Best Children's Books About Families

58 Children's Books About Families

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
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.

Cuckoo! book
#2
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.

Wolfie the Bunny book
#3
Wolfie the Bunny
Written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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?

Bear Likes Jam book
#4
Bear Likes Jam
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In their blended family, Mama Duck worries when Bear eats too much jam, but when the ducklings play a game with their vegetables, Bear starts to eat the strange green things on his plate.

Daddy Honk Honk! book
#5
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
#6
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.

And Tango Makes Three book
#7
And Tango Makes Three
Written by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family is now available in a sturdy board book edition. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.

Bringing in the New Year book
#8
Bringing in the New Year
Written and illustrated by Grace Lin
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year, in a book that includes endnotes discussing the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year.

The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down book
#9
The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down
Written and illustrated by Margaret Wild
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When the speediest family in the world finds a sweet, slow sloth on their doorstep, they take him in. But, little do they know, their new pet has quite a bit to teach them. For Amy’s family, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Mom rushes through her work. Dad rushes through his chores. Even little Amy rushes through dinner. But Sloth does things slowly. He likes to take long, leisurely baths with lots and lots of bubbles. He plays drawn-out, imaginative games. He eats his food slowly, enjoying one small bite at a time. After a few weeks of caring for their new pet, Amy’s family finds that they actually do have enough time to tell one another stories or go for long walks together after dinner—so long as they stop rushing around so much. The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down is a celebration of slowing down and remembering the important things in life.

Yes We Are book
#10
Yes We Are
Written and illustrated by Michael Genhart
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Who Loves Me? book
#11
Who Loves Me?
Written and illustrated by David McPhail
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

As Walter and Mama gather blueberries for a pie, little Walter asks, over and over, "Who loves me?" Mama tells Walter how much Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa love him. She tells him about how much his aunts and friends and pets love him, too. But, when the pie is ready, Walter knows the list cannot be complete. Who else loves him? Mama, of course! She loves him more than anything.

Indestructibles - I Love You, Baby book
#12
Indestructibles - I Love You, Baby
Written by Amy Pixton and illustrated by Stephan Lomp
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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.

The Ring Bearer book
#13
The Ring Bearer
Written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

My Name Is Zedonk book
#14
My Name Is Zedonk
Written and illustrated by Jia Han
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the 2010 Census, almost 10 million Americans identified as multiracial. As our population grows, more and more families will be made up of people who may not look just like one another. My Name is Zedonk is a charming children’s book celebrating diverse and multiracial families—or just a little story about a zedonk, read into it what you wish. Originally published in Korea, the story is for ages 3 to 8 and illustrated with full color, mixed media drawings that will resonate across ages, races, and genders. This story captures love, acceptance, and the mystery and magic of family. “My mama is a donkey, my papa is a zebra, and I am a zedonk. Each of us is a bit different and we are all happy together.”

Always Come Home to Me book
#15
Always Come Home to Me
Written and illustrated by Belle Yang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A moving and uplifting tale of two children and their parents, and the beloved pet doves that help them to understand one another. "Fei, fei — fly, fly, little birds, but always come home to me!" Mei-Mei and Di-Di are head-over-heels in love with their new doves. Like devoted parents, the siblings tenderly nurture Butterfly and Squeaky as they grow from chicks to fledglings to birds. But when Mei-Mei and Di-Di arrive home to find that the doves have disappeared, their young hearts break into a thousand pieces — and they run away, determined to reclaim their beloved birds. Will Mei-Mei and Di-Di return home with the doves before they break their own parents’ hearts?.

You Look Yummy! book
#16
You Look Yummy!
Written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

This sweet tale about the love between father and son is the first in a tremendously popular Tyrannosaurus series in 12 titles to date, with combined sales in excess of 3 million copies in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and France. A long, long time ago, a baby Ankylosaurus is born on a volcano erupting ground. As the little Ankylosaurus begins wandering around, a big Tyrannosaurus comes along. He is about to pounce when the baby cries out, "Daddy!" and grabs onto his leg. The baby thinks the Tyrannosaurus is his father, so as not to disappoint the little one, he takes on the task of raising a baby Ankylosaur. The two develop ever stronger bonds of love, but soon comes the day when they must part. Highlighting the importance of family, this sweet picture book celebrates the love between father and son.

