Not married to the opposite sex or boasting 2.4 biological children? Here are 9 great books for children featuring non-traditional families.
Regardless of how society evolves, it still feels like all children’s books are about Mum, Dad and the 2.4 kids. Back in the real world, families come in all forms. So if you want to help make your kids feel more comfortable that Daddy isn’t around or Mummy’s girlfriend is coming on holiday with you, then it might help to read a book that reflects their situation. Here are 9 books for kids, which portray modern family life – in its many forms.
1. The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
Now a hugely successful TV series, The Story of Tracy Beaker is about 10-year-old Tracy, who lives in a children’s home and dreams of her glamorous mum coming to take her away. Available at Amazon and Waterstones.
2. Ms Cliff the Climber by Allan Ahlberg and Fritz Wegner
Allan Ahlberg’s hugely successful Happy Families series features all sorts of non-traditional set-ups. Such as this one, where Ms Cliff, a mountain climber, gets married, has kids, divorces, remarries, and then has some more children. This all proved too much for some Amazon reviewers, however (‘At no stage do the parents try to resolve their difficulties’). Get it at Amazon or Waterstones.
These cute tales have sold more than three million copies and won awards galore. There are four tales about a little bear who lives in a cave with his dad. Perfect for ages three and up. Available at Amazon and Waterstones.
A lovely Dutch picture book about a prince whose mother wants to marry him off so that she can retire. Prince Bertie doesn’t fancy any of the available princesses, but he does like one of their brothers… Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
There’s no shortage of picture books dealing with same-sex parents, such as this one. It’s a playground conversation between two children, one of whom is explaining what it’s like to have two mums. A Tale of Two Daddies is also available by the same author. Get it at Amazon.
6. GreenBean True Blue Family by Elizabeth Blake
Sweet book for ages 4-8 about a little green rabbit who feels she’s different to the rest of her family, who are blue. A great choice for children who’ve been adopted or fostered, or even mixed-race children. Get it at Amazon.
7. The Family Book by Todd Parr
A celebration of families and all the forms they come in. This book offers reassurance that your family is normal, whether they’re big or small, clean or messy, or you have two mums or two dads. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
8. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
In this Amazon bestseller, Ray and Silo are just like the other penguin couples at the zoo – except they’re both boys. And with a little help from the zookeeper, they manage to become parents. Available at Amazon and Waterstones.
9. Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton
This beautifully illustrated book isn’t out until April, but has already had lots of press as Walton originally crowdsourced the project – until Bloomsbury stepped in to publish. Inspired by her transgender father, Walton wrote the story about a teddy bear called Thomas who really wants to be Tilly. Pre-order it at Amazon or Waterstones.