We’ve gathered a selection of celebratory picture books for young readers to enjoy with their families this Mother’s Day. Stay tuned for our Father’s Day roundup in June.

All Moms

Sarah Kate Ellis and Kristen Ellis-Henderson, illus. by Max Rambaldi. Little Bee, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4998-1263-3. Ages 4–8.

Married coauthors Ellis, a GLAAD executive, and Ellis-Henderson, a musician, offer an expansive view of motherhood in this stylish homage. True to its name, the book attempts to celebrate “all moms”—including a pilot, a boss, and a doctor, as well as a single mother, two dads who “give hugs/ just like moms,” and one “great nana.” Matching the energy of the text’s rhyming prose, Rambaldi’s hip illustrations busily burst with life. With their inclusive focus, this well-matched trio show that above all, it’s kindness and care that define “mom.”


All the Things Mom Will Never Say

Noé Carlain and Ronan Badel. Schiffer Kids, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7643-6331-3. Ages 4–8.

Carlain and Badel list “all the things Mom will never say” for humorous effect in this translation from the French, which spotlights a child’s-eye view of the good life. “Keep playing your video game—otherwise, the console will get cold and dusty,” one line reads. “You don’t have to eat your vegetables, but please finish your dessert,” notes another. Comics-like vignettes augment the text’s humor, showcasing a peach-skinned child who appears to relish the chaotic freedom that would come from such proclamations—until the book’s final pronouncement amplifies sentiment over hilarity.


Hello, Baby! I’m Your Mom

Eve Bunting, illus. by Jui Ishida. Sleeping Bear, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5341-1146-2. Ages 5–6.

An assortment of animal mothers share doting messages with their young in this affectionate story. Bunting articulates the unique attributes of each creature via rhyming couplets, which also frequently stress the mothers’ awareness of youth’s ephemerality. Ishida’s luminous, full-spread renderings gently support Bunting in exploring parent-baby bonding.


If You Find a Unicorn, It Is Not Yours to Keep: Life Lessons for My Magical Daughter

DJ Corchin. Sourcebooks Explore, $14.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-72821-934-9. Ages 7 and up.

“You have a choice to cast good spells or bad spells. Choose good spells,” entreats one of the aphorisms in this enchanted collection addressed to “my dearest daughter.” Touching on commonplace themes such as avoiding superficial judgments, believing in oneself, and respecting different perspectives, Corchin’s sometimes enigmatic advice emphasizes sagacity and warns about cruel behavior.  It’s a volume best suited to graduates inclined to believe in magic.


Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Nina LaCour, illus. by Kaylani Juanita. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1151-1. Ages 3–7.

In a book organized into the long days of a parent’s absence, Monday sees its preschool-age, brown-skinned child narrator sharing a pancake breakfast with Mama and Mommy before Mommy leaves on a business trip. LaCour gives readers a closely observed portrait of two moms who nurture their child through challenges, while Juanita lavishes attention on detail in this unabashed celebration of familial love. The book received a starred review from PW.


Mommy’s Hometown

Hope Lim, illus. by Jaime Kim. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1332-4. Ages 3–7.

Lim poignantly explores the tension between new and old in this setting-oriented tribute to family bonds. Using evocative first-person prose, the book opens with a child recounting stories about Mommy’s rural hometown, but when the pair, who read as East Asian, travel for a visit, the landscape—now full of glimmering high-rises and stores covered with Korean signage—appears different than expected, perplexing the child. Kim’s carefully illuminated digital graphics add drama to the duo’s journey.


Mommy’s Love

Ekaterina Ladatko and Anastasia Galkina. Familius, $8.99 (20p) ISBN 978-1-64170-665-0. Ages up to 4.

With flowing blue hair and light brown skin, a mother is always there for the four children who star in this board book, a rhythmic ode to unconditional affection. Greeting-card prose drives the page turns as patterned digital illustrations portray the family in various everyday situations—washing dishes, bathing, picnicking, and scooting at the park. Underlining day-to-day moments and emotional reactions, Ladatko and Galkina’s earnestly uncomplicated celebration of maternal love uplifts.


My Moms Love Me

Anna Membrino, illus. by Joy Hwang Ruiz. Orchard, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-81196-4. Ages 3–5.

The happy, ungendered baby at the center of this day-in-the-life-style book luxuriates in maternal adoration. Opening with a scene of the smiling infant receiving a “hug” from peach-skinned Mommy and a “squeeze” from brown-skinned Mama, the cheerful narrative proceeds to capture a meal, a mess, a farm visit, and a bath and bedtime routine. With minimal plotting and simple rhyming couplets, Membrino emphasizes family togetherness throughout.


My Must-Have Mom

Maudie Smith, illus. by Jen Khatun. Lantana, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-913747-71-8. Ages 5–8.

With whimsical storytelling, Smith and Khatun offer an unexpected take on an indestructible parent-child relationship. Jake’s mother adores dumpster diving, and turning her discoveries into unique objects. Amid bright-colored scenes of the brown-skinned pair carting home an assortment of “must-have” curbside finds via Mom’s wheelchair, Jake offers exaggerated narration of his mom’s trash triumphs.


Waiting for Mama

Gianna Marino. Viking, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-425-29070-5. Ages 3–7.

An emperor penguin chick narrates this educational polar tale by Marino, which showcases the heroic efforts undertaken by penguin parents—especially the intrepid females—to support their young. “Even though I can’t see,/ I know what’s happening outside./ I can feel it,/ like I can feel/ the cold,” voices the soon-to-be-hatchling from a pale green egg perched on its father’s feet. Anthropomorphic narration lends a tenderhearted feel to the scientific information communicated about penguin family dynamics.