Picture Books About Mothers

mother's day books

Mother’s Day always sneaks up on me. I usually have just enough time to tease my kids about telling their dad to go to Tiffany to buy me diamonds. Really all I want are a few homemade cards and no one banging on the door while I have a bath, although I would never say no to diamonds. The other thing I want to do with my kids is to read about other moms and kids and talk about how special a relationship this is. I can’t put into words how I feel about being a mom other than it just feels like I am finally doing what I was meant to do even on the days when I question my sanity. These books give me pause to think about all different aspects of motherhood while connecting with my own kids. I hope you discover a book about moms from our list that will find its way into your heart and onto your shelf for years to come.

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mama in out

Mama Outside, Mama Inside by Dianna Hutts Aston was a delightful read. This is a story about a mama bird and a human mama as they prepare and care for their new babies. Each page shows how the birdy mama does something then how the human mom does. My son loved it and when I flipped the page that talked about feeding babies, my son saw our favorite part before I did. The human mama was nursing and my little man said ” Look mama, baby has boo boo! ( his word for nursing) like me!” I melted and was so happy to see a mom nursing and it being treated as simply the way babies eat. As a nursing mom I appreciated that. Great book for toddlers. { originally reviewed in 2009 }

A mama for owen

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer makes me cry every time I read it. It’s a true story about a baby hippo who lost his mama in the Tsunami that so many other babies both creature  and human did . The story is one about friendship , about adoption and about love. See Owen the little Hippo finds Mzee a big old giant tortoise and even though they are different species, and Mzee is a boy, Owen treats him like his mama.

my mom

My Momby Anthony Browne made me giggle. It’s a cute book narrated by a child who is listing off all the wonderful things about his or her mom. With every turn of the page a new fantastic skill or talent is revealed. Of all the revelations my favorite was that she is “The strongest woman in the world” which was paired with a great illustration of her carrying bags and bags of groceries. The narrator tells us that his/her mom could do anything but instead she is his mom. Which no matter what we moms do is exactly how our kids will and should see us.

her_mothers_face

Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle is not really a book for very young children, but I loved it. I would read it with a child who is 6 or older , the text is long, the humor is subtle but the message is fantastic.  Set in Ireland , a little girl is silently suffering from her mom’s passing. She doesn’t tell anyone she is sad, she doesn’t tell anyone she can’t remember her mother’s face or that she can’t talk to her dad about her loss. A chance meeting with a young woman in a park changes things for her in the simplest of ways. As the years pass her pain lessens and eventually she is able to talk to her dad who clearly misses her mother desperately too.  I like that this book wasn’t about the moment her mom passed away, but rather years later, about how she was trying to hold on to the memories and deal with her grief.

is your

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite this book by heart . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.

mama do you love me

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse is a well loved book. I have read it many times but never reviewed it. There are a lot of books about children testing their mom’s unconditional love but this one stands out for me. In it the little girl seems to go out of her way to aggravate her mom and really test her love. The mother is fantastic because she isn’t gushy or sickeningly sweet, she says she would get angry , worried, sad depending on what her daughter tests her with. However after each honest answer she follows it up with how she will always love her. Kids need to know even if they make us sad or angry it doesn’t change the depth of our love for them.

did I tell you

Did I Tell You I Love You Today? by Deloris Jordan is a very practical yet heartwarming look at all the ways parents show love to their children everyday, from feeding them healthy food to praying after they go to bed. My son loved all the big boy things in the book like, the school bus, basketball and the playground. I teared up reading the book, but I cry at American Idol so that may not be indicative of anything!

where is baby's mommy

Where is Baby’s Mommy? by Karen Katz is the perfect book for your tiniest book lover. It is bright, cheery and will grow with your child from the first few months through their toddler years. The story is simple, a baby and mom are playing hide and seek, you play along with them by lifting the flaps to reveal where mommy is. My daughter has loved these books for years and even though we read much more complicated books now that she is almost four we go back to these old favorites a lot.

 

mamas saris

Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani is a simple yet rich story about a little girl and her desire to dress in her mama’s clothes. I think I would be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t remember watching in awe as her mom got dressed for a special event and wanting to dress just like mama. The narrator is Hindu and her mama wears a sari for special occasions and she is stubbornly trying to get her mom to let her wear one for her 7th birthday. The illustrations are beautiful, especially the jewel tones of the various saris. This book would be a great one to read before playing dress up or other pretend play. The story is touching and although it’s too long for toddlers, it’s a great book for preschoolers.

