2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

Mother-Themed Children’s Books

Mother-Theme children’s book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Mother-Themed children’s books can be shared throughout the year, not only on Mother’s Day or as a baby shower gift for an expecting mother. Young readers like to cuddle and read with their moms all year long.

Board Books

Cover of ABCs of Love for Mom with mother and baby animals

ABCs of Love for Mom (Books of Kindness)

by Patricia Hegarty (Author), Summer Macon (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rodale Kids. 2023, Baby-3. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593651926.

Brief summary: A rhyming alphabet book board book teaching the ABCs as well as the correlating social and emotional words that Moms share and do with their children.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

This book is one of the “Books of Kindness” series. Learn more here.

Cover for Mommy's Kisses and Cuddles with a mother holding her child

Mommy’s Kisses and Cuddles 

by Linda Ashman (Author), Jane Massey (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cartwheel Books. 2023. 3-5 years old. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1338359770.

Brief summary: A calming rhyming book with moms and their children sharing the different parts of the day.

Please note: This books is a cross between a board book and a picture book with heavier cardstock paper but not cardboard. The size is 7.32 x 0.39 x 8.03 inches.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

You may be interested in “Daddy’s Hugs and Snuggles” from this author. Learn more here.

Cover for Amazing Moms with a mother rabbit holding her baby rabbis

Amazing Moms 

by Alison Brown (Author). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Silver Dolphin Books. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1667203928.

Brief summary: Cute animal moms interact with love and support to their babies, all with rhythm and rhyme.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

Cover for She is Mama. A mother is holding her child with a rainbow behind them in a garden of flowers

She Is Mama 

by Mackenzie Porter (Author), Heather Brockman Lee (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little Simon. 2023. Baby-2. Board Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1665926980.

Brief summary: Mothers care for their children in various activities and are always there. This book is in rhyme.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

Picture Books

Cover of If You Were the Moon, My Love with a purple moon in a quarter crescent

If You Were the Moon, My Love

By Alina Loux (author & illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ken-Ken Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN: 979-8-9865279-4-9.

Brief summary: This gentle rhyming and rhythmic lullaby of unconditional love for a parent to a child will give your little one sweet dreams.

Each stanza is a single illustration that extends across both pages with calm, eye-pleasing colors. At the same time, the four-line stanzas have an ABCB rhyming pattern that is soothing to the ears.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

* I received a complimentary digital copy of this picture book for an honest review.

Cover for Sari-Sari- Summers with lola and her granddaughter, Nora in front of the store

Sari-Sari Summers 

by Lynnor Bontigao (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536226140.

Brief summary: Nora is old enough this summer to help her lola, her grandmother, in the sari-sari store in the Philippines. The granddaughter cleans all of the shelves that hold various items in the little store.

A heat wave comes, and all the customers stay home from the hot sun. Lola has an idea to bring back business.

Traditional text as well as speech bubbles. Recipe on the back page. Several two-page spreads.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 📗📗📗1/2

Cover for Milko with a boy hugging a bunch of pink with monarch butterflies around him

Milko 

by Samuel Narh & Freda Narh (Author), Alisa Knatko (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chasing A Spider Publishing . 2023. Grades 1-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734789720.

Brief summary: Milko misses his mother, who has gone to Ethiopia for a year instead of being home with them in Bolivia. His sister, Abena, cries too, but Papa cannot console them. No one does it like Mama.

Milko counts down the days. Will she ever return?

I recommend this to school counselors/librarians/teachers, and parents who are away for jobs/military deployment/social work.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Cover for One Day of the bacck of a mother holding a baby over her shoulder whose face we see

One Day 

by Joanna Ho (Author), Faith Pray (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins. 2023. Baby-2nd Grade. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063056923.

Brief summary: A mother cradles her infant son and dreams and shares all the wonderful ways her boy will be as he grows up.

Beautiful two-paged spread illustrations.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

Cover of Because I'm Your Mom with a Monster mom with two horns holding her baby monster up in the air

Because I’m Your Mom 

by Ahmet Zappa (Author), Dan Santat (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316338219.

Brief summary: A monster mom tells her child all the fun and silly things they can share together, no matter how outrageous they may seem.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 📗📗📗1/2

If you enjoy this book, you may be interested in reading Because I’m Your Dad.

Cover of Miss Irwin with a pastel image similar to Impressionism style of a woman and a little boy who is holding up a brown bag to her

Miss Irwin 

by Allen Say (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scholastic Press. 2023. Grades PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1338300406.

Brief summary: Andy notices his grandmother’s front door is open and stops by to let her know. He discovers his mother is watering the roses. Andy goes inside the kitchen to keep his Grandma company. He notices a white box and takes it to her, wondering what is inside.

His grandmother believes she is his kindergarten teacher, Miss Irwin. Andy plays along, remembering that his mother told him his grandmother was struggling with her memory. He learns about a boy named Willie and what is inside the box.

