A little girl reading a book on the couch

Tech & Media

5 Amazing Books About All Different Types Of Families

May 23, 2019

One thing that’s important to me when selecting books is that the ones I choose represent a variety of different children and families.

These five books — specifically about families — touch on all kinds of familial compositions and living situations and are not only enjoyable to read, but they’re also a great jumping off point for discussions both at school and at home.

The Family Book (by Todd Parr)

Book cover: The Family Book by Todd Parr

Is there anything Todd Parr writes that isn’t brilliant? Like all his books, this one is simple. It’s full of vibrant, cartoon-like illustrations and simply perfect for the younger set. In The Family Book, an array of families is introduced: big families, small families, step-families, adoptive families, quiet families and messy families to name a few.

Throughout the story, Parr showcases things that make families similar, such as liking hugs, being sad and enjoying celebrations. Recommended for ages 0-5.

You'll Also Love: My 3 Favourite Picture Books About Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing Families

Families, Families, Families (by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang)

Book cover: Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang & illustrated by Max Lang

Simple, but lovely — especially for younger kiddos. As you flip through this book, it’s as though you’re visiting a new room and new family on each page. Each animal family portrait features all different types of families — there are families with lots of kids, families with two dads, kids that live with grandparents, several kiddos with a single mom and families with parents who aren’t married.

The book finishes with a dash of humour and a final message that if you love each other and consider one another family, then you’re a family. Recommended for ages 0-5.

This Is How We Do It (by Matt Lamothe)

Book cover: This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

This book is my absolute favourite, and in my opinion, a must-have for all personal libraries. It follows seven children from around the globe and showcases their families, the homes they live in, the food they typically eat, how they spend their time and the way they help their families. The illustrations are gorgeous, the pages are beautifully laid out and the best part? At the end of the book you get to “meet” the actual families the book is written about.

I also appreciate that the author explains that while the kids and families featured in the book are real-life people, they can’t be representative of their entire culture or country. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Stella Brings the Family (by Miriam B Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown)

Book cover:   Stella Brings the Family  by Miriam B Schiffer & illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

The sweetest story! In this book, little Stella faces a bit of a dilemma when her teacher explains that the class is going to have a special Mother’s Day celebration and that each student can invite a special guest. The problem? Stella has two dads and no mom. She spends the week worried about what she’ll do, but with the help of a friend, she comes up with a clever solution that works out brilliantly. Recommended for ages 4-8.

More Recommended Books To Add To Your Library: 6 Books For Kids That Show How Diverse Motherhood Can Be 

The Great Big Book of Families (by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith)

Book cover: The Great Big Book of Families  by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Roz Asquith

This is probably one of the more inclusive family books I’ve encountered. In addition to highlighting different family compositions, the book touches on living situations, jobs, activities, pets, celebrations, transportation and feelings, too.

It’s not perfect, but what I like about The Great Big Book of Families is that it’s inclusive of single parents, same-sex couples, adoptive and foster families, two-people families, homeschoolers, the homeless, the job-less, step-families and those who don’t have a lot of money. Recommended for ages 4-11.

Well, that’s it. Five awesome books about families. Do you have a title you’d add to the list?

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.