Kids these days are going to be pronoun experts. Our language is changing. They/them can be singular according the dictionaries and style guides everywhere. Ze/zir is defined on dictionary.com. Terms like “joyfriend” and “nibling” abound. No longer are there just two boxes to check on our paths to self-discovery.
While adults may scratch their heads at this living language and the way that pronouns are evolving, kids just accept and move on. So, let’s face it, these books celebrating pronouns and gender beyond the binary might be more helpful to caregivers than to kids.
Worldess picture books are perhaps your greatest hidden tool in practicing new pronouns. Try not assuming a character’s gender. Just say they/them! Give it a whirl and next time you meet a new person, and you aren’t feeling brave enough to ask their pronouns, you won’t miss a beat defaulting to they/them, which is, by far, the most inclusive. *steps off soapbox*
Whether these books are about pronouns or use non-binary pronouns or are wordless, they all give readers of all ages some practice moving beyond the binary. Pride month is a great time to focus in increasing your awareness, but these joyful reads are a delight any time of year. Look no further than your local bookseller or library, kid lit has got you covered. A few of these titles are outwardly LGBTQIA+ but mostly they are about being yourself, being fabulous, and being limitless.