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EARL: Early Childhood Education

This guide is intended for use by students in the ECE program. It includes information for finding children's picture books in the Library collection. Original as published 12/2019

Suggested Search Terms

The phrase "nontraditional families" will NOT be helpful in finding books on this topic. Instead, you'll want to search with more specific terms. Here are some suggestions:

  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Gay parents
  • Lesbian parents
  • Mother/father/parent and child
  • Blended families
  • Grandparents
  • Military

Picture Books about Adoption

My Family Is Forever

Author: Nancy Carlson
Published: 2004
Location: Bethlehem
"A young girl recounts how she came to be part of an adoptive family."--Publisher's description.

Every Year on Your Birthday

Author: Rose Lewis; Jane Dyer (Illustrator)
Published: 2007
Location: Bethlehem
"Each year on the birthday of her adopted Chinese daughter, a mother recalls the moments they have shared, from the first toy to the friends left behind in China."--Publisher's description.

Goyangi Means Cat

Author: Christine McDonnell; Steve Johnson (Illustrator); Lou Fancher (Illustrator)
Published: 2011
Location: Bethlehem
"An understanding cat helps a young Korean girl adjust to her new home in America."--Publisher's description.

Yafi's Family

Author: Linda Pettitt; Sharon Darrow; Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Illustrator)
Published: 2010
Location: Bethlehem
"Yafi's family recalls his adoption from Ethiopia with stories, memories, and photographs."--Publisher's description.

Picture Books about Divorce

Daddy

Author: Jeannette Caines; Ronald Himler (Illustrator)
Published: 1977
Location: Bethlehem
"A child of separated parents describes the special activities she shares with her father on Saturdays."--Publisher's description.

I Have Two Homes

Author: Marian De Smet; Nynke Mare Talsma (Illustrator)
Published: 2012
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"A young girl named Nina recounts her feelings about her parents' divorce and describes what it is like to live in two households in this touching picture book."--Publisher's description.

Standing on My Own Two Feet

Author/Illustrator: Tamara Schmitz
Published: 2008
Location: Bethlehem
"Addison's parents are divorced, and he lives in one house with his mom and another with his dad, but one thing he knows above all is that both his parents love him -- and they always will."--Publisher's description.

Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend

Author: Karen Stanton
Published: 2014
Location: Bethlehem
"Although Henry enjoys the time he spends at his mother's apartment and his father's house, his dog Pomegranate gets confused about which place is home."--Publisher's description.

Picture Books about Same-Sex Parents

Uncle Bobby's Wedding

Author/Illustrator: Sarah S. Brannen
Published: 2008
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"Chloe is jealous and sad when her favorite uncle announces that he will be getting married, but as she gets to know Jamie better and becomes involved in planning the wedding, she discovers that she will always be special to Uncle Bobby -- and to Uncle Jamie, too."--Publisher's description.

Antonio's Card/la Tarjeta de Antonio

Author: Rigoberto González; Cecilia Concepción Alvarez (Illustrations)
Published: 2005
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"With Mother's Day coming, Antonio finds he has to decide what is important to him when his classmates make fun of the unusual appearance of his mother's partner, Leslie."--Publisher's description. In English with parallel Spanish text.

Donovan's Big Day

Author: Lesleá Newman; Mike Dutton (Illustrator)
Published: 2011
Location: Bethlehem
"From the moment Donovan wakes in the morning, he painstakingly prepares for his special role in the wedding ceremony of his two mothers."--Publisher's description.

Heather Has Two Mommies

Author: Lesléa Newman; Diana Souza (Illustrations)
Published: 2000
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"When Heather goes to playgroup, at first she feels bad because she has two mothers and no father, but then she learns that there are lots of different kinds of families and the most important thing is that all the people love each other."--Publisher's description.

In Our Mothers' House

Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Published: 2009
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers."--Publisher's description.

And Tango Makes Three

Authors: Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell; Henry Cole (Illustrator)
Published: 2005
Location: Bethlehem
"At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches."--Publisher's description.

