I've written over 50 articles about children's literature for library, preschool or home settings. I have a BA in English Lit from BYU.
Are you putting together a Mother's Day holiday-themed story hour? The following selections celebrate the bond between mother and child. Some are a bit sappy, others are humorous and silly, but (almost) all of them will make mothers feel appreciated.
I have included one title that is more generally about a special bond between a granddaughter and her grandmother. The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Fournoy is a special favorite of mine. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and on Mother's Day, some grandparents are raising their grandchildren, and they deserve an extra special tip of the hat.
A Chair for My Mother
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 following a devastating fire that destroyed almost everything their family owned.
This book offers up a family full of love and hope for a better future, even though they are struggling with complicated problems, and is highly deserving of its Caldecott Honor Book designation. This is realistic fiction for kindergarten or possibly first grade and up.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama
Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney is one of a series of rhyming books featuring the lovable Llama and his mother. In this story, Llama finds a trip to a big box store oppressive and boring, and finally he has enough and throws a HUGE temper tantrum. His mother calms him down but explains his behavior isn't appropriate.
This is a great story for parents who have children who have ever thrown a temper tantrum in public, as it acknowledges a very difficult but real side of the parent-child relationship.
The Patchwork Quilt
I may have worn The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Fournay a little threadbare by including it in two other topic categories, but this treasure of a book that won the Coretta Scott King Book Award is appropriate in the Mother's Day category, as easily in books about quilts or grandparents. This is a book chiefly about family relationships.
My Mother Is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
My Mother Is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World is a Russian folktale retold by Becky Reyher and Ruth Gannett. First published in 1945, this book was reissued in 1995 by William Morrow & Co Library. A young child is lost and can't find her mother. When people ask her to describe her mother, she can only respond "She is the most beautiful person in the world!" The book is a Caldecott Honor award winner.
Where Is My Mommy?
Where Is My Mommy? by Julie Downing became an instant household favorite the day we brought it home from the library for the first time. My children can't get enough of this book. My son, who is a pre-reader who enjoys reading along with me, especially likes the predictable nature of this easy-to-memorize animal book. Where is My Mommy? ends with the image of a young toddler playing peek-a-boo with his Mommy.
Love You Forever
Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch. This popular book begins with a young mother holding a swaddled newborn baby in her arms, singing the song "I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." This text is repeated page by page as the mother's child grows up, reaching important milestones.
This book offers The Blessing, a positive affirmation of a mother's intense bond to her child, and has enjoyed immense popularity since it was published. I think it borders on being too sappy, but that just makes me a curmudgeon, and so I'm offering it to you here. The cover art image for this book really doesn't do the art in the rest of the book justice. It is much nicer than the image the publisher selected to represent the story.
That's When I'm Happy
Beth Shoshan and Jaqueline East have collaborated on two books that are great shares for Mother's day. The first is That's When I'm Happy. This a beautifully illustrated book features a bear family that would be equally appropriate for Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Baby bear explains that there are times when he is happy, and times when he is sad, but the book focuses on the special things baby bear does with his mommy and daddy, such as counting the stars, reading a special picture book, and snuggling under the covers between mommy and daddy.
The pictures in this book are wonderful and the book oozes with warmth and caring. Another title by these two is simply titled My Mom.
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.
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
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.
© 2011 Carolyn Augustine
Carolyn Augustine (author) from 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 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.