To those who celebrate, Happy Mother’s Day. We know and acknowledge the hurt and heartbreak some of these calendar days can bring so we wanted to talk about it in the most inclusive way we could. We are marking Mother’s Day, by pointing you to books featuring mothers – but mothers in all their diversity: single mums, working mums, two mums, and more. In a study done in 2019, ‘When it comes to children’s books, the word “mother” is the most frequent noun used to refer to female characters—and has been since the 19th century. But despite this, mothers are rarely the heroes or protagonists in children’s fiction—often, they don’t even have a name. They are part of the supporting cast—and sometimes they are even dead or otherwise absent.’ This seems a little unjust to us. So, we want to present you with books that celebrate motherhood in all its forms.
Milo’s mum is just as ordinary as every other mum, except…she has x-ray vision. Milo’s mum seems to somehow know what he is up to. For example, Milo was wrestling a giant sea monster in the bath, when his mother called, ‘Sit down in the bath!’ This is a wonderful, humorous book that celebrates a mother’s intuition when it comes to whatever mischief their kid is concocting.
The narrator’s mum is drawn as a lioness (whilst the rest of the family are human). The narrator likens his mum to a lioness because she wants to gobble babies up. She chases babies around all day, and her biggest prey is Dad. Mum will outrun you because she is a lioness. At the end of the book, the illustrations show us that mum is really a human.
This book is the companion to My Dad is a Grizzly Bear: all about how Dad’s bear-like ways. It features the same mixed white, black family. Swapna Haddow’s words are witty and combine perfectly with Dapo Adeola’s colourful illustrations.
Told from the point-of-view of a child whose mother works at night, this story is about how the world keeps ticking on when we are asleep. From cleaners who clean offices when no one is there to news reporters to saxophone players. The narrator’s mother is an essential clog: she drives a big orange bus, which enables all the other night workers to get to their jobs.
This book is in March’s 4-7 Book Box. Subscribe here to get it.
On the day that Stanley’s mum must go away for work for the night, Stanley decides to leave planet Earth and go to Mars. A book on what not-to-do when mum is at work – but a book with spirit and imagination, nonetheless!
Told from the baby’s perspective, this story is about how two mothers share caring duties for their child. Parents sharing the workload – fantastic! Mother’s Day can be a day when we thank mothers for completely scarifying themselves to their children, so it is great to see an example of shared responsibility. It features a same-sex interracial couple – making brilliant for diverse representation. My daughter loved recognising how the two mums care for their baby, just as she is cared for. Reading it makes you feel all cosy inside.
Billy is embarrassed by how out-of-the-ordinary his family are. His Mums sing sea shanties and dance jigs. However, Billy learns to celebrate his mothers’ quirkiness when their knowledge of boats saves the day on a school trip. We asked the author, Jodie Lancet-Grant, ten questions here.
For 8-11 year olds, we recommend Sarah Hagger-Holt’s Proud of Me. Born eight days apart, Josh and Becky have two mothers, and share a sperm donor. This is a comprehensive look at what it can be like to come from a same-sex family.
This doodle-filled book is meant to be less intimidating for even the most reluctant of readers. Billie Upton, the main character, has two adoptive mums. We interviewed author-illustrator, Jen Carney, here.
Luna’s Mum takes her to the library, her Dad is already waiting there. Together, they select books for Luna to take home. But one book in particular – a book within the book itself – about a troll king married to a mermaid queen with a daughter, hits home the most. The troll king and the mermaid queen argue, but their love for their daughter is deep. Eventually, the troll king leaves, but maintains his relationship with his daughter.
This is such a fantastically diverse list of books on for Mother’s Day. This Mother’s Day, we hope that we can all appreciate just how varied the definition of motherhood can be. Let our kids’ bookshelves reflect exactly that!