Celebrate (All) Families! 10 Love-Filled Books About Families of Every Background

Photo by Jennifer Brister / Stocksy United / 1372037
Photo by Jennifer Brister / Stocksy United

By Rachel Ward

There’s nothing more important in a young child’s life than family, and nowadays, no one family looks alike—some families have stepparents, or two moms, or just one parent. But in the world of children’s books, most family structures are still pretty traditional (you know, one mom, one dad, one house). Luckily, there’s an increasing number of sweet and supportive children’s books out there starring families of every ilk. Check out our top finds, featuring all kinds of family structures with one thing in common: an abundance of love!

Family Book cover
Copyright © 2001 by Todd Parr. Used by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

1. The Family Book by Todd Parr

Age group: Toddlers

The Family Book’s friendly, colorful illustrations highlight all kinds of different families—from two moms and two dads to a single parent and a family with an adopted child—while emphasizing the things they all have in common.

Two Homes cover
Text copyright © 2001 by Claire Masurel. Illustrations copyright © 2001 by Kady MacDonald Denton. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

2. Two Homes by Claire Masurel

Age group: Preschool

Four-year-old Alex’s parents have split up, but rather than get sad, he’s looking at the upside. He has two of everything now (two houses, two favorite chairs, two toothbrushes), and he knows that no matter which parent he’s with, they both still love him and he loves them, too!

Sometimes Its Grandmas and Grandpas cover
Sometimes It's Grandmas and Grandpas: Not Mommies and Daddies by Gale Byrne. Illustrated by Mary Haverfield. Used by permission of Abbeville Press. All rights reserved.

3. Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas: Not Mommies and Daddies by Gayle Byrne

Age group: Toddler/Preschool                                                                      

Raised by her grandparents, a little girl wonders why she doesn’t have a mommy or daddy like she sees in all her picture books. In the end, she realizes all that matters is that she and her grandparents share plenty of good moments together filled with happiness and joy.

Heather Has Two Mommies cover
Text copyright © 1989, 2000, 2009, 2015 by Leslea Newman. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Laura Cornell. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

4. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman

Age group: Preschool

When Heather goes to school and her class talks about families, she wonders if she’s the only one who has two mommies and no daddy. When everyone draws pictures of their families, she sees that all families are different and that’s okay—the important thing is that they all love each other!  

I Have a Stepmom cover
Text copyright © 2015 by Colleen LeMaire. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Marina Saumell. Used by permission of Colleen LeMaire.

5. I Have a Stepmom by Colleen LeMaire

Age group: Toddler/Preschool

Stepparents tend to get a bad rap, but this book is all about setting the record straight. LeMaire’s story depicts blended families in a positive light, showing how stepparents can bring joy and happiness to their new family—all without reducing any other family member’s role.

Night I was Born cover
TELL ME AGAIN ABOUT THE NIGHT I WAS BORN. Text copyright © 1996 by Jamie Lee Curtis. Illustrations copyright © 1996 by Laura Cornell. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

6. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis

Age group: Preschool

In the middle of the night, the telephone rings, triggering a long journey by two adoptive parents to meet their new baby girl. As she grows up, their daughter loves to hear the adventure story of her birth—and the story of their family in the making is charmingly retold here.

Two Is Enough cover
Text copyright © 2015 by Janna Matthies. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Merrilee Liddard. Used by permission of Running Press Kids, a member of Perseus Books. All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions.

7. Two Is Enough by Janna Matthies

Age group: Toddler/Preschool

Kids of single parents may feel like they’re missing out, but this story shows them that there are plenty of fun things to do when there’s only two people in your family—from snowball fights and blowing dandelions to grabbing ice cream and playing cards!

White Swan Express cover
Text copyright © 2002 by Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki. Illustrations copyright © 2002 by Meilo So. Used by permission of Endicott and Hugh Books. All rights reserved.

8. The White Swan Express by Jean Davies Okimoto

Age group: Preschool

This story follows four different types of families as they all adopt orphans from China. With its focus on non-traditional family structures and the adoption process, this book is great for introducing children to several different types of families!

A Tale of Two Daddies cover
Copyright © 2010 by Vanita Oelschlager. Used by permission of VanitaBooks, LLC.

9. A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager

Age group: Preschool

In a playground conversation, a little girl talks about her two dads and their roles in her life. One dad braids her hair and makes her breakfast, while her other dad coaches her soccer team and fixes her knee when she falls—but they both give her plenty of hugs, encouragement, and support.

Whos in a Family cover
Who's in a Family? by Robert Skutch. Illustrated by Laura Nienhaus. Used by permission of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

10. Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch

Age group: Preschool

Large families, small families, two moms, one dad, and grandparents, too—this book’s broad and inclusive illustrations cover families across the spectrum to encourage children to celebrate diversity and the things that make their own family unique!

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