Book Recommendations

Non-Traditional Families

In their 2005 article, “Gender Role Stereotyping of Parents in Children’s Picture Books: The Invisible Father,” David A. Anderson and Mykol Hamilton discuss the lack of diversity in family structure depicted in children’s literature and emphasize that “the wide range of successful parenting models, including single fathers, single mothers, and same-sex parents, makes clear the flexibility of the paternal and maternal roles, which should not be confined to narrow stereotypes” (Anderson, 149).

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Meyers, Susan.  Everywhere Babies (2004).

Ages 0-3/Board book

“Every day, everywhere, babies are born. They’re kissed and dressed and rocked and fed–and completely adored by the families who love them. With an irresistible rhyming text and delightfully endearing illustrations, here is an exuberant celebration of playing, sleeping, crawling, and of course, very noisy babies doing all the wonderful things babies do best.” — publisher summary

Ed. Note: This book includes a number of different types of non-traditional families, including LGBT parents and multi-racial families.

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Walsh, Melanie.  Living With Mom and Living With Dad (2012).

Ages 3+

“Her parents don’t live together anymore, so sometimes the child in this book lives with her mom and cat, and sometimes with Dad. Her bedroom looks a little different in each house, and she keeps some toys in one place and some in another. But her favorite toys she takes with her wherever she goes. In an inviting lift-the-flap format saturated with colorful illustrations, Melanie Walsh visits the changes in routine that are familiar to many children whose parents live apart, but whose love and involvement remain as constant as ever.” — publisher summary

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Bennett, Kelly and Meisel, Paul.  Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers (2010).

Ages 4+

“Dad is tall and wears suits. Pop is bald and wears boots. Dad’s into gadgets and Pop’s into plants; one paints on easels, the other on walls; and they certainly don’t share the same taste in music! In this funny, affectionate ode to fathers and stepfathers, a young girl explains that while Dad and Pop may seem completely different, in one crucial way they’re exactly the same — they both love her.” — publisher summary

4466383Newman, Leslea.  Mommy, Mama, and Me (2009).

Ages 0-3/Board book

Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together.  Shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.

Ed. Note: There is a companion book, titled Daddy, Papa, and Me by the same authors that depicts a set of gay, male parents.

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