Mother’s Day is a special holiday to celebrate motherhood and all of the maternal figures in one’s life. Mothers may look different in every family, but the love and care that every maternal figure brings is special and invaluable. These children’s books showcase the special bonds between children and maternal figures, whether it’s a mother bear and her cub, a grandmother imparting wise advice, or a woman giving some motherly love to a rescued baby bird. So celebrate all the mother figures in your life this Mother’s Day with these ten books honoring motherhood.

Little One
Written and illustrated by Jo Weaver

With gentle text and stunning black and white illustrations, Jo Weaver reveals the strength of a mother’s love, wonder of nature and the first steps of independence. There is so much for Big Bear to teach her new cub as they step out into the forest. Together they eat, swim, fish, and play as one season becomes the next. With his mother’s help, Little One grows more and more confident, until winter comes once more and it’s time to head home.

Written and illustrated by Jo Weaver

Voyage through the warm, southern seas with a new whale calf and its mother. Together, Little Whale and Gray Whale swim under midnight skies and through coral reefs teeming with life as they migrate to the cool, rich waters of the north to feed. Gray Whale gently guides her baby along the way, keeping Little Whale safe from passing ships and dangerous predators. At long last, the echo of a whale song calls to them through icy water and they know . . . they are home.

Written by Lester L. Laminack
Illustrated by Jim LaMarche

Day after day as Henry observes his Aunt Lilla work with the beehives on their Lowcountry farm, he becomes fascinated with her bee suit and her ability to communicate with the bees. So when he learns that the bees are getting ready to look for a new place to live, can he find a way to communicate with the sister bees and convince them to stay? Through is lyrical prose, Lester Laminack presents a sweet portrayal of a young boy’s special relationship with his aunt as they bond over their bees.

Written by Sandra Markle
Illustrated by Leslie Wu
One late afternoon in early September, Jilly sees something that looks like it’s raining black pepper from a clear blue sky. Then the black rain becomes a wispy mist, and then a shimmering orange cloud. What can it be? Jilly and Mom set out to identify the mysterious orange cloud. The closer they get, the more curious Jilly gets, and gradually, the hidden world of nature opens to mother and daughter. This sensitive, eloquent mother-daughter story and imaginative depiction of monarch butterfly migration from author Sandra Markle reminds us that a loving parent can empower a child to discover the mysteries of the natural world—and to enjoy that discovery again and again.
Written by Lester L. Laminack
Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum

This poignant tale tells of a woman residing in a nursing home who seems to live in a world of memories. Although Miss Olivia is unable to respond and doesn’t always seem to notice her family, her daughter Angel and great-grandson Troy know better. Anything from a beautiful sunset to the mention of her porch swing can take her back into her past. She can no longer do the things she used to do, but she’s still their Momma Olivia. Laminack treats a difficult topic with great care, reminding us of the love that holds a family together in the difficult scenario of seeing a loved one slip into the past.

Written by Doris Gove
Illustrated by Marilynn H. Mallory

In this story about a special mother-daughter relationship, as Laura’s mother greets each tree, mentioning its unique features, Laura grudgingly begins to take note. Slowly her curiosity overcomes her embarrassment. By the time they’re almost home, Laura has made the acquaintance of many special trees in her neighborhood. In the end, she has been infected by her mother’s contagious enthusiasm for nature and she begins to develop her own relationship with the natural world. Doris Gove’s charming tale shows the knowledge imparted through mother-child relationships as well as a source for inspiration of budding young naturalists.

Written by Kashmira Sheth
Illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

“Don’t you ever want to wear a gray skirt and red blouse with round buttons like Mommy or a green dress like me?” Rupa asks. But Dadima prefers to wear her traditional saris. She shares with her granddaughter all the wonderful things that saris can do—from becoming an umbrella in a rainstorm to providing a deep pouch to carry seashells. Soon Rupa’s imagination is sparked as she envisions saris protecting her in the scary Gir jungle, bandaging up an injured knee, and holding a special secret for her and Dadima to share. This intergenerational story offers a unique view of Indian culture and tradition through this affectionate, sensitive portrait of a grandmother and her American granddaughter.

Written and illustrated by Quentin Blake

When Angela Bowling rescues a baby bird after a storm, she finds her very own Loveykins. She names him Augustus, and he quickly becomes more to her than just a bird to be looked after. But Augustus is growing larger and rounder and soon requires a special garden shed to house him. He seems content enough…until another night brings even stronger winds. From the UK’s first Children’s Laureate, this entertaining tale about the improbable relationship between a determined, eccentric matron and a young bird is classic Quentin Blake. With his quirky, humorous watercolors and his distinctive storytelling style, Blake gives readers a charming and sensitive treatment of the issues of loving and a child’s steps into independence.

Written by Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrated by Michael Austin
Sometimes grandmothers know best. In this hilarious folktale, Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn’t know coffee beans about love and marriage. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increíble, some shocking advice. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela’s unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Pérez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him café cubano? Also available in Spanish and audio, Carmen Agra Deedy delivers a deliciously inventive Cuban version of the beloved Martina folktale, complete with a dash of café cubano.
Written by Lester L. Laminack
Illustrated by Chris Soentpiet

In this poetic memory, a young boy rides his bicycle every Saturday up and down country roads past farms, a graveyard, and a filling station, until he reaches his beloved Mammaw’s house. She is waiting for him. While she picks tomatoes, he pushes the lawnmower through the dew-wet grass. Afterwards, he always helps her make teacakes from scratch, breaking the eggs and stirring the batter. But the best part, he remembers, is eating the hot, sweet cakes fresh from the oven. Lester Laminack’s richly detailed prose perfectly portrays the special relationship of a young boy and his grandmother.

And if you’re looking for an adult book for an expecting single mother…

Written by Joan Anderson

More than 14 million women in American are single mothers, facing the headaches and heartaches of their challenging role as sole head of the household. This comprehensive guide features practical solutions for surviving and succeeded as a single mother. Drawing on her own experience as a single parent, Anderson inspires confidence and offers comfort and hope.

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