Picture Books with Unconventional Families

We generated this list on my grad school’s private forum, and I thought it might be interesting to you all. It’s picture books that don’t just have the mother-father-sibling-dog family relationships.

  • The Family Book by Todd Parr
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer–single mother
  • “Let’s Get a Pup!” said Kate by Bob Graham–androgynous, cool parents
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams–a single mom and grandmother raising a girl
  • Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg–single mother, metaphor for mental illness
  • And Tango Makes Three–true story of gay male penguins who hatched and raised a foster baby penguin
  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee–two active, clueless grandparents on vacation with two boys
  • Eloise–pretty much unsupervised girl living in fancy hotel
  • Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting–a man and his son who are homeless living in an airport
  • December by Eve Bunting–also about homelessness
  • More, More, Said the Baby–Grandma, mother, and dad
  • Daddy, Papa and Me–two father family
  • Emma and Meesha my Boy, A Two Moms Book by Kaitlyn Taylor Considine–two moms
  • In My Heart by Molly Bang–interracial, probably adoptive family
  • Monday is One Day–two dads
  • Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee shows lots of different kinds of families
  • Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root–a woman with lots and lots of kids
  • The Red Thread by Grace Lin–a faery tale about adoption
  • Mcfig & Mcfly: A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death (with a Happy Ending) by Henrik Drescher–men with kids but no wives
  • Weird Parents by Audrey Wood–weird parents
  • Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson–multi-racial family, single mother or two moms
  • Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah Brannen–gay uncle
  • Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell–complete family unit of males



About pamwatts

Writer, Reader, and Children's advocate
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6 Responses to Picture Books with Unconventional Families

  1. Rebecca Kapler says:

    A few others I have read:

    Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson–a little girl lives with her grandmother because her grandfather is in jail

    My Gracie Aunt by Jacqueline Woodson–young siblings go to live with their aunt after social services finds them living alone; it’s revealed mom has an addiction problem (unclear whether it’s alcohol or drugs).

    In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Polacco–two moms who have adopted three kids

    King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland: a queen tells her son he must marry, but he’s never really had a thing for princesses; there is also a sequal: King and King and Family

    The Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan: a little boy gets a bedtime story from one of his two moms

  2. pamwatts says:

    Wow. That’s great, Rebecca. I’ll definitely check those out.

  3. Great list! I would also like to recommend:
    Klutz by Henrik Drescher: A family who have a long history of being clumsy and are accepted to join the circus.

  4. Reblogged this on Rabbit Ears Productions Blog and commented:
    A fantastic list by Strong in the Broken Places Blog site about picture books that deal with unconventional families. Check it out!

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