A Toast to Picture Book Moms for Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approached this year, I found myself, no surprise, thinking about picture books. It’s common for adults, and parents especially, to be non-existent in picture book worlds. The audience is children of course. But, as I perused my shelves I slowly realized that moms aren’t actually missing from a lot of picture books. There are a lot of moms there, most of them doing exactly what they do in real life and going completely unnoticed in the story. For this moment on Mother’s Day, I wanted to give a sort of ode to all the mothers, and mother-figures, out there who are doing their work and keeping life, and stories humming along.

To the moms who grew and carried a baby.

from The Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

To the moms who didn’t, but carry them now.

from Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

To the moms who always wanted to be a mom.

from I Like to be Little by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Erik Blegvad

And to the ones who didn’t.

from Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

To the moms who always keep an eye on their tasks and their little mischief-makers.

from Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

To the moms who make delicious treats and have a ready smile and wave.

from We Help Daddy by Mini Stein, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin

To the moms who keep a handle on their families’ diet kindly and firmly.

from The Berenstain Bears And Too Much Junk Food by Stan & Jan Berenstain

To the moms who always immediately know what’s wrong.

from Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

To the moms who help give words to uncomfortable feelings and situations.

from When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard

To the moms who are willing to listen to their children and change their decision.

from The Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

To the moms who are resourceful and considerate of sentimental favorites.

from I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Julia Denos

To the mamas who know how to celebrate the joy of rain.

from Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth

To the moms who readily go on adventures too and never tire of mundane distractions like counting everything on route.

from Count on the Subway by Jacobs & Swender, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

To the moms who take the lead on family adventures.

from Cars by Bob Ottum, illustrated by William Dugan

To the moms who keep their cool and know ice cream is the best distraction.

from No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah Ohora

To the moms who quietly clean up the children and listen to their adventures.

from The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

To the moms who throw the best parties even though they end up exhausted.

from Happy Birthday, Jesse Bear! by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by Bruce Degen

To the moms who end up cleaning up the messes, even when they are made by tigers.

from The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

To the moms who prepared their children for big things when they have to rest.

from Brave Irene by William Steig

To the moms who embrace the craziest things, even pets.

from My Dog Is A Chicken by Susan McElroy Montanari, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

To the moms who encourage their kids’ imaginations despite their interesting choice of materials.

from Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

To the moms who love their little dancers even with questionable moves.

from Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig

To the moms who know their kids and teach them to be themselves despite culture.

from Nice Little Girls by Elizabeth Levy, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

To the moms who love their kids that are nothing like them.

from The Kitten Who Thought He Was A Mouse by Miriam Norton, illustrated by Garth Williams

To the moms who still provide the hot dinner, even after a rough day.

from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

To the moms who gently remind their little ones how days and nights work.

from Wait Til The Moon Is Full by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Garth Williams

To the moms who share the best stories, from their own lives or the lives of others.

from Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Here’s to all the moms who read three books a night (more or less). May you know how special and not invisible you are in our lives and every story we tell.

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