5 Children’s Books About All Kinds of Families


As my child reaches the age of “why” and “how” and all the other questions about everything he sees, we are having the most interesting conversations. His perception is surprising at times, and I’m really loving these opportunities to chat with him and hear how his sweet, curious brain interprets what he sees and experiences.

Our family tree, like most families, has a lot of branches and steps. My mom is remarried so my child has three grandparents on that side. I have two bonus daughters. My boy child is convinced that their mother, my husband’s ex-wife, is also his sister.

We see and encounter all kinds of families with moms and dads or just moms or just dads or just one parent, and he asks questions. He has experienced the word “family” within the context of his own, so he thinks family means what he has–a mommy, a daddy, and a handful of sisters ranging in age from 15 to 45, who all share a similar skin tone.

The librarian in me turns to books to give us a chance see and to talk about families that are different from ours. There is no right way to be a family, and I love finding representations of families of all kinds in the books we read. He is still young, so our conversations are not about politics, they are about love. And what I hope is that my child recognizes family as a word that means acceptance, love, care, and home, no matter how colorful or how branchy the tree. 

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima: This sweet picture book is about a child with a big imagination and love for costumes. It isn’t about her having two dads, but we do meet them too.

The Family Book by Todd Parr: This one is about families. All kinds of families. Todd Parr has several books with bright illustrations and simple, often funny, text, perfect for even very young children. 

One Family by George Shannon: I love this one. It is a counting book, and you can count on seeing families of all kinds in this really beautiful glimpse into several homes and what “one family” means in each.

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers: Babies, babies, everywhere doing baby things while their parents do parent things, like all families everywhere.

Littles and How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio: Babies don’t keep. A sweet, relatable story for any family about watching our babies grow up.

There are many wonderful books about families, and these five are a great start for a curious child. You can use the illustrations to talk to your child in as little or as much detail as what feels right for you and your family.

My boy child has never heard the word “stepsister,” and although it caught me off guard at first, I’m totally fine that he views their mom as another sister to play with and to show him love. He’s lucky to have that.

And there may be a time when he wants a bit more info about the logistics, but ultimately, we’re just one family, full of love.

What books would you add to the list?

Previous articleInspire the Holiday Spirit in Your Child
Next articleRichland Library Edgewood Officially Opens
Sarah grew up in Lancaster, SC but has called Columbia home for nearly 10 years since her undergrad days at Presbyterian College. Columbia holds a special place in her heart, as it’s where she got her first “grown up” job, obtained her Masters of Library and Information Science degree from USC, and met her husband, Todd. She became a mother for the first time three years ago to Todd’s two sweet daughters, and loves watching them grow into unique and interesting young ladies (12 & 14) who inspire her daily. She is also experiencing life with an infant for the first time with their newest family member, a silly, happy 6-month-old baby boy. Sarah is a full time children’s librarian, and loves that her passion and her career have aligned to form dreamy days of sharing her love of literacy and learning with children and families. Sarah enjoys practicing her cake decorating skills, reading, brunch, ridiculously long showers (a luxury now with an infant), working out, good coffee and perfecting the art of crockpot cooking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here