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Families: Books For Kids

All families are different. The one thing they seem to have in common is a the desire to work together and help each other out in difficult times. This doesn't always happen right away, but most families learn through the course of events that life seems to work out best when we invest our hearts and minds into one another.

Top 10 Books About Families

Little Oink book
#1
Little Oink
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

We love the story of Little Oink, which, like Amy Krouse Rosenthal's other "Little" titles, offers a clever take on common tendencies for most children: to want to eat candy, make messes, and not go to bed. The book is done well enough that even little readers pick up on the ironies of what mom and dad are asking of Little Oink, making for a fun family read.

Little Oink is a neat little fellow. Clean, clean, clean, that's all he wants to do. But Mama and Papa won't have it! They say in order to be a proper pig he has to learn to make a proper mess. What's a little pig to do? Now available as a board book, Little Oink shows Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace applying their traditionally wry humor to the issue of cleaning up, in a laugh-out-loud romp that is sure to make readers giggle with recognition.

Little Hoot book
#2
Little Hoot
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboard—but he's hooting mad about it! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.

Little Pea book
#3
Little Pea
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ten years ago, Amy Krouse Rosenthal burst into children's books with Little Pea, a book destined to become a classic. Her witty text about a little pea who won't eat his sweets combined with the whimsical yet warm hearted art by Jen Corace create a go-to baby gift, a hilarious read-aloud, and the perfect intervention for picky eaters.

Little Elliot, Big Family book
#4
Little Elliot, Big Family
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Mouse heads off to a family reunion, Little Elliot decides go for a walk. As he explores each busy street, he sees families in all shapes and sizes. In a city of millions, Little Elliot feels very much alone-until he finds he has a family of his own!

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#5
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#6
Best Friends: We Are A Family
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Like peas in a pod, and leaves in a tree, we all belong to a family! Whether they are big, or whether they are small, this charming book shows young readers that there are all kinds of different families to be found in the world around us, from a bunch of balloons, to eggs in a box, and fingers on a hand. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of family in its many forms.

Edmund Unravels book
#7
Edmund Unravels
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This delightful debut picture book celebrates both the joy of venturing into the unknown and the value of staying connected to loved ones back home. It stars a little ball of yarn who can’t resist the tug of adventure, the twists and turns of discovery, or the comfort of family and friends. Edmund is a ball of yarn and a ball of energy! From the time he could roll, he’s been bouncing down his front steps to explore, and his parents have always been right there to reel him in and roll him back up. But now that he’s bigger, Edmund is ready to discover the wonders of the world. Everything is new and exciting—but sometimes, even a little ball of yarn gets lonely, and there’s nothing better than the comfort of being around those he cares about.

Land Shark book
#8
Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him...a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don't want turns out to be exactly what you need.

Pigloo book
#9
Pigloo
Written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by Lorna Hussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pigloo is an explorer. His destination? The North Pole. Big sister Paisley has doubts about Pigloo's plan, but Pigloo knows that explorers have to be patient as well as brave. When Pigloo takes his sled to the top of a hill, he sets off on his expedition—with a little unexpected help. This sweet, expressively illustrated story shows that sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones that happen in your own backyard.

When Charlie McButton Lost Power book
#10
When Charlie McButton Lost Power
Written by Suzanne Collins and illustrated by Mike Lester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Charlie McButton likes computer games so much, he never plays with anything else. When a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity, his tech empire comes tumbling down, and his whole world loses power. Charlie needs batteries?FAST! But the only triple- A?s he can find are in his little sister?s talking doll. Will he resort to desperate measures and cause his sister to have a meltdown of her own? Or will he snap out of his computer craze long enough to realize his sister might be fun, even if she doesn?t come with batteries? Collins and Lester team up for a hilarious and timely tale that will crack up young computer addicts and those who love them!

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Families and...

Books About Families and Humor

Little Oink book
#1
Little Oink
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

We love the story of Little Oink, which, like Amy Krouse Rosenthal's other "Little" titles, offers a clever take on common tendencies for most children: to want to eat candy, make messes, and not go to bed. The book is done well enough that even little readers pick up on the ironies of what mom and dad are asking of Little Oink, making for a fun family read.

Little Oink is a neat little fellow. Clean, clean, clean, that's all he wants to do. But Mama and Papa won't have it! They say in order to be a proper pig he has to learn to make a proper mess. What's a little pig to do? Now available as a board book, Little Oink shows Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace applying their traditionally wry humor to the issue of cleaning up, in a laugh-out-loud romp that is sure to make readers giggle with recognition.

Little Hoot book
#2
Little Hoot
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboard—but he's hooting mad about it! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.

