These diverse picture books about mothers celebrate their unconditional love. They are an excellent way for your students to discuss different types of families. You will find mothers from different cultures, who wear different clothes, are single mothers, get frustrated with their children and struggle economically.
Why Read Picture Books about Mothers?
Explore a wonderful collection of diverse books about mothers, mums, mommies, step-mums, mammas, majis, okaasans, muters, etc. They represent a variety of cultures and backgrounds, and they will inspire discussion and reflection in your classroom.
Reading children’s books about mothers illustrates all the different ways mothers (of all kinds) are important. For example:
- Development of their children both emotionally and mentally.
- Providing a sense of security and love for their children is essential for their healthy development.
- Playing a critical role in shaping their personalities and character.
- Helping their children learn how to navigate the world and develop social skills.
- Providing guidance, support, and wisdom.
These picture books about mothers all have one thing in common; they celebrate their contribution to our lives and their unconditional love for their children. They are a great choice of books for mother’s day.
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Picture Books about Mothers
Again! by Emily Gravett
A dragon wants his bedtime story again and again. When his mother falls asleep during the fourth reading, the dragon cannot control his emotions and burns a hole through the back of the book!
Again! promotes manners, self-management and emotions.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Grace's love of reading and role-play motivates her to audition for the role of Peter Pan in the school play. The other children tell her she can't play a ‘boy's' part. Her mama and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants, helping her find the confidence to audition and win the role of Peter Pan.
Amazing Grace promotes determination, self-esteem, enthusiasm, tolerance, and gender roles.
The Big Big Sea by Martin Waddell
Watch the bond between a mother and her daughter as they walk on the beach under the moonlight. The girl falls asleep in her mother’s arms after returning home.
A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Rosa, her mother and her grandmother, are devastated when their home is destroyed by fire. The community helps them by donating items they will need.
Promotes community, generosity, responsible decision-making and perseverance.
Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse
Tess looks up, pleading to the sky for rain. The city has an endless heatwave with sticky sidewalks, plants dying, and cats panting. As the grey clouds roll in, Tess joins her best friend in their bathing suits to dance in the refreshing rain.
Deep In The Sahara by Kelly Cunnane
In Mauritania, young Lalla wishes to wear a malafa like her mother and older sister. In the Muslim tradition, women wear colourful material over their heads and clothes. When Lalla learns a malafa is beautiful and honours her faith, her mother wraps one around her body.
Promotes discussion on cultural traditions, self-awareness, and identity.
Eyes That Kiss in the Corner by Joanna Ho
A young Asian girl notices her eyes kiss in the corners, just like her mother, grandmother and little sister. She feels empowered by this connection to her family and is filled with love and appreciation for her identity and beauty.
Promotes self-affirmation, identity, empowerment, self-esteem, intergenerational relationships and making connections.
Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox
This is the first of two books about mothers by Mem Fox. Harriet has a series of naughty mishaps that tests her mother’s patience. But Harriet and her mum know they love each other no matter what.
Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild! promotes forgiveness, self-management and manners.
Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood
A loving mother saves her seven children (names after the days of the week) from an evil witch. The witch, Heckedy Peg, turns the children into food and takes them to her home, a cave. The mother tricks the witch into giving her the children back.
Heckedy Peg promotes discussions on caring, disobedience, creative thinking, and prediction.
Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho
A Caldecott Honor book from Thailand. A mother with her sleeping baby implores the animals to be quiet in repeated phrases. It is all in vain, as by the end of the book, we discover the baby is awake.
It's a No-Money Day by Kate Milner
Without money or food in the cupboard, a mother is forced to visit a food bank. Told from her child's perspective, we see the shame of the mother but the joy the daughter gets from the kindness of others.
It's a No-Money Day promotes themes of well-being, perspectives, and poverty.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
A mother makes the unimaginable decision to escape the war with her two children. They travel by car, truck, foot and boat for their gruelling journey to safety.
Reinforces themes of conflict, immigration, compassion, independence and courage.
Koala Lou by Mem Fox
This is the second of two books about mothers by Mem Fox. Koala Lou worries when her busy mother forgets to tell her how much she loves her. She sets out to win the Bush Olympics to win back her mother's love. She doesn't win but realises she has never lost her mother's love.
Love is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer
Mari prepares for the Women’s March in New York City in 2017 with her mother. As she makes her sign, she asks whether the world will hear their message. Her mama responds, “They’ll hear because love is powerful.”
