Best Kids Books About Families

Our Favorite 20 Books to Read With Your Kids About Families

Updated Mar. 12, 2019

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.

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

At Mouse's house, Elliot the elephant finds more than a friend--he finds a family.

When Charlie McButton Lost Power book
#2
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!

Edmund Unravels book
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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.

Mamasaurus book
#6
Mamasaurus
Written and illustrated by Stephan Lomp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Wolfie the Bunny book
#7
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?

Love Matters Most book
#8
Love Matters Most
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Gerry Turley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

How to Babysit a Grandma book
#9
How to Babysit a Grandma
Written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

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.

Only One You book
#10
Only One You
Written and illustrated by Linda Kranz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from 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.

Adri promises to remember his parents' words of wisdom about how to live his life, such as "Find your own way. You don't have to follow the crowd" and "Make wishes on the stars in the nighttime sky."

Famously Phoebe book
#11
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.

Alma and How She Got Her Name book
#12
Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Cuckoo! book
#13
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.

Pablo in the Snow book
#14
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.

Bear Likes Jam book
#15
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
#16
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.

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.

Squirrel's Family Tree book
#18
Squirrel's Family Tree
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Tractor Mac Family Reunion book
#19
Tractor Mac Family Reunion
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

A Place to Start a Family book
#20
A Place to Start a Family
Written by David L. Harrison and illustrated by Giles Laroche
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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.

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