Reading with your kiddos fosters a love for learning and allows you to share diverse stories featuring a wide range of characters. Young boys reading “girl” books can open up discussions about gender assumptions, and toddlers can dive into books about women in history who have helped change the world, like in She Persisted. With all types of mamas out there — from working to foster moms — there are a wonderful range of children’s books that tell stories of different lifestyles and cultures. Here are 10 amazing kids’ books that embrace all kinds of mamas. Snag some to give to a mom friend or to read with your own kiddos this Mother’s Day and beyond.
1. A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza ($6): A great pick for adoptive families or families with different race parents, this board book is ideal for a beginning reader. A little yellow duck searches for his mother, but can’t seem to find any animal who looks just like him. When Mrs. Bear, who doesn’t look at all like a duck, takes care of Choco and he meets her other kids — a piglet, hippo, and alligator — Choco learns that families come in different sizes and species.
2. Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman (Author) and Carol Thompson (Illustrator) ($7): Geared toward preschool-age to second graders, this board book explores same-sex parents and a loving household with two moms. The main character spends time reading, eating, and hanging out with mommy and mama.
3. Mama Zooms by Jane Cowen-Fletcher ($6): For ages four to seven, this picture book focuses on a son’s view of his mom’s “zooming machine,” which he loves for going on rides with his wheelchair-bound mother. On his mama’s lap, he imagines being a ship captain, a fast race-car driver, and a pilot commanding a plane.
4. Love Waves by Rosemary Wells ($9): Working moms will appreciate this sweet story of a mama and baby bunny as mama goes off to work and wonders what her child is up to while she waitresses at a local café. This book lovingly addresses the separation anxiety a child might experience if their parents go off to work or live in separate homes, or if they have faraway friends and relatives.
5. The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang ($18; available May 15): Geared toward kids in fifth to eighth grade, this book tells the story of 12-year-old Sophia Wallace, who’s convinced that an upcoming solar eclipse will lead her to a world where her mom never died. This heartbreaking, beautiful book is a wonderful way to connect with kids who have lost their mothers or parental caregivers.
6. Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno ($17; available June 5): For kiddos ages eight to 12, this middle-grade novel by a debut author follows Cora, her mother, and little sister who are homeless after Cora’s father dies. An adventurous tree climber, Cora searches to find an elusive “tree of heaven” that can grow in the worst conditions, much like the main character herself. This novel is ideal for families who want to discuss homelessness with their kids in an honest way.
7. The Last Grand Adventure by Rebecca Behrens ($17): An historical fiction novel for readers in fourth to seventh grade, this book is set in 1967 when Bea’s father remarries and the 12-year-old lead character inherits a younger stepsister. Bea leaps at the chance to spend her summer with her grandmother to avoid all of her family drama. The summer with grandma turns into a secret road trip to find Bea’s grandmother’s supposed long-lost sister, Amelia Earhart.
8. Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi ($18): Aspiring photographer Maude decides to turn a visit to her best friend’s college into a search for her birth mother, but along the way, she learns that her past doesn’t have to define her future. This novel is a meaningful exploration into the lives of adoptive families and the unanswered questions some adopted teens might have for their birth parents.
9. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson ($8): Written by acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson, this YA book explores life after Melanin Sun’s mom divulges that she’s a lesbian, and her girlfriend is a rich white woman. How he handles these big changes are detailed in Sun’s journal entries. This is a perfect book for families who want to broach delicate subjects such as race and sexuality with sensitivity and care.
10. Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos ($19; available June 5): Cookie Vonn lives for fashion and hopes to become the next great fashion designer. Estranged from her supermodel mother and living in Phoenix with her grandmother Edna, Cookie’s big break to live and study in New York City is stalled when she’s declared too fat to fly. Pick up a copy of deVos’ debut novel for anyone who ever felt radically different from their biological parents.
What are your fave books to read with your kids? Tweet us @BritandCo!
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