“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” — Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop

Celebrating mothers is a perfect time to offer children the opportunity to explore both familiar and strange experiences Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop refers to. Though each experience is unique, children everywhere share the human experience of “mother,” somehow. Exploring through that common ground leads to connection, despite differences, and is an important step in developing empathy. Here are a few titles that may offer a window, sliding glass door or mirror for your child or may just be fun to share and enjoy!

Like the Moon Loves the Sky

by Hena Khan (Author) Saffa Khan (Illustrator)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In this moving picture book, author Hena Khan shares her wishes for her children: “Inshallah you find wonder in birds as they fly. Inshallah you are loved, like the moon loves the sky.” With vibrant illustrations and prose inspired by the Quran, this charming picture book is a heartfelt and universal celebration of a parent’s unconditional love.

For families who have read and loved Under My Hijab, Yo Soy Muslim and Mommy’s Khimar. A sweet and lovely bedtime book to help let children know they are loved and precious.

Me & Mama

by Cozbi A. Cabrera (Author and Illustrator)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

On a rainy day when the house smells like cinnamon and Papa and Luca are still asleep, when the clouds are wearing shadows and the wind paints the window with beads of water, I want to be everywhere Mama is.

With lyrical prose and a tender touch, the Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Mama and Me is an ode to the strength of the bond between a mother and a daughter as they spend a rainy day together.

Where Three Oceans Meet

by Rajani Larocca (Author) Archana Sreenivasan (Illustrator)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A child, mother and grandmother travel all the way to the end of the earth in this picture book that celebrates multigenerational love–perfect for fans of Drawn Together and Alma.

“I want to see what’s at the end of the earth!” Sejal, Mommy and Pati travel together to the southern tip of India. Along the way, they share meals, visit markets and catch up with old friends. For Pati, the trip retraces spaces she knows well. For Mommy, it’s a return to the place she grew up. For Sejal, it’s a discovery of new sights and sounds. The family finds their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, and delight in making it to the end of the earth together. This own voices picture book celebrates the beauty of India and the enduring love of family.

Hope Springs

by Jaime Berry (Author)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Eleven-year-old Jubilee Johnson is an expert at three things: crafting, moving and avoiding goodbyes. On the search for the perfect place, she and her Nan live by their Number One Relocation Rule — just the two of them is all they need. But Jubilee’s starting to feel like just two is a little too close to alone. Desperate to settle down, Jubilee plans their next move, Hope Springs, Texas — home of her TV crafting idol, Arletta Paisley. Here she meets a girl set on winning the local fishing tournament and a boy who says exactly the right thing by hardly speaking at all. Soon, Jubilee wonders if Hope Springs might just be the place to call home. But when the town is threatened by a mega-chain superstore fronted by Arletta Paisley, Jubilee is faced with skipping town yet again or standing up to her biggest bully yet. With the help of her new friends and the one person she never thought she’d need — her Momma — will Jubilee find a way to save the town she’s come to love and convince Nan that it’s finally time to settle down?

Your Mama

by Nonieqa Ramos (Author) Jacqueline Alcántara (Illustrator)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A sweet twist on the age-old “yo mama” joke, celebrating fierce moms everywhere with playful lyricism and gorgeous illustrations. Perfect for Mother’s Day. Yo’ mama so sweet, she could be a bakery. She dresses so fine, she could have a clothing line. And, even when you mess up, she’s so forgiving, she lets you keep on living. Heartwarming and richly imagined, Your Mama twists an old joke into a point of pride that honors the love, hard work and dedication of mamas everywhere.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal & Gabi #1)

by Carlos Hernandez (Author)

From the Rick Riordan Presents collection, this brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

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