Allen Say certainly captured Alzheimer’s with a compassionate story all can understand. The illustrations of the images are not seen clearly and symbolize blurred memories.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

Cover of Mommy Time of a mother holding a baby boy and the older sister outside in flowers

Mommy Time 

by Monique James-Duncan (Author), Ebony Glenn (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536212266.

Brief summary: A stay-at-home mom spends time with her boy as the father and sister are away. The daughter is collected from school, and now the two children share mommy time.

The book is about a day in the mom’s life and the time she spends with her children.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3.5/5 📗📗📗1/2

2023 Children's Books · Children's Book Recommendations

New Picture Books–Earth

Earth-themed picture book recommendations are by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian.

(This content contains Amazon affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

Earth-Themed Picture Books

The picture book cover of My Baba's Garden with Baba and author, Jordan Scott, as a boy walking through a garden

My Baba’s Garden 

by Jordan Scott (Author), Sydney Smith (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Neal Porter Books. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0823450831.

Brief summary: Author, Jordan Scott, recalls visiting with his Baba at her home. His father would drop Jordan off to have breakfast with his Baba and afterwards, they would walk together to his school. If it was raining, Baba would look for worms and put them in a glass jar to take home for her garden.


His baba would retrieve him after school, and they would spend time in her garden learning about the plants. This is their usual routine until she moves in with the family when a new building is built over her home. Not able to have a full garden any longer, she keeps a little garden in her room.

Told through the first-person point of view by the boy.

Jordan Scott wrote one of the most lovely book dedications I’ve ever read.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

The picture book cover of Around Antarctica with blues and whites illustrations of people in winter gear, and winter sports, and animals of the Antarctica

Around Antarctica: Exploring the Frozen South 

by Tania Medvedeva (Author), Maria Vyshinskaya (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thames & Hudson. 2023. Grades 3-6. Hardcover Nonfiction Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0500653135.

Brief summary: Wow. Love this book! It is full of everything a young reader needs to know about Antarctica, and all done with regular text, speech bubbles, and nonfiction text features. Children will stop and examine the detailed illustrations before turning to the next page.

The several foldouts make a whole sphere, full of information and fun pictures.


The book’s format is a fourth of a sphere but can fit appropriately on a shelf.

This is a must for any school or public library and would make a superb book gift for the young reader in the family(as well as adult book lovers). Cleverly done.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 5/5 📗📗📗📗📗

The picture book cover of City Beet with Mrs. Kosta and Victoria leaning against a giant red beet with neighbors and apartments in the background

City Beet

by Tziporah Cohen (Author), Udayana Lugo (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sleeping Bear Press. 2023 PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534112711.

Brief summary: Mrs. Kosta and Victoria plant and nurture a beet seed until it ripens. The woman begins to harvest the gigantic beet but cannot remove it from the ground, no matter how hard she tugs. Several neighbors stop by the garden to help pull, creating a line out to the sidewalk until the vegetable is uprooted with a big “SPROING!!”

There is an Author’s Note and Raw Beet & Garlic Salad Recipe in the back.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

The picture book cover of Black Beach with Sam holding a picket sign saying "Save our planet." Marine animal life are with her while the oil rig is spilling oil onto the water

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day 

by Shaunna & John Stith (Author), Maribel Lechuga (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ little bee books . 2023. Grades K-4. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1499813043.

 Brief summary: Sam is in class in Santa Barbara when she sees her teacher look outside the window after the principal whispers to her and wonders why. Her parents explain to her about Union Oil causing an oil spill near where they live. The family walks to their favorite beach to find that the beach and ocean are black with oil. The town tries to clean the oil from the beach and help the animals covered with it.

A national day was created from this disaster and organized to celebrate and protest the environment which still exists today called Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

There are several sections in the back of the book: Author’s Note, Selected Bibliography, Timeline, Earth Day Today, Earth Day Every Day, and How to Become an Environmental Activist.

Teachers and homeschooling parents could share this book as a supplement in addition with Earth Day activities.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 4/5 📗📗📗📗

The picture book cover of The World and Everything In It with bits and piece of the illustrations inside all around the title such as a dog, cloud, kitten, and so on

The World and Everything in It

by Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Greenwillow Books. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover Picture Book.ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063245648.

Brief summary: This book shares what is around us: big, small, and between. The soft and calming illustrations are done with brown ink and watercolor paint, demonstrating the size differences.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating: 3/5 📗📗📗

The picture book cover of You Are My Pride with a large sailboat on the blue ocean

You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland 

by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), E. B. Lewis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Astra Young Readers. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover Picture Book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1635923872.

Brief summary: This touching poem, illustrated with large two-page illustrations done in watercolors, is a lovely letter from Mother Nature telling her human children how much she has loved them since the beginning of their creation.

Back pages briefly explain the Developments in Early Human Evolution.

Educators–this would be a great supplement to use with the different viewpoints unit of study.

For more details or to buy, click here.

Rating 4/5 📗📗📗📗