In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up 2023 picture books and novels for young readers that capture the different kinds of relationships shared between mother and child, ranging from affirming and celebratory to challenging and complex. To read more about complicated mother-daughter dynamics, read our interviews here.
Because I’m Your Mom by Ahmet Zappa, illus. by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, Mar. 28 $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-33821-9. In the follow-up to Because I’m Your Dad, a monster-styled mother proves to be game for good times with her child.
Mommy Time by Monique James-Duncan, illus. by Ebony Glenn. Candlewick, Mar. 28 $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1226-6. Two siblings revel in the joy of spending quality time with their mother.
Moms Can Do It All! by Ted Maass, illus. by Ekaterina Trukhan. Grosset & Dunlap, Mar. 14 $8.99 (18p) ISBN 978-0-593-52297-4. Maass celebrates hardworking mothers tackling a variety of jobs in this board book.
My Love for You by Cristina Petit, illus. by Carlotta Passarini. Peter Pauper, Jan. 1 $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4413-4010-8. One by one, child/parent wildlife pairs engage in doting exchanges, using naturalistic metaphors to describe young animals’ affection for their maternal parents.
My Mom Is a Lioness by Swapna Haddow, illus. by Dapo Adeola. Red Comet, Apr. 4 $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-63655-063-3. In this follow-up to My Dad Is a Grizzly Bear, a child perceives their mother’s strengths to be as powerful as a lion’s.
My Mommies Built a Treehouse by Gareth Peter, illus. by Izzy Evans. Lantana, Apr. 4 $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-915244-18-5. Two mothers help their child build a treehouse and work together through construction setbacks.
My Mommy Marches by Samantha Hawkins, illus. by Cory Reid. Lantana, Mar. 7 $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-915244-12-3. A child admires and follows in the steps of her mother’s practice of peaceful advocacy and protest.
Supermoms!: Animal Heroes by Heather Lang and Jamie Harper, illus. by Jamie Harper. Candlewick, Mar. 7 $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1797-1. This picture book spotlights the impressive and surprising work that different maternal species do to support their young.
To My Panik: To My Daughter by Nadia Sammurtok, illus. by Pelin Turgut. Inhabit Media, May 2 $17.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-77-227448-6. An Inuit mother explains to her daughter just how much she loves her in this question-and-answer picture book.
Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury. McElderry, Feb. 28 $21.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-66-590349-3. Via dual perspectives told a decade apart, Black teens Daisy and Brittney try to unravel the secrets of a haunted house while navigating fraught relationships with their mothers.
Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying. First Second, Apr. 25 $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-250-76699-1; $17.99 paper ISBN 978-1-250-76700-4. Chinese American Valerie Chu dreams of being “gwai” for her mother —meaning good or obedient—including by staying thin, and struggles with an eating disorder when she develops an unhealthy relationship with food.
My Week with Him by Joya Goffney. HarperTeen, July 11 $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-325474-9. With a forthcoming audition that could get her away from her life in Texas, Nikki attempts to reconcile with her best friend and her mother before she leaves.
Remind Me to Hate You Later by Lizzy Mason. Bloomsbury, Feb. 28 $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0918-5. After her best friend Jules dies by suicide, Nat explores the fraught relationship between Jules and her mother, brought on by social media stardom.