Best Kids Books About Parenting

When they want a glimpse into the life of a parent!

Updated Jan. 26, 2019

Parenting books are great for the young readers, but they can be helpful to parents as well. It can be comforting to read about crazy lives, wild schedules, and parenting mistakes that we all make. These are fun reads that let our little ones get a feel for the life that we try to live as their mentors and protectors, and the craziness we experience along the way. Most of all, these books offer a reminder that we love our little readers, no matter the mistakes we make.

Jabari Jumps book
#1
Jabari Jumps
Written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

This is a delightful book about being ready to take the next step. Jabari has finished his swim lessons and tests and is (almost) ready to try the high dive. His father is reassuring and encouraging, but not pushy as Jabari works up his courage. The story plays out in beautiful illustrations in washed-out hues, like a hazy, humid summer day, at a public pool in a sprawling park with skyscrapers in the background. With multiple illustrations on some pages and abundant white space around them, Cornwall builds suspense as Jabari climbs the many rungs of the ladder and walks out to the edge of the board. This gentle and reassuring book is perfect for reading aloud.

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fantastic book about conquering your fear. The illustrations are so fun—I love all of the different angles and perspectives the illustrator shows Jabari's situation from and how that really pulls you into the story. Jabari's dad is patient and understanding, and doesn't tell Jabari to just hurry up and jump, but waits for him to be ready and coaches him through a technique that might help him be ready to make the leap.

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#2
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Monster & Son book
#3
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author's incorporation of language such as "chase you into bed" and "gobbled down a snack" that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur...discovering that monsters and humans aren't so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

Wolfie the Bunny book
#4
Wolfie the Bunny
Written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book has such fun illustrations and it's actually quite funny! This would be a great book for the topics of new siblings, foster children, or adoption.

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A cute book about coping with a new sibling with an incredibly unique illustration style.

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
#5
Bear Likes Jam
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I really like this series! This lovable blended family of ducks and a bear is humorous while simultaneously tackling real-life issues... in this case picky eating. The illustrations are fantastic and the love of a family seeps through every page in a delightful way.

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a great book about picky eating! I love Bear and his personality. You also know he has a pretty great mom for helping him learn to balance out his diet. :)

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.

Babymoon book
#6
Babymoon
Written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

This is a fun book for little families that are expanding or for little ones that are just curious about life with newborn babies. The story is very sweet and loving, with equally fun and sweet illustrations. The story is sure to make anybody ponder on the joys- and forget the struggles- of welcoming newborns into the family.

In a perfect gift for new and expectant parents (and siblings), a gentle story pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family's first quiet days with a newborn. The house is hushed. The lights are low. We're basking in a newborn glow. Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term "babymoon" is often used to refer to a parents' getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding. Paired with warm and winsome illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal, Hayley Barrett's lyrical ode to these tender first days will resonate with new families everywhere.

Go, Pea, Go! book
#7
Go, Pea, Go!
Written and illustrated by Chris Sonnenburg, Joe Moshier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Pea Junior has to go, go, go, go! The end feels so far away, but with his family and friends cheering him on, Pea knows he can make it and go number one! A potty chart, a sheet of stickers, and the lyrics and music notation for the "Go, Pea, Go!" song are included to make an easy, all-in-one, go-to book for parents to help ease the pressure of the race to the Pea Bowl.

Made for Me book
#8
Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush and illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child's first uttered "Dada" to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, "You are the one made just for me," Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together--forever.

Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty book
#9
Goldilocks and the Just Right Potty
Written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

"While most potty books strike readers as too old or too young, here's one that almost everyone can agree is (you guessed it) just right." - Kirkus Reviews Little Goldilocks wants to wear underwear -- big-girl underwear that's not too silly and not too frilly, but just right. But that means she also needs to find the "just right" potty. Will she know when she needs to go? And will she get to the potty in time? Find out in this lighthearted story that will have parents and their little ones feeling ready to tackle toilet training.

Even Firefighters Go to the Potty book
#10
Even Firefighters Go to the Potty
Written by Naomi Wax, Wendy Wax and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Clang! Clang! Clang! The fire truck is pulling out of the station. But wait! Where is the firefighter going? To the potty! Even firefighters go to the potty! Toddlers are uneasy about toilet training. And in most cases, even if they know they have to go, sometimes they are too busy to bother. In this hilarious gate-fold story, each person--from a firefighter on the way to answer a fire alarm to a zoo keeper on the way to feed the polar bears--stops what they are doing to go to the potty. With humor and no pedantics, toddlers learn that everybody uses the potty.

Everyone Poops book
#11
Everyone Poops
Written by Taro Gomi and illustrated by Amanda Mayer Stinchecum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Shows how creatures throughout the animal world--including humans--deal with the products of digestion.

My Little Chick book
#12
My Little Chick
Written by Geraldine Elschner and illustrated by Eve Tharlet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A fresh combination of story and pictures weaves a great deal of information about eggs and chicks into this charming tale Lena liked to sit in her mother's garden and watch the chickens. But something is missing in this happy group of hens . . . A sweet little chick! How fortunate that plump little Alma had just laid an egg. But to Lena's surprise Alma does not seem interested in hatching it. Lena makes a snap decision and attempts to surprise everyone by hatching the chick herself. However, hatching an egg is more difficult than Lena thinks, and the journey from egg to chick is a long one. This is a sweet book about the challenges and joys of being a parent.

No Fits, Nilson! book
#13
No Fits, Nilson!
Written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Nilson and Amelia do everything together. But if one little thing goes wrong, Nilson throws the biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever! Amelia helps Nilson control his gorilla-sized temper by promising him banana ice cream and letting him play with her froggy coin purse. But, sometimes, Amelia needs to be calmed down, too. Inspired by Ohora’s own "negotiations" with his two sons, No Fits, Nilson! is a hilarious preschool pick for kids and parents navigating the treacherous tantrum phase.

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