Courtesy of Read Brightly editors


from A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

“Mama is a believable and hardworking single parent, who I came to love just as her daughter Rosa does in the book. She’s a great role model for Rosa. Together, Mama, Rosa, and Rosa’s grandma find significance and purpose through their hard work and saving to buy a brand-new chair after losing everything in a fire. When their savings jar is finally full, the family goes chair shopping to find the perfect replacement. In the end, Grandma has a chair to sit in during the day, Mama has a comfy chair to sit in after a long day working in a diner, and Rosa has a chair where Mama and Grandma can read her bedtime stories.” —Charnaie Gordon

Mrs. Quimby

from the Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary

“I have a soft spot for Mrs. Quimby, of the Ramona books. The Quimbys weren’t perfect parents, they argued. And when Ramona threatens to run away, Mrs. Quimby pulls the ultimate parenting kung fu move — she offers to help. I always thought, oh, I’ll keep that in my back pocket for when this happens to me — because I know it will happen to me. I’m all about the “good enough” mother — as opposed to the “perfect mother” — and, in the realm of children’s books, Mrs. Quimby fits that mold. (But also, because I love a bad mom, Mrs. Wormwood from Matilda is kinda fun, too.)” —Laura Lambert

Hazel’s Amazing Mother

from Hazel’s Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells

“My favorite mom in children’s lit is the titular heroine of Hazel’s Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells. Sure, I was impressed by Hazel’s mother’s domestic prowess: she not only makes Hazel a doll, she makes her an entire wardrobe, including blue silk shoes! But what really impressed, no, amazed me was Hazel’s mother’s extraordinary ability to be in the right place in the nick of time.” —Liz Lesnick

Mrs. Murry

from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

“Mrs. Murry, brilliant scientist and successful mother, must deal with raising four kids alone when her husband goes missing on a secret government project. Does she whine and complain like I would? No way. She perseveres. She has family dinner and makes them hot chocolate when they are up in the middle of the night. She appreciates what makes each of her children special and unique and brings out the best in each of them. She inspires me to want to be a better mom.” —Kari Ness Riedel

Mrs. Weasley

from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

“My favorite mom in literature is Mrs. Weasley from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. She’s an incredible, caring mom and a strong warrior woman in her own right. She clearly loves her kids and their friends (Harry and Hermione get to stay at the Burrow anytime) yet still has rules and expectations (Ron’s embarrassing Howler). She’s imperfect but her love shows in everything she does. That, in my eyes, is the best kind of parent.” —Melissa Taylor

Sam’s Mom

from Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram

“Sam’s mom plays the bedtime game with him and creates a ritual that any child would love. She is both calming and fun, showing a true love for Sam and an understanding of his needs.” —Jennifer Ridgway


from Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

“A special shout-out to grandmas, who offer their own kind of treasures. One of my very favorites is CJ’s grandmother in the joyous Last Stop on Market Street. Not only is the special bond between CJ and Nana sweet and touching, it’s so important to CJ’s perspective. Nana helps CJ see the true beauty in the things around him and appreciate what’s really valuable in life.” —Wesley Salazar