There is an old saying that books are mirrors to our souls. It is crucial that children see themselves in the books they read. We want them to also see their families in books. The traditional family of a mom, dad, and children is no longer the norm. There are single parents, grandparents, same gender parents, aunts, uncles, foster families, and more. All family structures need to be portrayed in books for children. Below I have listed some of my favorite books that showcase a variety of family structures. Happy reading!
Saturday by Oge Mora
Ava’s mother works everyday except Saturday. Every week Ava and her mother look forward to the adventures they will have on their one day together. This Saturday, Ava’s mother has bought them tickets to a puppy show. They begin their day and everything goes wrong…. from canceled library time to ruined hair, it just is not their day. Ava’s mother reassures her each time something goes wrong trying her best to keep Ava happy. They arrive to the puppet show and realize they left the tickets at home. This time Ava’s mom crumples. Now Ava steps in to reassure her mother. This story is so heartwarming! My Mommy heart could so relate to how this mother feels. It truly shows how deep the love between a parent and child runs.
We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty
This book is amazing! The text is so fun to read. The rhymes and sweet message appeal to all ages. The pictures showcase all different types of families and races. This book blesses all different types of families and the things they do together. Perfect for everyone!
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie
This precious story follows a boy who does not like his name. He is named after his dad and longs for a name of his own. He spirals down the rabbit hole trying to find a new name when his dad comes up with a good solution. This sweet story of a father and son is a must have!
The One Day House by Julia Durango
This book gave me so many warm fuzzy feelings! The story follows Wilson and his Gigi as they spend their days together. Wilson makes promises of the ways he will one day fix up her house so she can relax and enjoy life. Gigi assures Wilson that he gives her all the love and joy she needs in life. Then Wilson makes their dreams come true and surprises his grandmother by following through on all of his promises. Such a sweet story of love and devotion.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
This book is perfect for your youngest reader. It lists all the things love could mean to a family. From something as simple as knowing where missing things are, to kisses before bedtime, this book covers it all! The best part of this book is the pictures. They are very colorful and bright, but best of all they showcase modern families. From same gender parents to single parents, these pictures show all types of families!
Fred Stays With Me by Nancy Coffelt
This little girl goes back and forth between mom’s house and dad’s house, but her beloved dog Fred always stays with her. Dad gets frustrated with Fred, mom gets fed up, and they both insist Fred cannot stay with them. The brave little girl stands up and reminds them that Fred stays with her. A sweet story showing divorced or separated families.
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan
Each night it’s mommy, daddy, and daughter all in the big bed. That is until the little one decides it’s time to confront the problem. Daddy just cannot stay in bed anymore. Laugh along as she convinces dad it’s best for him to sleep elsewhere. This book is adorable!
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
This story follows a girl and her father as they take a motorcycle ride through their community. The daughter describes all the sights she sees on the ride, while the father seems to quietly unwind after a long day of work.
Night Job by Karen Hesse
This book is about a father who works the night shift cleaning a school. His son rides along with him each night to work. The book tells the routine of their nights shared together.
Bebe Goes Shopping by Susan Middleton Elya
This adorable book features a mother and baby on their trip to the grocery store. The text is filled with color and rhymes making is very engaging. There are Spanish words throughout, but are easy to understand within the context of the story. I love that it showcases an everyday activity that all children can relate to.