Promotes equality, curiosity, tolerance and fighting for change.
The Magic Doll: A Children's Book Inspired by African Art by Adrienne Yabouza
A young African girl recalls the special way she came to be born and the myth of Akua'ba, the Ashanti Doll. The dolls are carved out of wood and carried on the backs of women hoping to become pregnant. The girl's mother treats the doll like a baby, and soon her belly grows.
Read The Magic Doll to promote discussions on love, mothers and daughters, point of view, and first-person narration.
Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijan
A young girl longs to wear one of her mother's saris, but she is too young to wear the complicated outfit. Her mother realises how important it is for her, so she wraps her in a blue sari, and the girl is thrilled to be just like her mother.
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña
Milo watches people from a train and sketches the lives he imagines they live. Nervous and excited, he visits his mother in prison, showing her sketches of their family eating ice cream outside their home.
Use in the classroom to discuss bias, judgement, observation, curiosity, and visualising.
Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb
Realising her mother isn’t coming back, a girl experiences a range of emotions, from being scared, angry, guilty and lonely. The people in her life show her how special she was to her mommy and how her mommy will always be special to her. Reinforces themes of acceptance, bereavement and emotions.
Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
This is the first of two books about mothers by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. A young girl loves her mother’s khimar. She watches as her mother wraps beautiful scarves around her head before she leaves the house. When she dresses up in her mother’s headscarves, she feels her mother's love.
A Mother is a House by Aurore Petit
Aurore Petit describes the different roles of a mother seen through the point of view of their child. A Mother is a House, translated from French, promotes discussions on mothers, perspectives, and a sense of belonging.
No David! by David Shannon
David is a boy who breaks the rules, flooding the bath, jumping on the bed, and breaking a vase. His mum repeatedly says “No!” until David apologises, and he gets his mother's forgiveness.
Promotes discussions on responsible decision-making, manners, love and forgiveness.
Pea Pod Lullaby by Glenda Millard
Fleeing from danger, a mother, her children and a dog escape on a boat. They are joined by a polar bear floating on an iceberg. They courageously travel into the unknown, hoping to find a new home.
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
When caring for an injured bird, a young boy learns to accept and embrace his baby sister’s disability. A story of love, acceptance and disappointment.
Saturday by Oge Mora
Ava waits for the weekend to arrive all week as Saturday means special mother and daughter time. She is disappointed when things don’t quite go as planned, but she learns that things will work out.
Saturday promotes themes of adaptability, making connections, and resilience.
See You Soon by Mariame Kaba
Read about the impact on a child when her mother is incarcerated. Queenie lives with her Grandma Louise, and they ride the bus to visit mama in the county jail. She receives letters from her mother and savours every word until their next visit.
Promotes discussions on love, hope, self-management and anxiety.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
Sulwe’s skin is darker than everyone in her family and at school. She wants to lighten her skin, the colour of midnight, so she is no longer teased. Her mama empowers Sulwe by telling her a story that helps her love and accepts who she is and dismisses the negative opinions of others.
Superhero Mom by Timothy Knapman
Like many superhero moms, this mom doesn't wear a cape, but she does have superpowers all of her own. Promotes appreciation, love and commitment.
Ten Cents a Pound by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
A daughter talks with her mother about her desire to go to school, discover the world, and how she loves her family and community. Her mother encourages her to take the brave step of journeying into the unknown to improve her opportunities in life.
Vanishing Colors by Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen
A young girl and her mother shelter in a bombed-out building of a war-torn city. As her mother sleeps, a bird from her mother’s stories visits the girl. The bird prompts the girl to remember her life's colours, sights and sounds before the war. In the morning, the girl and her mother set out with hope and courage for a new life.
Vanishing Colors, translated from Norwegian, reinforces immigration, war, courage and hope.
You're Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar
In a frozen landscape, two bear cubs are born. They express curiosity about what lies beyond their den, deep underground. Mama Bear teaches them about the land of snow and the ocean full of ice. She whispers to the cubs that they will always be snug with her.
Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
This is the second of two books about mothers by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. A young girl leaves school frustrated after a day of her classmates and teacher mispronouncing her name. On their walk home, she tells her mother she doesn’t want to go back, who in turn tells her daughter, “your name is a song.” She returns to school empowered and shares what she has learned.
Promotes themes of identity, respect, individuality, empowerment, love, confidence, and self-esteem.
What do you think about these books about mothers? Do you read any special picture books for mothers day? Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments!