What to Read with Mom this Mother’s Day

by Kirsti Granholm

Sunday, May 12, 2019 is Mother’s Day! Support Canadian literature by celebrating mom’s special day with one (or all) of the heart-warming books we have included in the list below. Whether your mother enjoys a sweet bedtime read or a tear-jerking tale, there is something for everyone!

Here are some notable Canadian books to check out this Mother’s Day:


My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me by Natalie Meisner, illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars (Nimbus Publishing, 2019) Ages 4-8

In this book, Natalie Meisner and Mathilde Cinq-Mars bring you a beautiful piece of work. My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me encapsulates the awe children have as they begin to explore nature. Along with the striking, yet soft illustrations, this book serves as a gentle reminder of how precious family moments, like a day at the beach, are. No matter what your family dynamic is, we can all relate to a beautiful summers’ day by the water. This book is a feel-good story to share with the whole family this Mother’s Day.


A Bubble by Geneviève Castrée (Drawn & Quarterly, 2018) Ages 4-8

A Bubble is a board book by author and artist Geneviève Castrée. This touching story is conveyed through the eyes of Castrée’s two-year-old daughter, who is watching her mother battle pancreatic cancer. From her daughter’s perspective, Castrée is consumed by a bubble that restricts her from doing a wide range of activities. Regardless of Castrée’s pain, she still remains resilient. This emotional story serves as a reminder of the unconditional love mothers have to offer.


This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Tundra Books, 2015) Ages 4-8

“So many things to make and do and be.” This Is Sadie is the relatable story of a young girl with an adventurous spirit. Her imagination takes her everywhere, from flying across the city with her marvellous wings, to diving to the depths of the ocean as a mermaid, to adventuring Wonderland with her fictional friends. Sadie is a jack-of-all-trades in her imagination. Her story sparks a memory of a time when your imagination could run wild — we all have a little bit of Sadie in us. This picture book is a great read to share with your mom this Mother’s Day.


Good Night, Good Night by Dennis Lee, illustrated by Qin Leng (HarperCollins Publisher, 2018) Ages 4-8

Good Night, Good Night is a beautiful board book by Dennis Lee. The theme behind this book displays the lively imagination of children through a series of dreamy bedtime poems. The book is broken up into six different poems, including “Cuddle a Bug,” “Cool Pillow,” “The Coming of Teddy Bears”, “The Moon,” “Silverly,” and “Good Night, Good Night.” This collection creates excitement about going to bed, as you follow the boys, girls, birds and teddy bears to sleep. You can’t go wrong with these classic poems.


Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkins, illustrated by Qin Leng (Balzer & Bray, 2018) Ages 4-8

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen is the story of how Jane Austen came to be. Author Deborah Hopkins and illustrator Qin Leng collaborated to create this beautifully crafted story, outlining the triumphs and struggles of a young, female author well over 200 years ago. Jane was an observant young woman, and it is no surprise that she became the talent we all know and adore today. Indulge in the inspiring story of the determined Jane Austen with your mom this Mother’s Day, with the Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen!


I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2018) Ages 4-8

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy is a thoughtful story about the importance of having sympathy for yourself. This book highlights many important affirmations we tend to forget during our day-to-day activities. The protagonist, who happens to be a curious young boy, reminds us of the wonder we once had as children. From finding joy in friendships to discovering nature, there is a lesson for everyone to learn in I Am Human. Follow along with the charming illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds. This reflective picture book makes for a fantastic read to share with your mother this weekend!


Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen, illustrated by Derek Desierto (Feiwel and Friends, 2018) Ages 4-8

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes is about an inspiring adventure with a girl named Juno. Juno’s friends all have fun and flashy shoes. Compared to them Juno, feels like her shoes are plain and boring. This feeling doesn’t last for long as Juno is brought on a transformative adventure; Juno gets to step in the shoes of anyone she wants to be! This experience helps Juno realize that her shoes are fine the way they are, but it wouldn’t hurt to add a little colour or sparkle to them. Sometimes we wish we could be someone else, but Juno shows us that in order to be happy, you just need to be yourself!


Sprout, Seed, Sprout! by Annika Dunklee, illustrated by Carey Sookocheff (Owlkids Books, 2019) Ages 4-8

As a boy and his cat attempt to grow an avocado tree, they are left disappointed after multiple attempts to care for the seed, despite following all of the proper steps: soil, sunlight and water. In the end, the boy realizes patience is what he is really missing. The repetition of one to three serves as an engaging addition to the book. This short and sweet story teaches us a lesson on the importance of patience, and never giving up.

Love You Head to Toe by Ashley Barron (Owlkids Books, 2019) Ages 4-8

Love You Head to Toe is an engaging book full of rhymes! Anyone could enjoy this read because of the fun animal illustrations by Ashley Barron.
You’re my snuggle bug baby,
Such a joy to get to know,
From chipmunk cheeks to froggy feet,
I love you head to toe.”
This touching story displays the depth of a mothers’ love for their child through animals and rhymes. Share this fun story with your mom this Mother’s Day to put a smile on her face.


Dear Boy, by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam (HarperCollins Publishers, 2019) Ages 4-8

Dear Boy, is a follow-up to the Rosenthal families’ success with their bestselling book Dear Girl,. Everyone should have these books in their collection because of their endearing, yet simple, messages. Whether it’s being a good sport or learning to be an honest young man, Dear Boy, reinforces positive behaviours in a fun and engaging way. Add this book to your wish list; you’ll definitely want to read this one more than once.


What book will you be reading this Mother’s Day?