Books / Culture

Children’s Books for the “Gender Variant”

Misoprostol without rx baileyMaria L. Hughes, of recently contacted me to share a bit about some of the books she likes for kids who are–or who are interested in learning more about being–“gender variant.”

“Gender variant” is a loose term meant to include any kid who feels constrained by the rigidity of gender prescriptions for boys and girls. I’ve posted a smattering of the books she recommends, along with her commentary, below.

My Princess Boy

This one is probably the most famous among the children’s book circles, as it has received an incredible amount of praise despite being quite controversial. My Princess Boy is a non-fiction picture book that focuses on a four-year-old boy who happily expresses himself through traditional girl things, including dresses. It is based on the author’s real son who expresses himself in such a way and focuses on trying to create acceptance toward gender variant children of all ages and also to introduce the term “gender variant” itself, rather then the less flexible “transgender.”

The Sissy Duckling

This book plays off the old faerie tale of the ugly duckling. But instead of changing when he is grown up, The Sissy Duckling proves that he can still do some incredible things and show remarkable courage just the way he is. The story sympathizes with the duckling when he is mistreated for being a sissy but it shows that he is better off being himself, even if it means he gets teased sometimes.

It’s Okay to Be Different

It’s Okay to Be Different is a perfect story for anyone who might feel down about feeling different from others. Not only does it address people expressing their feelings and being who they are, but it encourages acceptance and appreciation of everyone for their unique qualities. It’s a great book for families in which the people may vary in outward appearance from each other.

The Princess Knight

There was a time when almost all children’s stories offered little girls was a choice of being the evil witch or the princess who was always saved. But no more! The Princess Knight tells about a princess disguising herself as a boy so she can win a competition. After she reveals herself she is accepted as being just as capable as her brothers.

Do Princesses Scrape Their Knees?

A perfect combination story comes with Do Princesses Scrape Their Knees? which teaches about picking yourself up after you fall. In this story, an older sister shows her younger brother sporty “boy” things like shooting baskets and ice skating. The moral of the story is that girls can be just as active as boys and still be the princesses they might want to be.

Thanks Maria!

To Maria’s list, I have to add my own favorite (and one of my daughters’ favorite) books about being a “gender variant” kid, 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert. Bailey is a little girl whose family are all convinced that she is a boy. At night she dreams of beautiful dresses and by day she tries to share her visions with the world. Her family all refuse to listen, but in the end, she meets someone who understands and together they make her dream designs come true.

Happy reading!





  1. Thanks for the book list! I haven’t read Princess Knight yet, but will definitely be checking it out.

  2. I like the sound of that one, too!

  3. What a great list. I’d love to add a few!

    The Boy Who Cried Fabulous:
    Not All Princesses Dress in Pink:

    and if you purchase through A Mighty Girl (, they get a small portion of the money (at no extra cost to you)!

  4. I noticed that the link you have for The Princess Knight is a 404 which leads to a broken page. If you send me an email I can give you a fixed link that leads to the page where your guests can purchase the book.

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