Inside: a great variety of well-written, colorful, and heart-warming picture books about mothers.
The moment you become a mother… Well, a lot happens. You go through the whole range of human emotions, don’t you? You cry. You laugh. You feel elated. You feel terrified.
You think you will always be filled with that amazing thrill of holding your sweet baby in your arms for the first time, but … Before you know it, the tender gazing is replaced by the stress of dealing with toddler tantrums, perhaps sibling rivalry, and endless piles of laundry.
And one day you accidentally catch your face in the mirror and are surprised to discover a huge, ugly scowl.
And we could all use some help recapturing that tender elation that once danced in our chests.
Call your child, grab a good book, and run to the couch. The right setting can help you find a way back to that place inside of you, where love for your children is as limitless as space.
Some books are specifically written to remind us of what is truly important, stirring our emotions, and pulling on the tenderest strings of our hearts.
My job is to help you find these books. So, without that much ado… here are some beautiful and moving picture books about mothers to remind you that motherhood is awesome.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. It means I might get a commission from your purchase.
Harry on the Rocks, Susan Meddaugh
There are many amazing books about a mother’s love, the special bond between mother and child – sentiments so moving that you simply can’t read them without tearing up (I’m thinking of Love you Forever by Robert Munsch).
Today, however, I want to recommend a book that might seem like a peculiar choice until you read the last page. But don’t read the last page until you get to the last page or it will spoil the punch line! I promise that this book is really amazing, and I guarantee that you will laugh out loud!
I know I often say this is my favorite book, but Harry on the Rocks is definitely one of my very favorite picture books of all time. It’s so amazingly well written: a storm, a shipwreck, an uninhabited island, and a mysterious egg— and it gets even better after that! All my four kids said, “This is the best book ever!” And “I love this book!”
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, Joanna Ho
The book stands out for its lyrical language and beautiful illustrations that seem to capture something deep inside. But that’s not all – reading this book will brighten your day. It will make you smile, and perhaps on some days – when you need a reminder of how special you really are – it might make you cry.
“Amah’s eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea … [can] see all the way into my heart and can even read my mind.” Nothing much is happening in this story. A little girl introduces us to her mom, grandma, and little sister to help us understand the wonderful warm family she came from. It’s such a beautiful story about self-discovery and embracing who you are.
This book makes me realize how rewarding motherhood truly is (despite the constant exhaustion and occasional frustration). It makes me want to gather all my kids in a bear hug and never let them go.
Mommy, Do You Love Me? Jeanne Willis
Every child wants the reassurance that no matter how irrational, messy, or troublesome he or she is, Mommy’s love is always, still there. The silly chicken in this story puts mother’s love to the test in many different ways until finally, Mommy freaks out.
The ending makes us laugh no matter how many times we’ve read this book. As parents, we want our children to always feel loved, and so we try to handle all misbehaviors without getting angry, but we are only human, and sometimes … yes, we just run out of patience. This book reminds us to pull our kids in closer and reassure them that our negative responses should never be confused with a lack of love.
Mother, You’re the Best (But Sister, You’re a Pest), Diane deGroat
All Gilbert wants to do is to give his mother a worthy Mother’s Day present, but all that comes to mind is, “Dear mother, I would rather have a brother.” When the big day comes, he burns his mother’s toast, spills her orange juice, and drops breakfast cereal all over the place. How can it get worse? Oh, it can, when he sees his little annoying sister taking all of his mother’s attention.
If you are a mother of multiple children, you know that sometimes the competition for affection is real. Don’t judge. Just give each of your children a hug. They are just trying to make sure you have enough love for everyone, and we already know you do!
Diane deGroat’s series about Gilbert is a huge hit in my house, and we love all the books in the series, especially Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet, and Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo.
Two Hands to Love You, Diane Adams
No list of books about mothers would be complete without a book to remind us of the swift passage of time. The simple fact is that our days with our children are limited, so we should use them wisely. Told in rhyme, this story follows the newborn baby and his family through the years.
My favorite page is probably about the two hands always standing ready, “if right turns to wrong, to steady your path when a bump comes along.” At times, a lump rises in my throat when I’m reading about a parent’s extraordinary power to “take away fears” and “brush away tears.”
Reading this book is beneficial on many levels. Besides feeling tender sentiments and bonding with your family, reading rhyming text strengthens your child’s cognitive skills and improves speech development. Oh yeah, and I bet you will really enjoy the ink and watercolor paintings.
The Day I Lost My Superpowers, Michael Escoffier
Moms? They come running when you call them, give a magic kiss when you need it, and you know what? You always end up feeling better.
All kids know that they have superpowers. They can make cupcakes disappear (yummy in my tummy, but shh… magic). They can become invisible (i.e., hide under the bed so they can’t see you, which means they are invisible). What they don’t know is that some days their superpowers, like everyone’s, might just disappear. Not to worry, this book celebrates the power of moms to turn any bad situation around. And the simple but super adorable crayon drawings are oh so perfect for the story. We love this book!