Picture Books about Incarcerated Family Members

Knock Knock: My Daddy's Dream for Me

Author: Daniel Beaty; Bryan Collier (Artist)
Published: 2013
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times when he cannot be there."--Publisher's description.

The Night Dad Went to Jail

Author: Melissa Higgins; Wednesday Kirwan (Illustrator)
Published: 2012
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. What do you do? No matter who your loved one is, this story can help you through the tough times."--Publisher's description.

Picture Books about Immigrant Families

Not This Turkey!

Author: Jessica Steinberg; Amanda Pike (Illustrator)
Published: 2013
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"Although Mel and his family have lived in America for several years, they have never celebrated Thanksgiving, just the Jewish holidays."--Publisher's description.

The Quiet Place

Author: Sarah Stewart; David Small (Illustrator)
Published: 2012
Location: Bethlehem
"The story of young immigrant Isabel, who misses her family and friends back in Mexico, while decorating a large box as a place of quiet contemplation and encountering new experiences, including a first snowstorm and a kind teacher."--Publisher's description.

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
Published: 2013
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote"--Publisher's description.

Picture Books about Multicultural Families

Jamela's Dress

Author: Niki Daly (author/Illustrator)
Published: 1999
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"Jamela gets in trouble when she takes the expensive material intended for a new dress for Mama, parades it in the street, and allows it to become dirty and torn"--Publisher's description.

Black, White, Just Right!

Author: Marguerite W. Davol; Irene Trivas (Illustrator)
Published: 1993
Location: Bethlehem
"A girl explains how her parents are different in color, tastes in art and food, and pet preferences, and how she herself is different too but just right."--Publisher's description.

In My Family (En Mi Familia)

Author: Carmen Lomas Garza; David Schecter (Editor); Harriet Rohmer (Editor); Francisco X. Alarcón (Translator)
Published: 1996
Location: Bethlehem
"The author describes, in bilingual text and illustrations, her experiences growing up in an Hispanic community in Texas."--Publisher's description.

Sweetest Kulu

Author: Celina Kalluk; Alexandria Neonakis (Illustrator)
Published: 2014
Location: Monroe
This beautiful bedtime poem describes the gifts given to a newborn Inuit baby by all the animals of the Arctic.

No Kimchi for Me!

Author: Aram Kim (author/illustrator)
Published: 2017
Location: Bethlehem &Monroe
Yoomi loves Grandma's cooking--except for stinky, spicy kimchi. Luckily, Grandma has a good idea, and soon everyone has a new food to enjoy.

The Night of the Moon

Author: Hena Khan; Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)
Published: 2008
Location: Bethlehem
"Yasmeen has a wonderful time celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with her family and friends."--Publisher's description.

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Author: Meg Medina; Anglea Dominguez (Illustrator)
Published: 2015
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
When a little girl's far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language.

Gracias/Thanks

Author: Pat Mora; John Parra (Illustrator)
Published: 2009
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
Parallel text in English and Spanish
"A young multiracial boy celebrates family, friendship, and fun by telling about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful."--Publisher's description.

Yoko's Paper Cranes

Author: Rosemary Wells
Published: 2001
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
When Yoko moves from Japan to California, she decides to make and send origami swans to her grandmother for her birthday.

Other Picture Books about Multicultural Families

Whoever You Are

Author: Mem Fox; Leslie Staub (Illustrator)
Published: 1997
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love."--Publisher's description.

The Family Book

Author: Todd Parr
Published: 2003
Location: Bethlehem
"Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways -- and special no matter what."--Publisher's description.

You and Me Together

Author: Barbara Kerley
Published: 2005
Location: Bethlehem & Monroe
"From a festival in India to a bus in Germany, from a park in China to a campfire in Australia, loving moms, dads, and kids share their lives."-- Publisher's description.

All Families Are Special

Author: Norma Simon; Teresa Flavin (Illustrator)
Published 2003
Location: Bethlehem
"Students in Mrs. Mack's class describe their families -- big or small, living together or apart, with two moms or none -- and learn why every family is special and important."--Publisher's description.