One of my favourite things to do with my kids is to read together. Now that they’re both old enough to read independently, we all take turns choosing a book, snuggling up, and reading to one another. Since this week is Family Literacy Week in BC, and with Family Day coming up next month, now is a perfect time to pick out some books that celebrate the strength and diversity of families.
Our friends at Raincoast Books helped us put together this list of suggested books perfect for reading together. See if anything here catches your eye and scroll all the way down for a book giveaway!
Click on any book cover to see it on Amazon.
Ivy & Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows
Best friends Ivy and Bean are back in their eleventh book! As an only child, Ivy is worried she might be spoiled, but what can she do? As usual, Bean has plenty of ideas. The answer of course is to acquire a sibling, but should she aim for an older sister? A baby sister? Maybe a twin?
This early chapter book celebrates the ups and downs of friendship and siblinghood and recognizes the Very Important People in your life – your family! (And possibly a gorilla too.) (6-9 years)
Up the Mountain Path by Marianne Dubuc
Every Sunday, old Mrs. Badger walks the path from her garden up to Sugarloaf Peak, greeting and helping her friends along the way. One Sunday, she meets Lulu, a small cat curious about what’s at the top of the mountain. Mrs. Badger takes Lulu under her wing, teaching the young cat everything she needs to know about the trail and introducing her to new animal friends along the way. Eventually Mrs. Badger is too tired to climb the mountain anymore, and the mantle is passed down to Lulu.
This warm, loving story doesn’t lose anything in its translation from the original French, and the quiet watercolour illustrations are truly delightful. We love its lessons about love, generosity, and the reminder that sometimes you can choose your family. (3-7 years)
Mary Poppins (Illustrated Gift Edition) by P.L. Travers
With a gust of wind, Mary Poppins enters the lives of the Banks family, and from then on things are never the same! She slides up bannisters, pulls all manners of wonders from her carpet bag, and banishes fear or sadness with a no-nonsense “spit-spot.” Between tea parties on the ceiling, hanging stars in the sky, and a visit to the zoo in the middle of the night, it’s one adventure after the next with Mary.
At its heart, Mary Poppins is all about family. After all, Mary may bring the magic, but the true happy ending happens when the Banks family comes together and learn to appreciate spending time together.
This beautifully illustrated volume is decorated with full-colour illustrated endpapers, silver embossing, and a cutout on the front cover. It’s just the right size to sit with a little one in your lap and read this classic story together. (7-10 years)
The Family Book by Todd Parr
The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way. (2-4 years)
A Dozen Cousins by Lori Haskins Houran
What’s life like for one little girl with TWELVE male cousins? Not easy! “They read her secret diary. They used up all her paint. They put a lizard in her hat to see if she would faint.” Loaded with infectious humor, this rollicking, rhyming picture book features a happy heroine who adores her big, boisterous boy family. (3-6 years)
Now That I’m Here by Aaron Meshon
Before he was born, Mom and Dad dreamed of their new baby. Back then life was boring. All they did on weekends was sleep in; have quiet, peaceful (dull) breakfasts; and read lots of (boring) baby books. But now, life is an adventure. Their new child makes for an excellent alarm clock, knows that sofa cushions are better used in a pillow fort, and shows how a detour through the park can make the morning commute magical. Best of all, now the whole family reads fun books…together. (3-6 years)
Two Moms and a Menagerie by Carolyn Robertson
Many families are different, this one has two moms. They have plenty of space and plenty of love, but will the moms and their children be able to manage their ever expanding animal family? (3-6 years)
You Belong Here by M.H. Clark
The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals, everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. (3-6 years)
Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang
No matter your size, shape, or pedigree — if you love each other, you are a family! Moms, dads, sisters, brothers — and even Great Aunt Sue — appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of nontraditional families! Silly animals are cleverly depicted in framed portraits, and offer a warm celebration of family love. (3-7 years)
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? It’s not that she doesn’t have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn’t have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family. (4-8 years)
The Story I’ll Tell by Nancy Tupper Ling
A young child asks his mother to tell the story of where he came from. Did he come from a land far away in a hot air balloon? Or maybe it was a lark and not a stork that brought him to his mother. Or perhaps he was rescued from a dragon! Each lyrical and fantastic tale contains a small kernel of truth that pieces together the baby’s journey across a wide ocean into his new mother’s arms. A gentle and moving story of adoption and parental love that is sure to touch the hearts of readers everywhere, no matter how they came to be a family. (4-7 years)
That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
That shimmering star? That’s me winking at you.
That drifting cloud? That’s me thinking of you.
This lovely book reassures kids just starting to exert their independence that no matter where they go, they will always find reminders of their parents’ love. (3-7 years)
Life with My Family by Renee Hooker & Karl Jones
When a young girl gets frustrated with her chaotic life at home, she imagines what things would be like if her family were animals instead. Would life be better as a pod of pelicans, a pride of lions, or a herd of buffalo? Or is it ultimately a family of humans that she needs? In this beautifully illustrated book, young readers learn the names for groups of animals through a sweet, whimsical narrative that focuses on the importance of family. (3-7 years)
Me and My Family Tree by Joan Sweeney
In Me and My Family Tree, a young girl uses simple language, her own childlike drawings, and diagrams to explain how the members of her family are related to each other and to her. Clear, colorful, detailed artwork and a fill-in family tree in the back help make the parts of the family — from siblings to grandparents to cousins — understandable to very young readers. (4-7 years)
A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary
When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways, but the same in the one way that matters most of all.
One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of step siblings, and another has a new baby. As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special. (4-8 years)
Win Mary Poppins and Up the Mountain Path
One of my readers will win these two books from our Family Day reading list: Mary Poppins and Up the Mountain Path. Enter to win in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
Click here to check out my other open giveaways and be sure to like me on Facebook!