Everywhere Babies

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee .This  book celebrates all sorts of babies and all the every day things babies do.  My daughter points out all the babies on each page as I read the rhyming text . So maybe you are thinking ” What’s so great about babies and text that rhymes?” nothing, that isn’t what makes this book so awesome. I love this book because of it’s diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all babies and families.  The illustrations are full of depictions of all sorts of families showering their smallest most precious member with love . What I adore about the diversity of the illustrations is that readers are left to put whatever assumption we wish on the families in the book. What I assumed were two mommies my husband thought was a husband and wife, I thought a lady was a grandma and my son said it was just a older mom. This is why I love this book, my daughter doesn’t see why this message is outstanding, what she does see is all sorts of happy babies in all sorts of  families being the norm and this is the world we want her to know.

someday

Someday by Alison McGhee was suggested by a reader and I can see why. It’s a sweet story probably a little more for grown daughters and mother’s than children but they will like it too. The book opens with a mom and a baby, the baby grows into a child and then continues on with the mother’s hopes for what her daughter will experience someday. Some are good, some are sad but all are things that we all must face as we grow older. This would be a great gift for your mom.

love you forever

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is perhaps the classic tear jerking picture book. I read this for years and years to children and had no problem getting choked up, it never bothered me, then I gave birth and I can’t read it without sobbing. The premise is simple, a mom sings this simple song to her son as he grows ” I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as you’re living , my baby you’ll be.” until she can’t sing it anymore and it’s his turn. For days after I read this I tear up as I lay my son in bed. * Edited to add that many readers have commented that they do not like this book at all! What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us!

Mommy, Mama and Me

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman is a book about everyday life of a family with two moms.  What I love about this book is that it showcases parts of the day that young toddlers through preschoolers can relate to easily. They have bath time, they go to the park, they cook dinner, in other words they are a family like any with a small child.  My son loved this book and related easily to the baby in the book and to the experiences that they share.The book makes no political statement, no explanation of two mommies and it shouldn’t, it’s a book targeted to toddlers about one loving family and nothing more. There is also a version with two dads called Daddy, Papa, and Me .

2 mommies

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager got my kids out of their seats at the table and glued next to me because they wanted to be that close to the illustrations by Mike Blanc . They were so vibrant and the perspective was so great that both my kids ( 6 and 3 ) were immediately smitten. The story is great too, it’s really a collection of questions from two friends asking a third about how  his family with two mommies work. Sometimes adults go straight for the deep big issues when really kids just want to know which mom is the one to coach little league and which one bakes cakes. The overall feeling readers are left with is that this little boy’s life isn’t all that different at all. There is also  A Tale of Two Daddies which is very similar with dads and a daughter.

kishand2

The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes but that the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book. See how perfect is this, mostly for me this week, I hate leaving my son, letting go is good for me but man I miss his snuggles when I am away! {This was originally reviewed in 2009 – My son liked this book but my daughter fell in love with it. At 3 when she went off to preschool she read this book every day for weeks. Books this good become a part of your family and this one is well worth that spot! }

Back into mommy's tummy

Back into Mommy’s Tummy by Thierry Robberecht made both my son and I laugh hysterically, mostly because it was incredibly relevant to us. When we first read this book I was very pregnant with my now 3 year old daughter.  In the book a little girl asks to go back into her mommy’s belly for her 5th birthday.  She wants to stay close to her mom, never have to go to school, stay up as late as mom does and even tells her mom if she wants to see her she can go get an ultrasound and she’ll wave hello. The absurdity is awesome, and the sentiment is bang on. Late in the book we discover that mom is expecting and she asks if her daughter is worried about her loving the new baby more. I love how the author and illustrator Phillippe Goossens use humor to get to the heart of it all. My son was incredibly attached to me at the time of reviewing this book and it really opened up a great dialogue about having to share my snuggles, and love.

Hair For Mama

Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.

piglet and mama

Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild is a mother’s day book I would suggest for the under 3 crowd. My son loved it.when he was 2. Piglet is searching for his mom and even though all the other animal mommies offer for him to join them and their babies he wants his mom! The illustrations by Stephen Michael King capture the warmth between a mama and her baby beautifully . My son had the “Mama” scream perfected and quite enjoyed seeing the little piglet do the same thing for her mama when we read this book. Even if separation anxiety isn’t something you are dealing with at your house this is a sweet book.

chair for my mother

A Chair for My Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books) by Vera B. Williams is another classic mom book and it deserves to be called that. A sweet story that includes 3 generations of women who are all working hard to save money to replace furniture lost in a fire. The comfy chair they are planning to buy really represents the comfort and safety they are trying to rebuild in their new home after such tragedy. I love the sense of collective good in this family, in our “Me me me !” world I like seeing books like this.

 

mama always comes home

Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through. { I originally reviewed this in 2009 and have since read it many times to my daughter who also needed those gentle reminders that I would always return. }

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