Celebration of Families (through Books!)

Celebration of Families (through Books!)

post by JoEllen McCarthy, member of The Educator Collaborative

Celebration of Families (through Books!)

No one likes a celebration more than I do.  In fact, I might argue we can find something to celebrate in every day.  Call it my “gladitude.”  Learning together in and of itself is celebratory.  However, we must be mindful of what and how we celebrate in order to support each and every one of our children.  

In No More Culturally Irrelevant Teaching (Heinemann, 2018) the authors define “culturally relevant teaching as a complex web of mindsets, plans, and practices that place students at the center of all decision making.” That is something to celebrate!

As our students vary, so do their family structures.  So, as some schools get ready to celebrate Father’s Day, let’s reflect on the beautiful array of loving families.   

An all-inclusive look at families that come in all shapes and sizes:

A Family is a Family is a Family – Sara O’Leary

Love is a Family– Roma Downey

The Family Book– Todd Parr

Families- Shelley Rottner and Sheila M. Kelly

Poems about Dads:

My Daddy Rules the World– Hope Anita Smith

In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall – Javaka Steptoe

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week– Francisco X. Alarcṍn

Loving relationships in nature:

Amazing Dads– Bridget E. Hamilton

Animal Dads– Sneed B. Collard III and Steve Jenkins

My Dad Loves Me– Marianne Richmond

An ode to blended families: Dads and Step-Dads:

Dad and Pop – Kelly Bennett and Paul Miesel

Two loving parents:

Stella Brings the Family– Miriam Schiffer and Holly Clifton Brown

Daddy, Pappa and Me– Leslea Newman

Harriet Gets Carried Away– Jessie Sima

For those experiencing a loss or missing a family member:

The Pond– Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher

Far Apart, Close in Heart: Being a Family When a Loved One is Incarcerated -Becky Birtha and Maja Kastelic

Papa’s Backpack – James Christopher Carroll

Let’s Go See Papã- Lawrence Schimel and Alba Marina Rivera

Celebrating time spent together:

A Different Pond- Bao Phi and Thi Bui

Daddy Calls Me Man – Angela Johnson and Rhonda Mitchell

Hooked- Tommy Greenwald and David McPhail

Didi and Daddy on the Promenade- Marilyn Singer and Marie Louise Gay

Dad by My Side- Soosh

Papa and Me– Arthor Dorros and Rudy Guitierrez

Tell Me a Tattoo Story – Allison McGhee and Eliza Wheeler

Intergenerational stories:

Drawn Together- Minh Lee and Dan Santat

A Morning with Grandpa- Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay

Pop Pop and Me – Irene Smalls and Cathy Ann Johnson


In what remains for this school year or next, let’s all continue to celebrate, nurture, and honor the beauty and diverse aspects of our children and their stories, because that’s what loving caregivers do.  


A note from The Educator Collaborative:

A celebration of families includes all families. We stand firmly against the separation of children and families currently happening as part of the U.S. Government policy for migrant families. This article from Slate.com provides insight as well as organizations you can support, partner with, or join actions to fight back to protect human rights:


1 Comment

  1. JoEllen, it’s nice to hear from you! I love your book lists! (More titles to add to my collection!) Family celebrations are the BEST!

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