5 Great Children’s Books Featuring Non-Traditional Families

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Image via Tracy Jensen

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These days, many families do not fit the traditional cookie-cutter image. As children start to identify with the stories they read, it can be isolating when they do not have any books that mirror their own day-to-day lives.

Fear not! From adoptions to military families, here are five children's books that tackle non-traditional families with heart and great storytelling.

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Image via Amazon.com

Mama and Daddy Bear's Divorce by Cornelia Maude Spelmen

This book is about four bears: Dinah, her parents, and her sister, Ruth. When Dinah's parents tell her they are getting divorced, she is afraid.

The book focuses on simple themes and repetition that resonate well with young children. At both houses, she has the same things she always did: her stuffed rabbit and her red sandals with three straps. The story and illustrations are warm and focus on the love between parents and their children.

Awesome bonus: There is a note to grownups inside the front cover that discusses what young children need when it comes to divorce: simple explanations and a lot of reassurance.

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Image via Amazon.com

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager

This book is told from the perspective of three children discussing what is like to have two mommies:

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“Which mom is there when you want to go fishing?”

“Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?”

To which he answers:

“Mommy helps when I want to go fishing.”

“Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.”

As the kids ask questions, the story highlights the similarities between all families: parents are there to love and care for their children.

{ MORE: I Didn't Want To Read Girl, Wash Your Face, But Here's Why I Couldn't Resist }

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Image via Amazon.com

I Wished For You: An Adoption Story by Marianne Richmond

Marianne Richmond is known for her loving stories and warm illustrations, and this story is no exception. Barley the bear cuddles with his mom, asking her questions about how they became a family. The story starts with a wish, gently answers questions about Barley's biological mother, and is full of joy and love on every page.

Awesome bonus: You can create a personalized version of the book for your child at Put Me In The Story.

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Image via Amazon.com

Countdown ‘Til Daddy Comes Home by Kristin Ayyar

The author is an Air Force spouse who wrote from her own experiences with her family. Whether someone in your family is deployed or just travels regularly with work, this book provides a story to which kids can relate.

Awesome bonus: Even better than the story, this book contains activities that you can do with your family as you wait for your loved one's return.

{ MORE: March is National Literacy Month: Here's How to Raise a Reader }

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Image via Amazon.com

The Family Book by Todd Parr

If you aren't familiar with Todd Parr's books, his pages are full of bright colors and silly illustrations. His tone is light, and his books always bring a smile to my kids' faces. The Family Book is about just that: different kinds of families. Whether big, small, different colors, same gender … everyone likes to hug! This book is a keeper for every family to enjoy.

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Awesome bonus: As a single parent, I use Parr's The Daddy Book as a way to make it easy for my kids to talk about their dad and know it is OK to love him even if Mom and Dad do not live together anymore.

What are your favorite books that think outside the traditional box? Share them in the comments!

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5 Great Children’s Books Featuring Non-Traditional Families

Tracy Jensen is a writer, marketer, mother, fundraiser, marathoner, and music lover. A working, single mom of two kids ages six and five, she is notorious for doing things the hard way. In addition to writing for EverydayFamily, she survives suburban exile by blogging about life’s foibles at It Builds Character. She can be found at night ignoring the dishes and playing on Twitter. ... More

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