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12 Best Mothers and Mother's Day-Themed Picture Books

12 Childrens Books for Mother's Day

12 Childrens Books for Mother's Day

Mother's Day Storytime: Preschool Book Ideas

Are you putting together a Mother's Day holiday-themed story hour? The following selections celebrate the bond between mother and child. Some are heartwarming; others are humorous and silly, but (almost) all of them will make mothers feel appreciated.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

1. A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams

This book is the first in a series the author calls "The Chair Books," and is about Rosa, her mother, and grandmother saving up for a beautiful new upholstered chair after Rosa's family loses almost everything to a devastating fire.

A Chair for My Mother offers up a family full of love and hope for a better future, even though they are struggling with complicated problems. In a world with so many devastating problems. this books is highly deserving of its Caldecott Honor Book designation, as it paves a way for its readers to follow. This is realistic fiction for kindergarten or possibly first grade and up.

Mama: A World of Mothers and Motherhood by Helene Delforge and Quentin Greban

Mama: A World of Mothers and Motherhood by Helene Delforge and Quentin Greban

2. Mama: a World of Mothers and Motherhood

Mama: A World of Mothers and Motherhood is a gorgeous picture book with poetry on every page. The diverse people represented in the pages of this coffee-table-worthy book represent the universality of loving, caring mothers everywhere. If you're looking for a proper homage to a dearly-loved mother or mother-figure, this is the one to buy. What a beautiful book! It takes my breath away!

Look Up at the Stars by Katie Cotton

Look Up at the Stars by Katie Cotton

3. Look Up at the Stars by Katie Cotton and Miren Asiain Lora

A fantasy about a mother bear and her cub who make a journey to Mount Digger-Doo. The bears believe that if they capture the star, they will have happiness. The bears journey through dangerous jungle and brave stormy seas together, and finally they attain their goal of climbing the peak. But when they arrive at their destination, they realize that they can't have what they wanted. So they journey home, where they discover that they have what they always wanted there.

This is a lovely book with a nice rhyme scheme and a positive message, but the illustrations are what knock this book out of the park. They somehow capture the magic of loving family relationships in a journey through life.

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose and Barbara M. Lavallee

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose and Barbara M. Lavallee

This book about a mother's unconditional love is set in the Arctic.

This book about a mother's unconditional love is set in the Arctic.

4. Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse

Mama Do You Love Me? is a unique book that features an Arctic setting and an imaginative child who explores the boundaries of her mother's love. She repeatedly asks, would you love me if...and then describes scenarios that are accidental, naughty, defiant, and even dangerous. The subtle progression and escalation of misbehavior tautly pushes agains the boundaries of boundless love.

The mother in this story responds patiently, but honestly. If her daughter did many of these things, she would be angry, or frightened, or worried, but she would still love her daughter.

The "would you love me if..." plot line is perhaps an overdone trope for children's books about moms, but it is important for children to feel accepted in their families, and have the space to make mistakes and to act out. This book does it better than most.

The scenes of this book are a truly immersive cultural experience, and the book is filled with vocabulary, imagery, and animals that are unique to the Arctic. The artwork is a beautiful and educational addition to a book about mothers.

Me and Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Me and Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera

5. Me and Mama by Cozbi Cabrera

Me and Mama is a charming and beautifully-illustrated day in the life story about a very young girl and her loving mother, who fills her day with familiar routines like combing hair, eating oatmeal, and playing outside in the rain, and of course, tucking her in bed at night with a kiss.

The details make this book really special, and I love the way the author describes the rain on the window at the beginning of the story. The narration is childlike and adoring, with the little girl's mama as the hero of the story, smiling beatifically at the end of the book. This book is both a Caldecott Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Hero Mom

Hero Mom

6. Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin and Bryan Langdo

This book is a well-deserved paean to women serving in the United States mililtary in many capacities: as medics, mechanics, helicopter pilots, builders, and commanders. I love that this book is from the perspective of the children of these amazing women who are also mothers. Each page is one short sentence, applauding a different child's mother, all serving in one way or other in the United States Armed Services. It is important for children of military families to view their parents in a positive light, because they are often asked to sacrifice family time with their parents. As a former military "brat" myself. this book touched me deeply. But it is simple and relatable enough to present to preschoolers.


