It’s almost Mother’s Day and a great way to celebrate meaningful occasions, powerful emotions and reflect on the wonderful mums in your life is with a picture book – especially if books have a special place in your heart.
We all know that mothers do A LOT, and they deserve much more appreciation and thanks than a one-day celebration allows. But it is wonderful to have a set day for all of us to reflect on the impact that our mothers have made on our lives and to celebrate mums, and those in nurturing roles, and all that they do.
My own mother read several of the books on this list to me when I was little, and I have read them to my children. In some cases, they are the very same copies I had growing up – and of course that makes them even more special and meaningful. Whether you are on the hunt for a little gift for your mum, or you just want to share a special story celebrating the relationship between mother and child with your kids, the following books come highly recommended.
In “Mother’s Day” by award-winning English author Shirley Hughes, Katy and her little brother Olly tell us about their day with their Mum. From cheekily waking Mum and Dad up in the morning, getting the bus into town and stories together at bedtime this beautiful story gives us an insight into a child’s day. The story is so simple and yet most children will relate to the everyday activities they do with their Mum and how much they enjoy just spending time with together doing the simple, routine things. I adore good old-fashioned illustrations with enough detail to keep children engaged and looking for more and while this book is almost 40 years old it doesn’t feel dated and is totally relatable.
“Mummy” is a new board book by Leslie Patricelli where every day is Mother’s Day and the beloved Mum is celebrated from a baby’s perspective. This rhyming book is full of humour and sentiment and would make a great gift for new parents. The board book format makes the book hands-on accessible to very small children which is so important and the social inclusion messaging present in the basic illustrations is worthy of note, even though it should not have to be. The author also has a “Daddy” book in the same theme.
“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman is another book that has stood the test of time and is popular with both very young children and also ideal for children just beginning to read on their own. The simply illustrated story of a baby bird’s journey to find his mother will draw children in as he asks everyone and everything that he meets ‘Are You My Mother?’
“How (Not) to Annoy Mum” by couple Dave Hughes and Holly Ife is a fun book written just as much for parents as it is for children. Follow Mum as she spends the day with her kids and laugh along with, and relate to, all the hilarious things they say and do. The book is very ‘loud’, with pages full of colour, fonts, phrases and pictures. Maybe not the most relaxing read at the end of a long day but lots of fun to read together!
“Wild About Mums” by Phillip Bunting shows that good mums come in many different shapes, sizes and species.
Celebrating Mother Nature’s most marvellous mums this laugh-out-loud book combines the authors signature humous and sweet illustrations with fascinating facts about what motherhood looks like across the animal kingdom.
“How to Spot a Mum” by Donna Amey-Bhatt is a warm and witty celebration and a tongue-in-cheek tribute to all mums, everywhere. Everyone has an idea of what a mum is, and each one does the job slightly differently. In this book children and parents will love learning all about mums, from what they are (super-human!), to some of the special skills they have, including detecting fibs, solving mysteries and conflict resolution. This beautifully illustrated book is the perfect ‘Spotter’s Guide’ to mums. You will discover that all mums are unique, and you may even spot yourself (“Chatty Mum”!), or your own mum, between the pages of this beautifully illustrated book.
“I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You” by Kate Ritchie is an endearing and charming story to share with the children in your family, and perfect for little ones asking about their family before they were born. It captures the heart of an expectant mother and will show your child how much you wanted them, even when they were still inside you. This is another book that would make the perfect gift for an expectant Mum or new parents or even for a small child feeling insecure about the arrival of a new sibling.
“Kisses in Your Heart” by Sonia Bestulic is inspired by the heart-warming bedtime routine with her own three children. The author not only honours the love between parent and child but her book encourages the beautifully simple yet strongly symbolic act of placing kisses in our children’s heart, to inspire bravery, courage and self-empowerment.
Wishing you all a happy Mother’s Day!