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Mother-son Relationships: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about mother-son relationships?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to mother-son relationships. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about mother-son relationships.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about mother-son relationships, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Kissing Hand to popular sellers like Artemis Fowl to some of our favorite hidden gems like I Wanna Iguana.

We hope this list of kids books about mother-son relationships can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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The Kissing Hand
Written by Audrey Penn & illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

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I Wanna Iguana
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff & illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won’t have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn’t want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex’s reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I’ll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom’s replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.

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One Whole Bunch
Written by Mary Meyer & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

In this new book illustrated by award-winning artist and designer Sara Gillingham, a boy gathers a bunch of flowers for a beautiful bouquet for his mother in this simple and sweet story that features a counting element: 10 to 1.

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I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

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Chocolate Me!
Written by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is.

Max and the Superheroes book
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Little Orange Scarf book
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Herbie's Big Adventure book
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You and Me and the Wishing Tree book
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  • Max and the Superheroes - Max is crazy about superheroes, like all his friends, but the one he loves most is Megapower—especially when she turns into his Mommy and gives him a goodnight kiss.

  • Little Orange Scarf - Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too . . . orange! After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But a trip to the yarn store provides Mommy with the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy. From the author of Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket comes another toddler-friendly—and parent-friendly—board book offering.

  • Herbie's Big Adventure - Herbie is a little hedgehog who is perfectly happy at home with his mother. But one day Mommy tells Herbie that it’s time to go exploring―all by himself! Herbie is so not sure, but ready or not, a westerly wind sweeps Herbie into the wide world…and Herbie’s Big Adventure begins! Little Herbie finds that he’s braver than he thinks and even makes a friend before coming safely back home to Mommy.

  • You and Me and the Wishing Tree - We woke up in the usual way, but it was not a usual day. Out on the lawn, plain as could be, stood an orange wishing tree. “I wish!” I said. “I wish!” said you. And so our double wishes grew. Wishes are a magical part of childhood. Whether we wish on stars or blow out candles on a cake, our dreams matter. Nancy Tillman captures the wonder of wishes as only she can, with love.

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A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

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Little Owl's Orange Scarf
Written by Tatyana Feeney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Owl loves many things, including his tree house in City Park, riding his scooter, and eating ice cream. But he does not love the new orange scarf his mommy makes him wear. It’s too long. It’s too itchy. It’s too. . . orange!

After several attempts to lose his orange scarf, Little Owl finally succeeds. But after a trip to the yarn store, Mommy has the perfect solution to keep Little Owl warm and happy.

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Kisses and Cuddles
Written & illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A little penguin loves to do many things during his fun day, but nothing beats getting kisses and cuddles from his mama! Follow a little penguin as he spends his day doing everything he loves—such as eating pancakes, playing with his toys, drinking hot chocolate, spotting rainbows, and more. But what does he love the most? Kisses and cuddles from his mama!

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Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim!

Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

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Spot Loves His Mommy
Written & illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Spot loves spending time with his Mom.Whether playing hide-and-seek, baking a cake, or reading his favorite story, Spot and Mommy have lots of fun together. Perfect for Mother’s Day and all year long, this touching and heartwarming book is great for sharing.

My Mama Is a Mechanic book
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The Only Thing Worse Than Witches book
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I Love You More Each Day book
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Don't Go to School! book
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  • My Mama Is a Mechanic - Snuggle with Mom for this sweet book about a mother as seen through her son’s eyes. To him, she is a surgeon when she repairs his favorite stuffed animal, a weightlifter when lugging in groceries, and a monster truck diver when driving him. But no matter what happens, she is always his mama, and that’s the most important thing of all!

  • The Only Thing Worse Than Witches - Eleven-year-old Rupert cannot resist applying to an advertisement for a witch’s apprentice but quickly finds himself over his head with the young witch-in-training who desperately needs his help.

  • I Love You More Each Day - Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery! Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery. With beautiful illustrations and a sweet message, this story is perfect for parents to read to their special little one at story time, bedtime, and any time in between!

