afraid to say: ‘In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly.’And Errol says, ‘I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.’

A sweet and gentle story about being true to yourself and being a good friend, Introducing Teddy can also help children understand gender identity.


Are you a boy or Are you a girl? By Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher (2017)

Red – a crayon’s story. by Michael Hall (2014)

Got a good book to recommend? Email us and we can add it to the list!

Books explaining conception to children


What makes a baby? by Cory Silverberg (2013)  *uses gender neutral terms

Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a 21st century children’s picture book about conception, gestation and birth, which reflects the reality of the modern era by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families – regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition. Just as important, the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so people can apply their own family experience to the text.



Sex is a funny word! by Cory Silverberg (2015)

A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identies, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Much more than the “facts of life” or “the birds and the bees,” Sex Is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy.



One in many millions, by Rebecca-Jayne Miles; Anil Tortop (Illustrator) (2018)

This book aims to explain the beautiful process of making a baby to children who have two Mums. It begins with a short explanation of how a child with heterosexual parents is made through sexual intercourse, and then goes on to cover IVF, IUI and sperm donation, all in a child-friendly and illustrated picture book.



It’s so amazing! by Robie E Harris (2001)

How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies — and about sex and sexuality, too. IT’S SO AMAZING! provides the answers — with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects elementary-school children’s interest in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies



So that’s where I came from, by Gina Dawson (Black Dog Books, 2010) Australia

Sometimes it takes three to make a baby: Explaining Egg Donor Conception to Young Children, by Kate Bourne (Melbourne IVF Pty Ltd, 2008) Australia

Where did I really come from? The Australian book includes simple descriptions of sexual intercourse, donor insemination, IVF and content on adoption and surrogacy. Narelle Wickham (Learn To Include, 2008) – – see the Learn To Include website

Here I am by Kath D, a comic book about conception with a clinic donor, at

Also check Books for Donor Offspring Blog for a range of books from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Got a good book to recommend? Email us and we can add it to the list!

Books for grown ups

Here are a few to get you started on your “how to create a family” journey…

The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth, Stephanie Brill, Alyson books, 2006.
This is a US book, but it provides a huge amount of excellent, research-based information and guidance related to every step in the process, including finding and negotiating with donors and co-parents, preparing for pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Fatherhood for gay men -– and emotional and practice guide to becoming a gay dad, Kevin McGarry and Margaret Tatich, US, 2003.
Recommended for its emotional content, although the practice information is US-based and the links and resource provided now out of date.

IVF and Beyond for dummies, Dr Karin Hammarberg, Wiley, 2010.
An Australian book with up-to-date information in most areas. Good information, as in most of the ‘Dummies’ series. More focussed on processes such as IVF than on other aspects of creating rainbow families.

The Infertility Handbook, Jacqueline Tomlins, Allen & Unwin, 2003, Australia.
An Australian book, its legal information is now out of date, but it provides guidance to many aspects of fertility services as well as a long chapter on creating rainbow families, including making agreements with donors.

And Baby Makes More, Edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Susan Goldberg. Insomniac Press 2009.
A Canadian book exploring the many different ways LGBTI people create families together in considerable depth. Well worth reading when thinking about options for creating families.

Got a good book to recommend? Email us and we can add it to the list!