Eight Picture Books That Celebrate the Diversity of Motherhood

These new picture book titles illustrate and celebrate all kinds of moms.

These titles that celebrate moms illustrate a diversity of motherhood. There is no one way to be a mom.


Bunting, Eve. Hello, Baby! I’m Your Mom. illus. by Jui Ishida. 32p. Sleeping Bear. Mar. 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534111462.
Baby-Toddler –This bright, engaging book highlighting a mother’s love will keep a baby’s and a toddler’s attention. Although it begins and ends with a human mother and baby, Bunting has also written humorous rhyming verse about animal baby and mama pairs: “My darling little porcupine, your quills are soft, but they’ll be fine. They’ll soon be sharp, and that’s okay. We’ll hug each other anyway.” Ishida’s soft, cuddly images will warm mama and baby readers alike, while Bunting’s soothing rhymes are sure to be a favorite refrain before bed. Back matter includes photographs and facts about each animal featured in the ­story. VERDICT Recommended for purchase.

Delforge, Hélène. Mama: A World of Mothers and Motherhood. illus. by Quentin Gréban. 50p. Floris. Apr. 2022. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781782507710.
Gr 3 Up –A gorgeous, moving look at motherhood from different cultures and eras. Each of Gréban’s breathtaking pencil and watercolor illustrations of a mother and child is paired with a free form poem by Delforge imagining the experience and thoughts of that mother. A wonderfully diverse portrayal of motherhood is presented, including a mother who’s been left behind by a child’s father, a mother who has lost their child, mothers who are frustrated with unwanted advice, and mothers who have mixed feelings about motherhood. An array of cultural dress and styles are also presented in this stunning book. However, it’s actually more of an adult book. The poems will mostly go over children’s heads; the illustrations are beautiful, but likely more appealing to parents, particularly new moms. VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries serving new parents.

Ellis, Sarah Kate & Kristen Ellis-Henderson. All Moms. illus. by Max Rambaldi. 32p. little bee. Mar. 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499812633.
Toddler-PreS –A much-needed book about moms and families of all kinds, featuring a refreshing array of skin, hair color, and gender revealed in illustrations and text such as, “Janie’s two dads give hugs just like moms.” Ellis and Ellis-Henderson describe the variety of things moms can be and do, such as fly planes, march in parades, and give kisses, but come back to the comforting reminder that all moms love and support their children. Rambaldi’s big, busy illustrations will engage readers with friendly, familiar scenes of everyday life. VERDICT This delightful book about diverse families is recommended for purchase.

Fox Starr, Rebecca. Mommy Ever After. illus. by Sara Ugolotti. 32p. Familius. Mar. 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781641704519.
PreS-K –This fanciful, feel-good story follows a mother-daughter pair, who are white, as the daughter grows from baby to little girl and faces new experiences with a mixture of wonder and fear. From her first time seeing the ocean to a thunderstorm to the first day of school, her mother offers the same comforting refrain: “Because we are not always going to feel happy, but I am always going to be your mommy.” Ugolotti’s pretty, pastel artwork featuring flowers and stars, mermaids and ice cream, complements the fairy-tale inspired prose. VERDICT This sweet uplifting story is an ideal gift, sure to be a treasured reread.

Galkina, Anastasia. Mommy’s Love. illus. by Ekaterina Ladatko. 20p. ­Familius. Mar. 2022. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781641706650.
Toddler-PreS–With simple rhyming sentences and bright happy illustrations, this book lends itself to repeated readings in the comfort of a caregiver’s lap. A warm, blue-haired mom supports and loves her children no matter how they behave or struggle or feel: “If you’re strong or if you’re not, you’re the dearest one she’s got.” All characters have brown skin. Unlike many other mother-centric books, this story shows a mother of three unique children, all of whom have a turn to bond with their Mom; she rides scooters with her son and comforts one of her daughters who gets in a fight with other children over toys. The last spread shows several family photos throughout the years, with Mom in them all. VERDICT Recommended for purchase in all public libraries where board books are popular.

Heald, Robin. Whistling for Angela. illus. by Peggy Collins. 40p. Pajama. May 2022. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772782455.
PreS-Gr 2 –A little boy prepares to meet his newly adopted baby sister Angela by learning how to whistle for her. Daniel loves songbirds, but has been struggling to learn how to whistle. When he arrives at the adoption center with his family, his new sister’s birth mom shows him just what to do. This sweet, informative story sheds light on a particular kind of adoption experience. Level appropriate text and bright, welcoming illustrations will engage young readers who will relate to Daniel’s excitement and curiosity. VERDICT A first purchase for ­libraries where books about adoption are in demand.

Jin, Cindy. Super Mom. illus. by Jenin ­Mohammed. 18p. Little Simon. Apr. 2022. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781665913331.
Toddler-PreS –A mom is held up to superhero standards in this cute but lofty story about how many tasks moms juggle, while never failing to make a kid feel safe and loved. “She’s always super busy doing one million things at once—but when I need her, without a doubt she stops everything at once.” Comic book–style panels depict moms of diverse shapes and skin colors dressed in superhero outfits while making dinner, cleaning, changing tires, and getting their kids to the school bus. Rhyming text makes this a fun read aloud and a sweet homage to moms everywhere. ­VERDICT A great ­addition to board book collections. Recommended for purchase.

Marino, Gianna. Waiting for Mama. illus. by Gianna Marino. 40p. Viking. Mar. 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780425290705.
Toddler-PreS –Marino’s gorgeous artwork is on full display in this sweet book narrated by a baby emperor penguin still inside its shell for the majority of the story. Papa Penguin keeps the egg warm and safe between his belly and his toes, while Mama Penguin goes off to hunt for food. Papa and Baby await Mama’s return as cold winds blow. Marino’s expressive penguin faces and Antarctic landscapes in blue, pink, orange, yellow, and white pair perfectly with the brief, well-balanced prose, making this perfect for repeated readings, one-on-one and during story time. Back matter includes further information. VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries.

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