  • Don't Go to School! - Benno is really excited about his first day at school. But there’s one problem: Mommy! “DON’T GO TO SCHOOL!” she wails. “STAY HERE WITH ME!” Can the brave little bear convince Mom that everything’s okay? He comes up with an ingenious idea to help her adjust—one that many parents will recognize. Kids will love this laugh-out-loud twist on a familiar theme.

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Knockout
Written & illustrated by K. A. Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He’s fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he’s found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?

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Road Trip with Max and His Mom
Written by Linda Urban & illustrated by Katie Kath
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

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Wild Honey from the Moon
Written & illustrated by Kenneth Kraegel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an epic adventure like no other, an unflappable mother will stop at nothing to find a cure for her ailing young son — even if it means traveling to the moon itself. “Where are you going?” “To the moon. A quick trip.” “But you can’t fly.” “Darling, I am your mother,” she said, and gave him one last kiss. On a cold winter’s eve, deep in the woods, a mother shrew frets about her sick young son. His head is cold and his feet are hot, and there is only one thing that can cure him: wild honey from the moon. Mother Shrew does not stop to wonder how she will make such an impossible journey. Instead, she grabs her trusty red umbrella, gives her darling son a kiss, and sets out into the unknown. Along the way, Mother Shrew encounters one obstacle after another, from a malevolent owl to a herd of restless “night mares” to an island humming with angry bees. But each can prove no match for a mother on a mission. From the mind of the uniquely talented Kenneth Kraegel comes an utterly original ode to the limitlessness of maternal love.

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I Love You, Little One
Written & illustrated by Nancy Tafuri
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Offers a look at the special bond between mother and child as a mother bunny provides reassurance to her little one through demonstrations of love and affection.

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Remarkable Inventions Of Walter Mortinson
Written & illustrated by Quinn Sosna-Spear
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny.

In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusual inventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join the family mortuary business.

Far off on Flaster Isle, famed inventor Horace Flasterborn plans to take Walter under his wing, just as he did Walter’s genius father decades ago. When a letter arrives by unusual means offering Walter an apprenticeship, it isn’t long before Walter decides to flee Moormouth to meet his destiny.

Walter runs away in the family hearse along with Cordelia, the moody girl next door with one eye and plenty of secrets. Together they journey through a strange landscape of fish-people, giantess miners, and hypnotized honeybees in an adventure that will not only reveal the truth about Walter’s past, but direct his future.

Don't You Feel Well, Sam? book
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One More Hug book
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Love You Forever book
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The Sign of the Cat book
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  • Don't You Feel Well, Sam? - In the little white house, Mrs. Bear is putting Sam to bed, when suddenly — HCK HCK! coughs Sam. Mrs. Bear gets some syrup. But the syrup tastes bad, and there’s too much of it on a too-big spoon, and it’s too hard to swallow. What will make Sam feel better? Acclaimed picture-book creators Amy Hest and Anita Jeram revisit Sam and Mrs. Bear as they share a quiet moment of comfort that is enough to conquer the coldest night.

  • One More Hug - A tree branch tapping on a window, a pretend sword breaking in two, the skreeeetch of a school bus door: one more hug by mom is always needed to comfort and reassure a young boy that he has the inner confidence to carry on. As time passes, and he outgrows his childhood fears, he returns the favor by giving his mother one more hug as he goes on his way. This timeless tale of unconditional love and comfort for an anxious young boy as he leaves the nest and starts his journey through life is a perfect story for mothers to share with their sons to show them that it’s okay to have fears and needs—even as they get older—and it’s okay to share those feelings with the people who love them.

  • Love You Forever - Booksellers have sold more than 30 million copies of Love You Forever in paperback and hardcover. Now we have a board version, printed on light, crisp whiteboard and slightly reduced for child-sized hands. Yet it contains every word of the original, which is much-loved by grandparents and parents everywhere. Watch for major promotion this fall. A young mother holds her baby, and while she sings to it she rocks it back and forth. And through her life, and the stages of his life, she holds her son and rocks him back and forth as she tells him that she will love him forever.