Love Is My Favorite Thing book
#17
Love Is My Favorite Thing
Written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

I Love You Too book
#18
I Love You Too
Written by Ziggy Marley and illustrated by Ag Jatkowska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Based on song lyrics by the author, illustrates many of the ways love is expressed by exploring children's relationships with parents, grandparents, and nature.

The Lost Picnic book
#19
The Lost Picnic
Written and illustrated by B. B. Cronin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A brilliantly illustrated seek-and-find that dazzles even more than The Lost House, from the award-winning B. B. Cronin! Grandad is taking his grandchildren on a picnic in his jalopy. They ride on a busy highway full of cars and signs, past charming villages and topiary-filled parks, out into the country. But when they finally arrive at the picnic spot, they discover all their food has tumbled out of the car along the way! It’s up to readers to find the missing food so the family can enjoy their meal at last.

The Bunny Book book
#20
The Bunny Book
Written by Patsy Scarry and illustrated by Richard Scarry
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Each member of the rabbit family has a different idea about what the baby should be when he grows up, but he has already decided.

Back to the Future book
#21
Back to the Future
Written by and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Great Scott!! The latest in Quirk's series of Pop Classic Picture Books (following HOME ALONE, THE X-FILES, and E.T.) takes readers on a wild time-traveling trip BACK TO THE FUTURE! The biggest movie of 1985 is now the wildest and wackiest picture book of 2018! Even 30 years after its theatrical debut, BACK TO THE FUTURE is a perennial favorite in classrooms and family movie nights across the country. This picture book by Kim Smith captures all the classic moments of the film. We'll follow teenage Marty McFly as he travels from 1985 to 1955, meets his parents (as teenagers), and teaches his father how to stand up to bullies. Complete with a time-traveling DeLorean, a crazy mad scientist companion, and a lightning-fueled finale!

The Little Red Stroller book
#22
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.

Into the Forest book
#23
Into the Forest
Written by Laura Baker and illustrated by Nadia Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

The Magical Fantastical Fridge book
#24
The Magical Fantastical Fridge
Written by Harlan Coben and illustrated by Leah Tinari
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

#1 New York Times Bestselling novelist Harlan Coben partners with a talented debut illustrator in this fantastical and funny adventure for fans of David Wiesner and William Joyce It’s family dinner night, and Walden would like to be anywhere other than the kitchen in the middle of chores. Suddenly his wish is granted: He is magically swooped into one of his own drawings on the fridge, and finds himself on a one-of-a-kind adventure. After battling a crayon monster, he catches a plane ride into an old photo, escapes a troop of monkeys by cannonballing into an aquarium ticket, survives an ice-maker earthquake, and more. Kids will love studying the dynamic, comic-book-inspired illustrations in this zany, surprise-filled journey that culminates in a heartfelt appreciation of family.

More Than Enough book
#25
More Than Enough
Written by April Halprin Wayland and illustrated by Katie Kath
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A family’s Passover celebration is equal parts warmth and charm in this cozy picture book, with the traditional seder song “Dayenu” as the grateful refrain. In this story told in spare, lyrical prose, a Jewish family prepares for their Passover seder, visiting the farmer’s market for walnuts, lilacs, and honey (and adopting a kitten along the way!), then chopping apples for the charoset, and getting dressed up before walking to Nana’s house. The refrain throughout is “Dayenu”—a mind-set of thankfulness, a reminder to be aware of the blessings in each moment. At Nana’s, there’s matzo ball soup, chicken, coconut macaroons, and of course, the hidden afikomen. After opening the door for Elijah and singing the verses of “Chad Gadya,”Nana tucks the children in for a special Passover sleepover. This warm, affectionate story embraces Passover in the spirit of dayenu, and offers a comprehensive glossary—it’s a perfect read for the entire family in anticipation and celebration of the holiday.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.