Little Pea book
#3
Little Pea
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ten years ago, Amy Krouse Rosenthal burst into children's books with Little Pea, a book destined to become a classic. Her witty text about a little pea who won't eat his sweets combined with the whimsical yet warm hearted art by Jen Corace create a go-to baby gift, a hilarious read-aloud, and the perfect intervention for picky eaters.

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Charlie McButton Lost Power - Charlie McButton likes computer games so much, he never plays with anything else. When a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity, his tech empire comes tumbling down, and his whole world loses power. Charlie needs batteries?FAST! But the only triple- A?s he can find are in his little sister?s talking doll. Will he resort to desperate measures and cause his sister to have a meltdown of her own? Or will he snap out of his computer craze long enough to realize his sister might be fun, even if she doesn?t come with batteries? Collins and Lester team up for a hilarious and timely tale that will crack up young computer addicts and those who love them!

  2. How to Babysit a Grandma - Celebrate the special bond between grandmas and grandkids in this delightful book that puts the kids in charge of taking care of Grandma...if just for one day.

  3. Maximillian Villainous - For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day. Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance. Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.

Want to see more children's books about humor?

Books About Families and Family

Little Elliot, Big Family book
#1
Little Elliot, Big Family
Written and illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Mouse heads off to a family reunion, Little Elliot decides go for a walk. As he explores each busy street, he sees families in all shapes and sizes. In a city of millions, Little Elliot feels very much alone-until he finds he has a family of his own!

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#2
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#3
Best Friends: We Are A Family
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Like peas in a pod, and leaves in a tree, we all belong to a family! Whether they are big, or whether they are small, this charming book shows young readers that there are all kinds of different families to be found in the world around us, from a bunch of balloons, to eggs in a box, and fingers on a hand. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of family in its many forms.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - They open a door and enter a world.

  2. The Littlest Family's Big Day - Who is only under 5 inches tall and has just moved to the woods? The cutest and littlest bear family you have ever seen—and their adopted teeny tiny fox tot! What happens when they venture out to explore their new world...? With an easy-to-read story and the careful brushstrokes of Emily Winfield Martin's illustrations, The Littlest Family's Big Day captures the mystery and magic of the woods. Inspired by classic children’s books such as The Littlest Fur Family and Dream Animals, this is a radiant treasure to be cherished for generations.

  3. Tractor Mac Family Reunion - Tractor Mac loves that he is the only tractor in his farm family. Then one day, his friend Iron Dave the train brings him to a tractor dealership and shows him a whole lot full of big red tractors that look just like him. Are these tractors his real family? Tractor Mac is excited to find a place with so many familiar faces, but sad that he might have to leave the farm to be with them. Then all of the big red tractors in the lot help him to understand that his real home is with the family he's found with the animals and machines on Stony Meadow Farm.

  4. Esperanza Rising - Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Want to see more children's books about family?

Books About Families and Love

Famously Phoebe book
#1
Famously Phoebe
Written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Phoebe was the shining star of her family. Then someone came along to take her place. For as long as Phoebe can remember, she’s known the clickety click click of a photographer snapping her picture. Thanks to the camera-carrying “paparazzi” (aka Mom and Dad), she’s always been the star of the show . . . until the day a tiny newcomer arrives on set. Will Phoebe learn to share the spotlight and assume the role she was born to play: big sister? This sweet tale of sibling rivalry resolved is perfect for every older brother and sister.

Daddy Honk Honk! book
#2
Daddy Honk Honk!
Written and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An arctic fox adopts a baby goose in this heartwarming read-aloud perfect for dads and their little ones When Aput the fox finds an abandoned goose egg, he has no idea what’s in store for him. He doesn’t know anything about babies and he certainly doesn’t know what to do when the gosling hatches and mistakes him for its daddy. So he decides to find the gosling a home. But with each page turn, Aput learns more about caring for a baby and, with a little help from his friends, he discovers what a baby needs most is love.

Baby Love book
#3
Baby Love
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

This cozy and cuddly picture book celebrates all the most wonderful things about babies and is perfect for reading aloud to little ones. Rosy cheeks. Button nose. Little fingers. Tiny toes. Sweet kiss. Warm hug. Yes, it must be baby love. Anyone who has ever delighted in a baby’s bright smile or darling toes will instantly connect to this adorable picture book with simple text and adorable illustrations. With just the right balance of sweetness and humor, this is a soothing ode to all the wonderful bits and pieces that make up a cuddly, snuggly baby.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Love Is My Favorite Thing - Starring an enthusiastic pooch whose joy, optimism and love know no bounds, this lively picture book is based on Emma Chichester Clark’s own dog, and joyfully celebrates unconditional love. Plum has lots of favorite things—catching sticks, her bear, her bed—but really, LOVE is her absolute favorite thing. She loves her family and all the things they do together. Sometimes, however, Plum’s exuberance causes trouble, and she just can’t help being naughty. But fortunately, love is such a great thing that even when she makes mistakes, Plum’s family still adores her.

