15 Fabulous Picture Books about Family

I’ve got fifteen fabulous picture books about families to share with you. As the author of the Children’s Guide to the National Book Festival for several years, I have spent countless hours reading the best books for children available. I love helping families and teachers connect with great books.

This list share 15 fabulous books about families that I think you’ll love.

Picture books about families increase children’s sense of belonging and security. Because families are a child’s first source of love and support (or should be), seeing families reflected in stories can grow a child’s understanding of their own place in their family.

I chose a variety of family situations and family dynamics for this list. You’ll find different kinds of families (even animal families) and different settings (Ireland!). The stories explore grandparent relationships, overcoming challenges, what home means, and more.

They’re not in any order (and one of my favorites is near the bottom of the list!), so browse the list to see what catches your eye.

Two notes: Publishers send me books, so I received these all from their publishers. The reviews are my own and uninfluenced by that. Also, the links to Amazon are affiliate links. All Amazon affiliate income is donated to classroom teachers.


Picture Books about Families

Tell Me a Lion Story

by Kara Kramer

MadLibs® meets read aloud in this delightful book about a girl asking her father to tell her a story. She’s not completely satisfied with his storytelling, so she offers helpful hints.

This leads her father to invite her to tell the story with him.

What’s clever is that that book becomes a “choose your own story” with fill-in-the-blanks children can fill in with their own ideas.

I love that this makes the book new and fresh with every reading.

Find it on Amazon. (affiliate link)

Together with You

by Patricia Toht, Illustrated by Jarvis

I could have easily added this to an article about picture books about seasons. This sweet story shares how a young boy and his grandmother experience the joy of every season together.

It’s told from the boy’s perspective (“I fasten the snaps…”), and the accompanying illustrations are truly lovely.

I may have had a little tear in my eye at the end (no shame).

Bonus props for a mixed-race family.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Poppy’s House

by Karla Courtney, Illustrated by Madeline Kloepper

Set in Newfoundland, this is the story of a little girl’s visits to her grandfather’s house on a small island.

It perfectly captures the feel of the island, and it reminded me a little bit of Heidi.

The illustrations are so good, and can be looked at for a long time – full of texture and color and detail.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

A Way to the Stars

by David Almond, Illustrated by Gill Smith

There’s so much to love in this story about a dad who tries (and tries and tries again) to help his son’s dream of finding a way to stars come true.

This is a “if at first you don’t succeed” tale, and I love the can-do attitudes.

There are so many wonderful lessons here, but also a beautiful story of a beautiful relationship. The layout and illustrations are fabulous.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree

by Tanya Rosie, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink

Reminiscent of Blueberries for Sal, this tells the story of a little girl and her mum who set off on their yearly trip to “their” mulberry tree. They pick the fruit to make a delicious pie, but the story takes on depth because of their sweet relationship.

I loved how much it took to make the pie, which, of course, makes it even sweeter!

Note for teachers: Great onomatopoiea and prepositions, too.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Granny and Bean

by Karen Hesse, Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

To me, this book’s power lies in the fact that the day at the beach shared by this grandmother and child is not perfect.

The weather isn’t great. They’re cold.

But they enjoy it anyway.

Told by Newbery-winning author Karen Hesse, it’s a wonderful story, and the illustrations are excellent and evocative.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Time for Bed, Old House

by Janet Costa Bates, Illustrated by AG Ford

Isaac is sleeping over at his Grandpop’s house for the first time, and that can be a little scary. But Grandpop knows that if Isaac’s a little hesitant to go to bed, the house needs to be tucked in, and they can do it together.

Such a sweet story! I loved the onomatopoiea (You’ll hear me mention that whenever I find it!) and the gentle message.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Grandpa is Here!

by Tanya Rosie, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink

This is another grandparent visiting trope story. I’m a sucker for these because I’m such a believer in the power of the grandparent/grandchild relationship.

In this one, a Persian grandfather comes to visit, and the language barrier is no barrier to their love. This makes it a nice cultural read as well.

It’s illustrated by Chuck Groenink, whose work I also loved in Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

I’ll Go and Come Back

by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated by Sara Palacios

This is a perfect pairing for Grandpa is Here. In this story, a young girl flies to India to visit her grandmother.

She is sad when it’s time to say goodbye, but then she remembers that in Tamil, goodbye (poitu varen) means “I’ll go and come back.”

The grandmother then travels to them for a visit, and it’s a great cultural comparison of food and lifestyle.

The illustrations have a charming vintage feel. The book is great on its own merit as a story, but the cultural aspect makes it even more valuable.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Well Done, Mommy Penguin

Written and Illustrated by Chris Haughton

I absolutely adore this book about a daddy and baby penguin who watch in admiration as mommy penguin goes hunting for food.

Perfect for younger readers as a read-aloud because of the repetition and simple story, it’s also perfect for teachers who want to teach plot arc (it’s got a fabulous conflict and climax).

He also wrote Don’t Worry, Little Crab, another favorite of mine.

Find it on Amazon here (affiliate link).

Mommy Time

by Monique James-Duncan, Illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Looking for a book for the younger crowd? This one hits a sweet spot between board books and more complicated picture books.

A toddler tells the story of the day in “times” – play time, story time, change stinky diaper time, etc.

I love the insight into a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom (which I used to be). I also love, love, love the representation of an African-American family.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Home is Where the Heart Is (board book)

Written and Illustrated by Emma Dodd

I know I said “picture books,” but this board book is so sweet I had to include it in this list. It’s about what home is (“Home is where I can be me and where you can be you.”).

I love the illustrations (I mean, it’s Emma Dodd), but it’s the message that is so powerful. It shows all the different roles the idea of home plays in our lives.

Perfect baby shower board book!

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Just the Way You Are

Written and Illustrated by Emma Dodd

This is another Emma Dodd book, but this one is not a board book (although it is available in that format, too). It’s a short, super sweet picture book about a mommy tiger explaining to her baby tiger how much the baby tiger is loved.

This is another good bridge book for toddlers and preschoolers.

The message of unconditional love (“There is not a thing about you that I would ever change”) is incredibly powerful.

Another great baby shower gift book, too.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

A Bed of Stars

Written and Illustrated by Jessica Love

Can a book with the line, “We have an old truck named “Darlin'” ever not be amazing?

This book is a 10 out of 10 for me for so many reasons. First, it’s a great book about conquering everyday fears that beset us. Second, it’s a great father-child story. Third, it’s got some fabulous information about the desert. Fourth, it’s beautifully illustrated. Fifth, the end has a delightful surprise. Sixth, the message is powerful on multiple levels.

Seriously, this is a must-have in any home or classroom library.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

The Fog Catcher’s Daughter

by Marianne McShane, Illustrated by Alan Marks

Apparently, I’m a sucker for Irish authors because Well Done, Mommy Penguin is written by an Irish author, too.

This book is VERY Irish! It’s the story of a little girl whose father is a fog catcher. They live together in a sweet cottage (although if you’re like me, it’s Annie’s shop that caught your attention!).

There’s lots of fairy magic and bravery in the face of trial. There are lovely illustrations and a compelling story.

It’s not a St. Patrick’s Day story, but it’s a good fit for that. Also, it’s a great read-aloud.

This is a keeper.

Find it on Amazon (affiliate link).

Do you like finding great books for kids?

I’d love to help you connect with great books for kids.

Here are ways to do that:

  • 📚You can follow along on my Goodreads account for childrens/YA literature here.
  • 📚You can see all of my recommendations sorted into categories and regularly updated on my Amazon page here.
  • 📚You can read all of my articles about books for kids here.
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