Book List: Picture books with a beautiful family message

It is National Families Week in Australia. It is a time when “everyone is encouraged to think about the valuable role families play in helping children to develop, learn and grow, and reflect on the influence families have on a child’s wellbeing.”

I thought I’d share some of our favourite family books. Each of the following books is incredibly beautiful, which is why we enjoy reading them so much. Although, they are each quite different they all highlight the importance of family, in all the shapes and forms they take.

Please share with us your favourite books that celebrate the importance of family.

Tanglewood

Margaret Wild

Illustrator: Vivienne Goodman

ISBN: 978-1862915701

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Omnibus Books (Scholastic)

Published: Australia, April 2012

RRP: $26.99 (AUD)

Tanglewood is an incredibly  precious story that reinforces our inability to live without family. It is about a single tree that stands alone on a remote island wishing for company and wondering whether it was possible to die of loneliness.

For a short time, the tree enjoys the company of a seagull until the seagull returns to his own family. Understanding the importance of family to one’s health and happiness, the seagull eventually returns with some tanglewood seeds so the tree could have a family of his own to keep him company.

Out of interest, this book took 7 years to make- WOW! It is easy to see why. The illustrations are so emotive and life-like.

Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★★)

Family Forest

Kim Kane

Illustrator: Lucia Masciullo

ISBN: 978-1921564703

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books

Published: Australia, May 2010

RRP: $24.95 (AUD)

Family Forest is a clever book that represents a blended family. Their situation may seem complicated on paper, but their family is just as fun and loving as any other family. Together, Kim Kane and Lucia Masciullo, play on a range of family-related words (half-sister, whole-sister, step-mother and big-brother), making it a witty and entertaining book.

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★★★)

My Sister Olive

Paula Russell

Illustrator: Gaye Chapman

ISBN: 978-1921272882

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Little Hare Books (Hardie Grand Egmont)

Published: Australia, June, 2010

RRP: $24.95 (AUD)

This book is incredibly charming, and highlights the importance of sisterly relationships.  My daughter and I both love it for different reasons though. I love the vintage inspired illustrations: shabby-chic collages and classic pastel colours. Cam loves the adoration Little Sister has for her big sister, Olive. The ending is heart-warming, when Little Sister realises that she is equally loved by Olive. Every time we read this, Cam wishes for a little sister of her own.

Suitable for ages 2+ (★★★★★)

You’re Lovable to Me

Kat Yeh

Illustrator: Sue Anderson

ISBN: 978-0375860157

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, December 2009

RRP: $22.95 (AUD)

The family in this book is represented by mischievous children and a tired mama. The take- home message from this soft, charming picture book is the strength of parental love: it doesn’t matter how much mischief a child gets up to, they will always feel loved as long as they hear it often enough.

Suitable for ages 2+ (★★★★★)

You might also be interested in looking at some of our other family-related book lists:

-Mothers

-Fathers

-Grandparents (This list is a work in progress)

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