  • The Sign of the Cat - Talking cats, a missing princess, swordfights with villains, and secret identities combine in this epic tale of bravery and self-discovery on the high seas. Duncan is very smart. He also has a most unusual gift. So why does his mother encourage him to be perfectly average and insist he only get mediocre grades? His special talent is the ability to talk to cats―but Duncan longs more than anything for academic success. When Duncan rebels and gets a perfect test score, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best intentions . . . not by a long shot. From the same author of The Secret of Zoom and Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Lynne Jonell delivers another magical and unforgettable adventure in The Sign of the Cat.

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The Arctic Incident
Written by Eoin Colfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Artemis Fowl is at boarding school in Iceland when he receives an urgent video email from Russia. It’s a plea from his father, who has been kidnapped by the Russian mafia. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by Captain Holly Short. This time, instead of battling the fairies, he’s going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people he loves.

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Lucky for Good
Written by Susan Patron & illustrated by Erin McGuire and Susan Patron
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The residents of Hard Pan, California, come together to help Brigitte and Lucky when the County Health Department threatens to close down the cafâe, and meantime Miles’s life is complicated by his mother’s return.

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The Seashore Book
Written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A summer classic by two masters, reissued and redesigned for contemporary audiences.

Wendell Minor’s elegant artwork and Charlotte Zolotow’s simple, evocative prose brings a day at the beach vividly to life as a boy and his mother imagine what it would be like to spend a day at the seashore.

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Stars in the Darkness
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by R Gregory Christie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the imagination of a young inner-city boy, police sirens sound like howling wolves, streetlights look like stars, and shots fired by neighborhood gangs sound like those stars cracking the darkness. But when his older brother joins a gang, he can no longer pretend. With the help of his mother, he comes up with a plan to save his brother and unite his neighbors in a stand for peace. The realistic yet uplifting words of best-selling author Barbara M. Joosse combine with powerful illustrations by award-winning artist R. Gregory Christie in this hope-filled story. One young boy’s courage can make a difference.

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Artemis Fowl
Written by Eoin Colfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous—and extremely high-tech—fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family’s fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies’ powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?

Princess and the Peas book
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Sir Tim Has a Secret book
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Otto's Rainy Day book
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And What If I Won't? book
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  • Princess and the Peas - In this adaptation of The Princess and the Pea, Ma Sally cooks the best black-eyed peas in Charleston County, South Carolina. Her son, John, is a highly eligible bachelor, and three local women vie for his hand in marriage by attempting to cook as well as Ma. At the last minute, a surprise contestant named Princess arrives at the door. Princess and John are well-matched, but Princess has her own ideas. When told she has won John’s hand, she asks him to scrub the pots and pans before she’ll give him an answer. Her answer, it turns out, is that she wants to spend some time getting to know John first. Backmatter includes an author’s note and a recipe for Princess’s Black-eyed Peas.

  • Sir Tim Has a Secret - Real knights are always honest. But when Sir Tim accidentally rips his cape, he tries to blame his friend Max. And when Mom leaves a strawberry shortcake on the table, he sneaks a bite. Keeping all these secrets begins to give Sir Tim a bellyache . . . A sweet and recognizable book about keeping secrets. For honest knights ages 4 and up.

  • Otto's Rainy Day - After several failed attempts to get Otto to play quietly in the house, his mother finally gives in and goes outside to play in the rain with him.

  • And What If I Won't? - When Benny’s mother asks him to put his dirty plate in the sink, he responds by asking: “What would you do if I said no?” Her answer is predictable, but not enough for Benny, whose “what if?” line of questioning continues as he dreams up increasingly naughty behavior: What if he threw his plate at the wall? What if he jumped on the couch in muddy rain boots? What if he tore pages out of library books? Playing on their shared sense of humor and imagination, and showing more than a little bit of indulgence, his mother’s answers become equally outrageous. She sends Benny off to the zoo, sells him to the circus, and even happily shoots him off into outer space as punishment for his behavior.The story’s circular ending brings it all back home with a clever — and entirely reasonable — punchline.

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