  2. Indestructibles - I Love You, Baby - Hug, kiss, snuggle, nuzzle, bounce, rock: There are so many ways to show your love to baby! Share the love on each spread with simple text prompts and adorable illustrations of baby animals and their families, from cats to bears to otters. Indestructibles are printed on a unique nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it-gumming, spilling, dragging across the floor. And if they get dirty, just rinse them off. With more than two million copies in print and growing annual sales (more than 450,000 copies shipped in 2016 alone!), Indestructibles are the books built for the way babies read.

  3. Henry Wants More! - More games, more races, more tickles, more books—little Henry can’t get enough! When a toddler is armed with that useful word and the world is full of brand-new things, his family just doesn’t stand a chance. Follow Henry on his exhausting and all-too-familiar day filled with play . . . and a lot of love! Buoyant rhymes and charming illustrations strike a heartwarming note that will ring true with families of energetic little ones.

  4. The Ring Bearer - Mama’s getting married, and Jackson has an important job to do! A story about love, weddings, and the special joy that is a blended family. Jackson’s mama is getting married, and he gets to be the ring bearer. But Jackson is worried . . . What if he trips? Or walks too slowly? Or drops the rings? And what about his new stepsister, Sophie? She’s supposed to be the flower girl, but Jackson’s not sure she’s taking her job as seriously as she should. In a celebration of blended families, this heartwarming story, stunningly illustrated by the award-winning Floyd Cooper, is a perfect gift for any child who’s nervous to walk down the aisle at a wedding, and shows kids that they can handle life’s big changes.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Books About Families and Friendship

Pablo in the Snow book
#1
Pablo in the Snow
Written by Teri Sloat and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

What is soft, fluffy, and white? Pablo’s wool, of course. But this little lamb soon discovers that there’s something else as well: SNOW! From making trails to sledding with friends, having snowball fights and crafting snowmen, there’s tons of fun to be had in the snow. But winter days grow dark very fast, and Pablo finds himself lost on his way home. Not to worry―Mama and Papa help Pablo get back to the cozy barn so he can talk about his adventures.

Great Expectations: A Babylit Storybook book
#2
Great Expectations: A Babylit Storybook
Written by Stephanie Clarkson and illustrated by Mandy Archer
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In Great Expectations: A BabyLit Storybook, preschoolers follow Pip's story, learning about the value of family and friends, fortune and loss, and love. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. BabyLit(R) primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Gibbs Smith is now presenting a delightful collection of picture books, lovingly designed and crafted for young children. Each book retells a story from the literary canon, bringing a classic to life for an entirely new audience. Stephanie Clarkson began her writing career as a journalist at Britain's Daily Mail newspaper and continues to write for the British press while dreaming up stories for children. Steph has written everything from pocket money books to gift titles and is the author of Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups. She lives in Surrey, England. Mike Byrne lives in the Surrey countryside with his wife, cat, and two young sons where he spends his days doodling and illustrating children's books fuelled only by tea and biscuits. Mike is the illustrator of Sproutzilla vs. Christmas and My Colourful Chameleon.

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza book
#3
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?

Honorable Mentions
  1. You Hold Me Up - This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in their everyday actions. Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about Reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this hardcover picture book as a dual-language (English and Plains Cree) edition.

  2. The Dragonling - A boy and a baby dragon forge an unlikely friendship in this first book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Darek can’t wait for his first Dragonquest. Then he can be just like his older brother, Clep, the hero who brought down a Great Blue, the largest and fiercest dragon of all. Darek goes to admire the kill—and finds a dragonling peeking out of the giant dragon’s pouch. Scared but curious, he feeds the hungry baby and makes an unlikely friend. But to save the helpless Dragonling he must now venture into the fearsome Valley of the Dragons, risking his life to return his friend to his own fire-breathing kind.

  3. Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation - Family, friendship, sharing, vacations, and apartment living are just some of the things that are celebrated in this charming children's book! Fergus Barnaby is so excited! Mom, Dad, and Fergus are about to go away on vacation for a few days of fun in the sun. But first... Dad tells him to pack everything he needs, and now Fergus has a problem. Fred has his bucket and shovel, Emily Rose has his swimming goggles, and Teddy has his kite. Fergus lives on the first floor, but his friends--and the toys he let them borrow--are all upstairs. So many stairs, so little time! Will Fergus and Daddy remember to pack everything they need to bring? (Hint: this story ends with a surprise and a big laugh!) Lots of bold illustrations and an enchanting story about friendship and life in the city will make Fergus Barnaby one of your child's favorites.

