While several different countries honor parents on specific holidays around the calendar, the official United Nations’ designated Parents Day falls annually on June 1. Since our publishers come from various countries around the globe, all of which belong to the UN, we decided to take the international approach in our own celebration. Happy Parents Day to everyone who is or has one! For the child or children who make you a parent, we have some book suggestions for them to share with you on your special day.
New just last month from Inhabit Media (Nunavut, Canada) is I Am Loved, a picture book by Mary and Kevin Qamaniq-Mason, with illustrations by Hwei Lim. This one provides a story of foster care and a child’s need to recognize that love comes from both his beloved and absent grandmother and his caring foster parents. While culturally specific to Inuit values, the concepts of fostering and learning to recognize both present and absent care providers directly addresses the intent of Parents Day’s honoring of those with children. Inhabit Media provides a Resource Guide for this title here.
A now classic picture book from Tilbury House Publishers (Maine, USA) celebrates adoption as a way of making a family. Megan Dowd Lambert’s Real Sisters Pretend tells the story of an older sister explaining to her toddler sibling the veracity of their relationship, recalling for her how the judge made them real sisters. Beautifully evocative illustrations by Nicole Tadgell show the sisters in imaginative play as well as real world memories. This book is available in both hardcover and paperback and has won numerous awards and critical praise.
Lantana Publishing (England, UK) has an award-winning series of three picture books on the theme of parental comfort. Written by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Poonam Mistry, You’re Safe with Me, You’ve Snug with Me, and You’re Strong with Me offer imaginative and comforting insights on parent-child bonds. The artwork is gorgeous and the stories each carry ecologically-informed subtexts through them.
A parent’s many nurturing jobs include creating healthy ways to handle emotional development difficulties. From Blair Publishing (North Carolina, USA) and hot off the press What If Wilhelmina, written and illustrated by Joseph Belisle, shows how a child’s dads find ways to help her cope with all those worries about possible unfortunate outcomes when her cat, Wilhelmina, appears to have gone missing. Like the family in this picture book, the artist author has a husband and a daughter of their own so he does, indeed, know how much Parents Day needs to be recognized and celebrated.
Two more picture books celebrating children’s views of their parents have arrived from their publishers very recently. From Gecko Press (New Zealand), A Mother Is a House, by Aurore Petit, translated from French by Daniel Hahn, offers the many ways an infant relates to a maternal parent who feeds, warms, cuddles, and plays with them. And coming soon, from Tiger Tales (USA), Baking with Daddy, by Kathryn Smith with illustrations by Seb Braun, is just right for the parent of a toddler to share. It’s filled with flaps to be lifted to show all kinds of ingredients and even a simple bread recipe to make together.
Now you have something more to look forward to discovering beyond UN’s Parents Day, too!