Picture books featuring diverse moms, dads, and families.
Guest post by Carol Gordon Ekster
The story behind Some Daddies is that on 12/17/17 my husband and I were Facetiming with my grandson. He noticed my husband had shaved, said his daddy shaved but has a beard so he’s going to have a beard when he gets older because he’s going to be a daddy. I said…”Some daddies have beards..” I paused, my writing brain ignited, to write down that title and started working on a draft soon after that. Exactly one year to the day, I saw on the submittable that Beaming Books was interested. I had put a pitch on Twitter for #pbpitch on 10/25/18 “SOME DADDIES-a concept PB with heart…” Naomi Krueger from Beaming Books hearted my pitch and the rest is history! It is dedicated to my grandson who planted the idea and to my amazing dad, who passed away before he got to see the final book. With a “windows-to-the-world cover” this rollicking showcase of daddies celebrates the incredible diversity of modern fathers. Every daddy is different–and that makes them even more special!
Let’s take a look at other picture books featuring moms, dads, and families.
Adria Karlsson’s book, My Sister Daisy, illustrated by Linus Curci, Capstone, 2021, is a heartwarming and sensitive story of a change in a family when a younger brother announces a new gender identity. She is a girl. There’s an author’s note and bright darling illustrations that add to this needed picture book.
Heather Has Two Mommies, Candlewick, 2016, by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Laura Cornell. After 25 years, an updated version was released with beautiful pastel illustrations and Leslea’s well-written text. A delightful story of a diverse family.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer, illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown, Chronicle Books, 2015 is the story of Stella’s stress when her teacher announces they’ll be having a celebration for Mother’s Day. Stella has two dads! All works out when she invites the biggest crowd of all, including Nonna and an uncle and aunt. The illustrations are expressive and adorable.
Dad Bakes, by Katie Yamasaki, 2021 by Norton Young Readers. Simple beautiful language with lovely bright colored art tells the story of a dad getting up very early to go to his job at the bakery. The dad’s arms are heavily tattooed and from the first wordless spread before the title page, we understand because of the author’s note, that this was probably a dad who has returned from being incarcerated. The loving relationship between father and daughter is evident. It’s a sweet slice-of-life story.
She’s My Dad!: A Story for Children Who Have a Transgender Parent or Relative, By Sarah Savage, illustrated by Joules Garcia, 2020, Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Told in first person, this is a touchingly told story of a boy whose dad transitioned. He uses the correct pronouns – she/her, but still calls him dad. Though I’m not a fan of the illustrations I think this can be a helpful book to share with children to help them understand this concept. It includes a backmatter with reading guide questions and a glossary of terms.
Papa Brings Me The World by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, Henry Holt and Co., 2020. Lulu’s dad is a photojournalist who travels the world and brings her back treasures. Anyone who has a traveling parent will connect with this story. It’s a beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated book with a multi-racial family. It’s filled with heart and the love between a dad and daughter with the opportunity to learn some cool facts from the global cultures he brings back to her with his stories and trinkets. So lovely!
Daddy Depot by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Andy Snair, Feiwel and Friends, 2017 Lizzie is not unusual. Sometimes we all want to exchange a family member for a new-and-improved version. Her dad’s jokes embarrass her and Lizzie visits the Daddy Depot megastore to find a new dad. In the end, she discovers that her dad is the perfect fit for her. My favorite spread is the one that says, “It was a dad party! There were all kinds of dads.” And here is where we see a diverse group of so many dads, from the more typical fireman and policeman, businessman, and doctor, to a yogi, musician, diver, astronomer, and bowler…even a magician.
Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin; illustrated by Kate Alizadeh, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020. Inviting Illustrations and the gently rhyming text follows two mothers and their toddler on a sunny day.
Author Valerie Boiling Together We Ride is about a Black father teaching his daughter to ride a bike. Releases April 26, 2022.
Margaret Chiu Greanias, author Amah Faraway is about a Taiwanese American girl going with her mom to visit her grandmother in Taipei.
Helen Huiting Wu, the author releases her new book on April 19, 2022, titled Tofu Takes Time. It invites readers to ponder how patience can bring the whole universe together in a simple dish in a modern Chinese American family. Thank you for this offer!
Finally, my picture book, SOME DADDIES, illustrated by Javiera Maclean Alvarez, comes out on May 17, 2022. It’s available for pre-order now! (https://bit.ly/3zQG5J2).
Enjoy this book trailer – done with family teamwork, my husband putting the trailer together, and the singing done by my brother-in-law.
About the author: Carol Gordon Ekster is a Children’s Book Author, Retired Educator
Connect with Carol: https://linktr.ee/carolgordoneksterTrucker Kid, (Capstone, coming spring 2023)Some Daddies, (Beaming Books, coming May 17, 2022)You Know What? (Clavis, 2017)Before I Sleep: I Say Thank You (Pauline Books & Media, 2015)Ruth the Sleuth and The Messy Room (Mazo Publishers, 2018)Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?: Kids Coming to Terms with Divorce (Mazo Publishers, 2021)