Want to see more children's books about friendship?

Books About Families and Animals

Cuckoo! book
#1
Cuckoo!
Written and illustrated by Fiona Roberton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.

Bugs Don't Hug book
#2
Bugs Don't Hug
Written by Heather L. Montgomery and illustrated by Stephen Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Meet the mamas and papas of the insect world in this fresh and funny nonfiction look at how bugs are like us from popular science author and teacher Heather Montgomery. Most insects don't take care of their young, but some do--in surprising ways. Some bugs clean up after their messy little ones, cater to their picky eaters, and yes--hug their baby bugs. A fun and clever look at parenting in the insect world, perfect for backyard scientists and their own moms and dads.

Flying Free book
#3
Flying Free
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Colin lives with his mum and big brother and is in a hurry to grow up. But when his brother gives him an air rifle for his birthday and he shoots a hawk, he soon learns that shooting live creatures is very different to shooting cans on the wall. A powerful tale of growing up and gaining responsibility. Flying Free is one in a series of Country Tales, written by award-winning children’s author Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Little Mistake - Rosie is given a sheepdog puppy to rear who looks and behaves differently to the other sheepdogs on the farm and is too friendly to herd the sheep. When she overhears her parents referring to her as their ‘little mistake’, her puppy teaches her that not all mistakes are bad in this charming story about belonging and finding your place. The Little Mistake is one in a series of Country Tales, written by award-winning children’s author Nicola Davies and illustrated by Cathy Fisher.

  2. Chicks! - When a family brings home chicks from a local farm, they must do everything they can to make sure their feathered friends thrive in their new environment. With the help of their knowledgeable parents, the children provide the baby chicks with food, water, warmth, and proper shelter. Young readers will chirp along happily page after page, learning to read as they watch the fuzzy little chicks grow into downy adult chickens, who will eventually lay eggs of their own!

  3. Into the Forest - Hopping and stopping, Squirrel sees deer! But not her mama. She isn't here. Through a simple narrative about a squirrel looking for her family, Into the Forest introduces different animal families as they go about their daily lives. With a gentle rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, Into the Forest's die-cut pages and embossing make this the perfect tactile package for little hands.

  4. A Place to Start a Family - A poetry collection introducing animal architects that build remarkable structures in order to attract a mate and have babies. Many animals build something—a nest, tunnel, or web—in order to pair up, lay eggs, give birth, and otherwise perpetuate their species. Organized based on where creatures live—underground, in the water, on land, or in the air—twelve poems bring fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds to life. Giles Laroche's intricate cut-paper illustrations are so life-like, readers will feel like they've stepped right into the homes of some of nature's best builders. Back matter includes more information about each animal.

Want to see more children's books about animals?

Books About Families and Diversity

The Little Red Stroller book
#1
The Little Red Stroller
Written by Joshua Furst and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Luna outgrows her stroller just as Ernie needs one, and when he outgrows it he passes it along to Gigi, and soon many different families have received and shared the gift.

Salsa Lullaby book
#2
Salsa Lullaby
Written by Jen Arena
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How to get baby to sleep? Mami and Papi will try anything in this bouncy, loving, bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in both Spanish and English. Mami starts a salsa song. Papi keeps the beat. Baby loves this lullaby, moves those dancing feet. Baila, baby, baila! Dance, dance, dance. When nighttime falls, it's time for baby to go to sleep. In this household, that means it's also time for mama, papa, and baby to baila/dance, canta/sing, salta/jump, and more all the way to bedtime! This bouncy bilingual text and gorgeous, inviting illustrations gently wind down to make this a bedtime favorite no matter what language families say "good night" in!

Hoorade Day! book
#3
Hoorade Day!
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It is the Fourth of July, and a young girl and her parents are off to see the town's big parade--Hoorade Day! Boosted up on daddy s shoulders, the girl excitedly waves to her family members in the parade and joyfully describes each section. From the bleats and bangs of the marching band to the graceful twirls of the ribbon dancers, the little girl spots it all, reciting simple, rhyming cheers that complement the bright illustrations of the diverse community on each page. Narrated in jolly, lively verse, Hoorade Day! celebrates the birthday of a nation founded on principles of unity and hope. It will delight children and adults alike, keeping them smiling to the very last page.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pancakes to Parathas - Breakfast varies from country to country, but it's how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee--with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.

