Last week, I shared books about Mother’s Day and in June, I’ll be sharing books for Father’s Day. However, I think it is important for students to see that families vary greatly in their structure. They need to understand that “family” doesn’t just mean a mom and dad. Students come from all different types of families and they will be so excited to see theirs represented in a read aloud. Here are my favorite picture books about families!
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Picture Books about Families
My Friends and Me by Stephanie Stansbie
My Friends and Me focuses on the differences between families. Jamie has a lot of friends. And all these friends have different kinds of families. Kate has two dads. Olivia has two moms. And Jade has her very own butler! This book demonstrates that families come in all sizes and types.
My Friends and Me will help not only kids who live in non-traditional families see themselves, but also kids to see that there are different kinds of families.
This is How We Do It by Matt LaMothe
This is How We Do It is a nonfiction look into the lives of seven real children in seven very different places: Russia, Uganda, Italy, Peru, Japan, Iran, and India. We learn about their homes, school clothes, lunches and even their dinners (not only what they eat, but when they eat as well).
My only concern with This is How We Do It is that each family is shown with a mom and dad. Compared to the previous book, there is no diversity represented in family structure. It is a neat look at what a family’s day looks like across the world!
Two is Enough by Janna Matthies
Written in rhyme, Two is Enough is a wonderful tribute to single parents. The illustrations show different types of families of two doing everyday things together. There are a variety of combinations of two that could make up a family – a grandmother and child, a mom and child, a dad and child. Two is Enough is a book that many children can connect with.
A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary
A Family is a Family is a Family is another positive look at all the different ways that make a family. When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special. One young child, however, is worried that her family is just too different to explain. As they hear their classmates describe families of all shapes and sizes, the child realizes that their family is special too.
I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada
I Love Saturdays y Domingos is a cute story that integrates two cultures. The little girl in this story visits her Grandma and Grandpa on Saturdays and Abuelito y Abuelita on Domingos (Sundays). She spends time with her European-American grandparents on Saturday and with her Mexican-American grandparents on Sunday. It is a heart warming story that depicts the love and affection the young girl has for her family’s heritage.
Fred Stays with Me! by Nancy Coffelt
Fred Stays with Me! is told from the point of view of a young child whose parents are divorced. Her stays with her parents are very different – bunk bed vs. single bed and pizza vs. peanut butter sandwiches. The one constant, however, is her dog, Fred. The author deals with the subject of divorce in a realistic and honest way.
Fred Stays with Me! is another peek into a non-traditional family structure, but one that is very common for students to experience.
Which of these picture books about families will you read aloud with your class?
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