13 Family-Themed Picture Books

February 18, 2021

Family. Whether it’s the one you were born with or the one that you made for yourself, it’s something to celebrate. Every year, I like to follow up our Love Day activities with a fun family unit study with my kids — which means a trip to the library for family-themed picture books.

Some of our favorite children’s authors have written books about the family, including Mem Fox, Kevin Henkes, and Leo Lionni. And even though my kids are getting older, that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a big stack of picture books. They are great conversation starters:

  • Why did the author make *that* choice for the main character?
  • What materials did the artist use for their illustrations?
  • Which of these characters are most like you?

For years, I have loved Patricia Polacco’s family-themed picture books. The Keeping Quilt and My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother capture her family history and childhood experiences with her whimsical illustrations and simple text. My favorite, Chicken Sunday, tells the sweet story of Patricia’s ‘made’ family — her neighbors Stewart and Winston and their grandmother, Miss Eula. All three books are great for young readers and big kids who are learning how to write their own stories.

And if there are babies in your family, you’ll love the board books on our list: All the World and Bear’s Busy Family. The illustrations in both books are adorable, making them perfect for read-aloud time!

Check out the full list below, and be sure to let me know if you have additional recommendations. I’m always looking for new books to celebrate family love — especially if they feature diverse cultures and traditions.

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13 Family-Themed Picture Books

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Family-Themed Picture Books