Kids books that explore gender non-conforming themes!

Riley Can’t Stop Crying, a picture book about a young child trying to search for his true self, comes out March 16 and has received two starred reviews. To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of Orca’s children’s books that explore gender non-conforming themes in a way that’s accessible for young readers.

All are available to purchase or pre-order from your favourite bookstores, ebook retailers or orcabook.com!

Riley Can’t Stop Crying

Out March 16
By Stéphanie Boulay, illustrated by Agathe Bray-Bourret, translated by Charles Simard
Two starred reviews

Riley is inconsolable. He can’t stop crying and nothing is making him feel better. His sister, Regina, tries her best to help him figure out what’s wrong, but four-year-old Riley isn’t sure. It’s not his tummy, or his head, or the monsters under the bed. Regina and their dad try everything they can to make Riley smile, but nothing works until one day Regina has an idea. Maybe it’s Riley that is making Riley upset.

Regina knows what it feels like to be uncomfortable in her body, but she also knows that she’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things. So how can she help Riley see that he’s pretty amazing and really good at a lot of things? A charming story about a child’s search for his true self under the compassionate eye of his older sister.

Leopold’s Leotard

Out April 13
By Rhiannon Wallace, illustrated by Risa Hugo

Leopold loves to dance. He dances everywhere he goes. When his dance teacher announces the year-end recital, Leopold hopes he will get to be a graceful bird. Alas, no such luck. Miss Linda says the dancers are going to be bees. But Leopold doesn’t want to be a buzzing little bee. He wants to be tall and elegant like an ostrich!

When the big night comes around, the combination of stage fright and an uncomfortable costume are too much for Leopold. Will he find a way to overcome his fear and disappointment to show off his passion for dance?

Pride Puppy!

Out May 11
By Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

A young child and their family are having a wonderful time together celebrating Pride Day—meeting up with Grandma, making new friends and eating ice cream. But then something terrible happens: their dog gets lost in the parade! Luckily, there are lots of people around to help reunite the pup with his family.

This rhyming alphabet book tells a lively story, with rich, colorful illustrations that will have readers poring over every detail as they spot items starting with each of the letters of the alphabet. An affirming and inclusive book that offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year. 

Angus All Aglow

Out now!
By Heather Smith, illustrated by Alice Carter

Angus loves sparkly things, so much so that he can hear them. To Angus, shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops hearing the sparkle.

A gentle story of acceptance, generosity and friendship, Angus All Aglow reminds us that it only takes one kind gesture to restore your sparkle, and returning the kindness can make you glow from the inside out.

Leave a Reply