I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes

I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes

7. I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes

This beautifully illustrated book features a bear family that would be equally appropriate for Mother's Day or Father's Day. This is a wildly popular picture book for toddlers. With over 68,000 reviews on Amazon, you can't go wrong with this title. The pictures in this book are wonderful and the book oozes with warmth and caring.

Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too? By Eric Carle

Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother, Too? By Eric Carle

8. Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

This classic Eric Carle title simply asks the question, do animals have mothers? The book, geared to a toddler and early-preschool crowd, answers this question with a reassuring yes. The repetition that may drive parents crazy after several readings will be a perfect fit for storytime or preschool.

Just One More Swim by Caroline Pitcher

Just One More Swim by Caroline Pitcher

9. Just One More Swim

Just One More Swim by Caroline Pitcher and Jenny Jones features a mother polar bear and her two playful cubs who learn to swim following their mother's encouragement. The playful cubs steal the show in this delightful book filled with icy play that also reminds us children learn by following their parents' examples.

What Moms Can't Do by Douglas Wood and Doug Cushman

What Moms Can't Do by Douglas Wood and Doug Cushman

10. What Moms Can't Do

What Moms Can't Do by Douglas Wood and Doug Cushman is a popular selection for Mother's Day and a good read-aloud choice that offers a humorous look at all of the things a mother can't do (nod, nod, wink, wink), without the help of her sometimes—ok, usually—imperfect child.

Just for You by Mercer Mayer

Just for You by Mercer Mayer

11. Just for You by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is the star of Mercer Mayer's Just for You. Little Critter's heart is in the right place as he attempts to help is mother throughout the day, but somehow, he just keeps getting in his own way. Parents may notice that it is the first mess that gets the ball rolling, but after that, every mess that follows is caused by the previous fiasco. Preschoolers probably won't pick up on this nuance, but it doesn't make the book any less cute. Little Critter is the cutest I don't know what in children's literature!

Grumpy Maxine wants a new mother.

Grumpy Maxine wants a new mother.

The Best Mother by C.M. Surrisi and Diane Goode

The Best Mother by C.M. Surrisi and Diane Goode

12. The Best Mother by C.M. Surrisi

Little Maxine is very grumpy about her mother's rules, so she decides to trade her in like a used car! Only her strategy for finding a new mother might need a little work. She asks her mother to take her to the park, the toy store, and then the zoo, to find a new mother. Her mother reluctantly agrees to go along with the scheme, and follows Maxine at a close distance as she walks up to complete strangers, interviewing them for the job!

This story is funny and a refreshing plot twist to the "you're the perfect mother for me," trope. The pictures make this book shine with effervescent humor. Thank goodness Maxine changes her mind at the end of the story. I really liked the Parisian setting and the expression of the dogs in the toy store.

© 2011 Carolyn Augustine

Comments

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Tractor Town, Iowa on May 03, 2018:

Nicole, A Chair For My Mother is the first in a series by Vera Williams. I hope you enjoy them. It is a beautiful tribute to mothers who work very hard to provide for their children in difficult circumstances.

Nicole K on May 03, 2018:

The chair books look familiar. I think I may have read them as a child. Thanks for the reminder. I'll have to introduce them to my sons :)

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Tractor Town, Iowa on October 19, 2011:

I love all the Chair Books too. They teach some really important life lessons: setting goals, sacrificing what you want in the moment to have something better in the end, and working for what you want. Then there's the message of putting family first, honoring our mothers, and helping those who are struggling. What's not to love! Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Random!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 18, 2011:

I love A Chair For My Mother and Love You Forever! The other books look really sweet, too. Thanks for another great book collection.