Mama Loves, Rebecca Kai Dotlich
The mama pig in this story has five little darlings, and she manages to make each one feel like the apple of her eye. The narrator changes on each page, which we learn only through illustrations (tender watercolors), but the constant refrain “with me” helps us feel each piglet’s love.
“Mama loves dancing in sleepers. Teapots of tea. Reading the paper and mornings with me.”
This book is a great reminder that even though it might not seem that way, our kids are always watching. So be awesome! Be the person you want them to see!
The Best Mother, C.M. Surrisi
In all of the picture book stories we used to read with my children, storybook kids were pretty sure their mothers were the best in the world. Not in this one!
Maxine feels annoyed with her mother. In fact, she’s not at all sure she’s got the best one. The unperturbed mother, gorgeously portrayed by the artist Diane Goode, however, radiates love, wisdom, and light-minded ease.
It’s such a great book about the notion that what we do have sometimes might seem less appealing than what we don’t have. I’m in love with the heartwarming and humorous illustrations in this story, and with the wise mother.
Mama, Do You Love Me? Barbara M. Joosse
“What if I turned into a polar bear, and I was the meanest bear you ever saw and I had sharp, shiny teeth, and I chased you into your tent and you cried?”
It is, of course, possible to learn about a mother’s love by simply asking her if she loves you and being satisfied after receiving a positive answer. But that’s not enough for the sparky protagonist of this story! She presents her mother with a wide range of hypothetical and increasingly challenging situations, but her mother’s response is always enthusiastic “I will love you, forever and for always, because you are my Dear One.”
This story is also unique for its unusual setting. Amidst the Arctic landscape, one of the coldest regions on earth, the story celebrates the Inuit culture of people in Northern Alaska. Vibrant watercolor paintings portray traditional patterns and colors and intersperse narration with Inuit words. It’s reassuring to see the constant of a mother’s love across the whole globe.
My Monster Mama Loves Me So, Laura Leuck
The little monster knows his mommy loves him because she bakes cookies filled with bugs, takes him to the swamp to swim, and sings “of things that shriek and moan and creep” (In case you don’t know, those are all “soothing things to help [him] sleep.”) As s you can guess, the creatures in this story are a little different from us, but their love is just as warm.
What are the things that your little ones will remember about you when they grow up? What are the things you want them to remember?
Told in rhyme, this monstrous tale is filled with bright, engaging illustrations portraying the loving relationship between monster and child. My kids think this book is very funny, and it usually inspires me to bake something with my children.
Your Mama, NoNieqa Ramos
This book’s dynamic mother-daughter duo bake, sing, dance, visit the library, and party with friends. I always get tears in my eyes when I reach the last page: “let’s raise the roof – woot woot – because it takes two: your mama and you.” Even though it’s so easy to remember only the things we haven’t done by the end of the day, there are hundreds of things we did and we should celebrate it. We baked, we cleaned, we hugged, we drove them to the park, we read a story (or a dozen), and they were there for us too – wide eyes and grinning, never doubting that we are the best mamas in the world.
What to expect from Your Mama? Vivacious artwork, delightful imagery, and subtle incorporation of Spanish vocabulary. “Your mama so sweet; she could be a bakery, all frosting, powdered sugar, and pastries… She’s a cinnamon to your tembleque, the tres leches to your cake.”
This book is such a great celebration of mamas and daughters everywhere.
Mama, How Long will you Love Me? Anna Pignataro
Mama’s love is “as high as a giant tree” and “as deep as the deep blue sea.” Mama Bear and her daughter romp around the forest all through the seasons. They get caught in summer showers, autumn winds, winter snow, and celebrate the unique love between a mother and her child.
Gentle watercolors give this story a special kind of sweetness. I love reading it before bed because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and makes me hungry for baby-sized hugs.
No Matter What, Debi Gliori
If you haven’t read this heartwarming book to your kids yet, then run to the library and get a copy right away! The story grabs my heart, and the sweet rhyming text makes it a pleasure to read it over and over again. At this point, I know it by heart, and sometimes when my kids are particularly loud or trying, I recite it in my head, “I will always love you no matter what.”
In the warmly illustrated pages, a fox child wants the reassurance of his mother’s unconditional love, and he (or she) learns that his mother will always love them no matter what the circumstances are. If you are like me, the book will probably conjure powerful emotions. Sniffing and outright weeping is acceptable.
When You are Happy, Eileen Spinelli
The book radiates love and comfort as it navigates different trying scenarios in the life of a child. Cold, upset, lonely, sick, tired, grumpy, lost, … And in each case, unconditional love and understanding work to make the situation better.
This book is visually very beautiful, and it reminds me that our most important job is to make our kids feel loved. They won’t remember what we did and didn’t do, but they’ll never forget how we made them feel.
I also love the opportunity to expose my kids to poetic language, “When you’re lonely, I will show up on your doorstep with my heart in a basket. I will whisper “I Love You” until your loneliness grows wings and flies off like a silken bird.” Words like that fill the soul.