Our favorite Mighty Girl stories about the love between girls and their parents, grandparents, and siblings!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s a great time to talk to your Mighty Girl about love — not just romantic love, but the many other kinds of love she’ll encounter in her life. After all, while your Mighty Girl may be years away from experiencing romantic love, she’s sure to have family who love her!
With that in mind, we've pulled together a selection of girl-empowering books about the love between girls and their parents, grandparents, and siblings to share with your Mighty Girl this Valentine’s Day — and all year round. There’s no better way to remind her how many people are there to support her, on Valentine’s Day and throughout her life!
Of course, there’s lots of love outside families as well. To talk to your Mighty Girl about the love between friends, you can find many of our favorite books in our blog post Making and Keeping Friends: Mighty Girl Books about Friendship. And, for books for tweens and teens about romantic love, check out our blog post Mighty Girl Books for Tweens & Teens About Healthy Relationships.
No Matter What: Book About A Parent's Love
Whether your Mighty Girl was born into your family or you found one another through adoption, the love of a parent is a powerful presence in her life. These books will teach her the strength of that love, and how, no matter what happens, it will be there to support her.
Celebrate enduring parental love and the growth of a beloved child's world with this charming board book! When this baby is born, her home is her mother's arms. When she gets a little bigger, her home becomes the room where she plays... and then the garden outside... and then even further. She begins to realize how challenging the world can be, but with her mother's help, she realizes that, no matter how far you go, your parents' love follows you everywhere and you will always have a home. With sweet rhyming text and warm, inviting illustrations, this is a celebration of how a family's love and support can stretch further than you can imagine.
"Dance, little baby, / move to and fro / Coo and crow, baby, / there you go." Who would have thought a nineteenth-century poem would capture the joy of moving with baby so perfectly? When Mama falls asleep on the sofa, it's an opportunity for Dad and his little girl to have a swooping, twirling dance, just the two of them. This energetic book is perfect for reading aloud... or dancing to!
"When I saw you for the very first time, I was filled with joy that you were mine." In this heartwarming book, Caroline Jayne Church's rhyming text and colorful illustrations provide a warm, tender look at the love between parent and child. The repeated refrain, "I knew I would love you forever," reminds young readers that, no matter where they go, they are cherished and loved. This padded cover board book is suitable for all ages and perfect for a snuggly storytime.
Even toddlers can learn about unconditional love with this simple, cheerful picture book. Whether the kids in this book are brave or scared, happy or sad, cuddled up close or miles away, their parents love them. Parr's distinctive colorful illustrations are appealing to even the youngest children, who will love hearing the message “I love you just the way you are” over and over again.
How do you tell a Mighty Girl how much you love her? Sometimes it’s hard to find the words, especially for the youngest girls. This sweet book answers the question in simple but deep metaphor — as a bee loves a flower, as a bear loves the spring, as the moon loves every star. Paired with Charlotte Church’s collage illustrations, it’s a lovely way to convey the depth and breadth of a parent’s love. For a bilingual English / Spanish edition of this title, check out How Do I Love You? / ¿Cómo te quiero?.
Count and play through a busy day with this Mighty Girl and her loving mom! Each activity, from waking up to eating breakfast to playing at the park, involves a different sort of hug — but every one of them lets her know that Mommy loves her to pieces. Katz's distinctive bright, patterned illustrations are always a hit with young kids, and they'll soon be asking for their own special hug.
In the woods, fields, and lakes of this book, a number of animal pairs explore the unique combination of support and independence offered by a loving parent! The little ones in this book run, hide, swim, and stretch their wings. Sometimes, they need Mom or Dad to give them a boost; other times, they just need a warm embrace at the end of the day. And a final pair — a mother and child working in a garden — encourage kids to imagine all the things their parents do for them. This book is a tender and sweet celebration of love that parents and kids will cherish.
It's a perfect day for Lulu — aka Ladybug Girl — to spend with her father! Everything is an adventure when they're together, from hiking a trail and skipping rocks to hanging up laundry to dry. And as the pair make pancakes and build a birdhouse, they're also creating special memories of father-daughter time together. This sweet board book is perfect for fans of Ladybug Girl to read over and over with their fathers. Lulu also appeared in a book celebrating grandfathers this year, Ladybug Girl's Day Out With Grandpa. For more books starring this popular character, visit our Ladybug Girl Collection.
A mother and daughter's walk by the ocean becomes a memory she'll never forget in this dreamy story. Beginning with the excitement of being up late, and continuing as the exuberant girl splashes and dashes around the empty beach, this book follows the pair through an ordinary night that becomes extra special. The night, of course, ends where any parent would guess: with a sound sleep on Mama's lap. Jennifer Eachus’ silvery illustrations and Martin Waddell’s flowing text make for a gentle, meditative read-aloud.