  2. Yes We Are - A boy confides in a friend that he doesn t know what to say when he's teased for having two dads, and when kids say that they're not a real family. In their conversation, his friend helps him see how her family (with a mom and a dad) isn't all that different from his: they both have parents who love them, and they both love their parents. And it's love that makes a family.

Want to see more children's books about diversity?

Epilogue

10 books that are just too good to leave off of our families list.

  1. Mamasaurus - This colorful and reassuring picture book follows Babysaurus on an adventure as he enlists his prehistoric friends to seek his Mamasaurus. Is his Mamasaurus the fastest in the jungle? No. Is she the loudest? No. Is she the best flyer? No! Of course, Mamasaurus has been right there all along. And when Babysaurus needs a little help, she is ready with a big hug and a sweet, leafy snack. For Babysaurus, his Mamasaurus is the best mamasaurus in the world! Stephan Lomp has illustrated several books in his native Germany, and in this debut as both author and artist, he has created a fresh twist on a perennial theme that will win the hearts of little ones and their mamas as they snuggle up to read a new favorite.

  2. Wolfie the Bunny - Families of all kinds will delight in this sweet tale of new babies, sibling rivalry, bravery, unconditional love...and veggies! The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can--and might--eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it's Wolfie who's threatened, can Dot save the day?

  3. Love Matters Most - Perfect for Valentine's Day and a heartwarming read for the cold winter months, this cozy animal story explores the universal theme of a mother's love for her child. When a polar bear leaves the safety and warmth of her cave to travel all over a frozen wonderland, she must be looking for something very important. Could it be delicious silver salmon? A view of the swirling winter sky? A bit of gold? Of course, she is in search of the most precious thing of all: her lost little cub. In this touching story, readers will instantly be enamored with the sweeping illustrations of winter landscapes, endearing polar bear characters, and the resonant message that a mother's love matters most.

  4. Rabbit Pie - The perfect recipe for bedtime! Six adorable rabbits are just one ingredient needed for sweet Rabbit Pie! Combine with a sprinkling of kisses and some warm milk for the ideal bedtime story. Told like a recipe, with delightful illustrations showing the preparations for bedtime, this charming picture book will enchant parents and children alike. With a sturdy board book format that will withstand plenty of use by babies and younger children this new format edition of an already popular title makes the perfect addition to any bookshelf!

  1. The Boxcar Children - The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

  2. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens - This is an out-of-this-world funny first book in a madcap, illustrated adventure series from New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth. Happy Conklin Jr. is the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day. Hap's dad is a brilliant inventor of screwball products, and being a Conklin kid means sometimes being experimented on. So Hap has his beard, and his five sisters each have their own unique--and often problematic--qualities too. And although Hap's dad has made a fortune with his wacky inventions sold via nonstop TV infomercials, all of that money has gone to Hap's tyrannical Grandma. While she lives in an enormous mansion, the rest of the family lives in two rooms in the basement. All Hap has ever wanted is to have a normal life, so when he sees a chance to get rid of Grandma, he takes it! He only means to swap out Grandma, but when he--oops!--sells his whole family to the aliens, he wants nothing more than to get them back. He just has to figure out . . . how?

  3. Only One You - Lemony Snickers - Only One You is a cute picture book. The illustrations are fun, clever, and colorful. Its pages are filled mostly with simple, powerful life advice, like "know when to listen," "don't be afraid to go against the crowd," and other pearls of wisdom people your high school valedictorian probably repeated when they spoke at graduation. In this case, these short cliches are given by parents reminding their child to do good as they go out into the world. There isn't a plot to the story, but the cute illustrations help to give a little life to the platitudes.

  4. Squirrel's Family Tree - Squirrel gathers acorn seeds, sturdy little oak nut seeds. Anticipating future needs, she gathers acorn seeds. What makes an oak tree an oak tree and what makes a squirrel a squirrel? In Squirrel's Family Tree, things aren't always what they seem. As squirrel searches for, finds, and hides her acorn treasures beneath the shadows of the great oak trees in the forest, little does she know the role she plays in creating the very environment she forages in. With masterful illustrations by Papillon illustrator A. N. Kang and delightful, sweet rhymes by New York Times bestseller Beth Ferry, this read-aloud masterpiece about the beauty of nature and the intricate relationships that make it flourish is sure to become an instant classic.

  1. The Elevator Family - The four members of the Wilson family decide to spend their holiday in one of the elevators at the San Francisco Hotel.

  2. Alma and How She Got Her Name - What's in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from -- and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all -- and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

Did you enjoy our families book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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