Show Mom just how much she means with the help of the Very Hungry Caterpillar! As the caterpillar crawls through the book, he sees animal mothers caring for their babies: lifting them up, holding them close, and giving them the strength and wisdom they need to face the big world around them! Eric Carle's distinctive artwork and lively animal characters ensure that every child (and mom) can see themselves in this book. Joyful illustrations and colorful creatures make this a lovely keepsake perfect to show whoever you call "Mom" just how much she means to you. For the companion book for fathers, check out I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Nothing is better than spending time with dad, as far as this spunky girl is concerned! They ride bikes and swim, they imagine amazing games, and they relax and take it easy. Being around Dad makes her feel powerful and strong — brave enough to challenge herself by getting thrown high up in the air or facing a nearby dog — but when her feelings overwhelm her, he's also there to make her feel safe and calm. This sweet companion to In My Heart is a celebration of the way that dads support, nurture, and encourage their Mighty Girls.
From the author of the popular Llama, Llama series comes a delightful story starring a loving daughter and daddy duo! Nelly Gnu loves painting, building, and drawing — but everything is better with Daddy Gnu! Over the course of a special day, Nelly and her daddy plan an exciting project to build together. Daddy listens carefully to Nelly’s ideas, but Nelly also learns to listen to Daddy’s thoughts, too. Filled with fun rhyming text, this charming story is sure to delight your Mighty Girl! Vivid illustrations perfectly capture the special day of a loving and attentive father and his doting daughter.
As they go for a walk through their neighborhood, a patient father encourages his daughter to ask him all of the questions she is brimming with as they explore the world. This wise dad knows that there’s much beauty and love to share in this idle walk and rambling talk. And with each new sight prompting another train of thought comes something else: the confidence and joy that comes from knowing that your father is really listening. This poetic and gentle picture book is sure to prompt your own sessions of “ask me.”
A pair of wolves are shocked when they find a baby floating in a basket in the river — and when no parent seems to be nearby, they decide to raise her as their own. The joyful parents teach her everything they know as she grows, and soon she's adept at following her wolfish family through the forest. But when she sees a group of children reading, she's captured by curiosity. Fortunately, her loving family tells her they will support her dreams, no matter what they are, and soon she's spending her days at school — and her nights telling her family all about what she's learned. This charming and quirky fable celebrates the love that builds a family, and how that love allows kids to soar.
This parent-child pair love one another — for so many reasons! They enjoy eating pizza with extra moo-zzarella or having popcorn at the moo-vies. They share big s-moo-ches and moo-velous hugs. And no matter what moo-d either of them is in, they know they can make it through together — their love is as big as a MOO-SE! With pun-packed text and adorable illustrations of all of their antics, this vivacious book by best-selling author and illustrator team Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld celebrates time with a parent and the love that bonds families together.
A dad can be many things — a teacher, a protector, a nurturer, a partner in adventures... or even all of the above, changing from moment to moment to suit what his little girl needs! Instagram artist Soosh went viral when she introduced her charming father-daughter pair, and now her debut picture book celebrates the many special roles that a father plays in a child's life. This charming picture book is the perfect way to celebrate a special dad!
In this tenderly funny book, when a little girl meets a lost duckling, it's love at first sight! The pair are soon inseparable, but that doesn't mean there aren't challenges as they clash over midnight feedings, messes, and bathtime. But as both girl and duckling grow, they also grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Parents and children alike will adore this sweet book about growing up and the joys of offering and returning love.
It's a special day for this little girl: Mommy is off to work, which means she's daddy-sitting! Daddies need lots of attention, and it's a good idea to spend time doing things like biking to the playground (or rather, letting him pedal while you ride in the trailer); grabbing groceries; and a some jobs around the house, like a tea party (while Daddy folds laundry and does other chores.) This charming role reversal will make kids giggle and snuggle up close as they enjoy this sweet and cozy story celebrating a loving father and daughter making an ordinary day special.
"I love every smile, every blink,/ I love you by heart./ I love your toes, your head, your nose,/ I love you by heart." This charming book celebrates the love of parents, grandparents, and caregivers for the children in their lives! The little pink heart (which sometimes has green or blue days...) always knows that the red heart is full of love, a safe place to go when you need support and care. Celebrated, bestselling creator Peter H. Reynolds has created a sweet tribute to unconditional love that's perfect for sharing with the special people in your life.
Even a day at the beach can be filled with challenges for a little girl: starting with a bad dream in the middle of the night, and then moving on with a missing shoe, a ball floating away on the ocean, a dripping ice cream cone... Fortunately, there’s a patient, loving Daddy there to help fix every problem! This book is perfect for reminding the little girl in your life of all the little ways that her father shows his love.
“I wanted you more than you’ll ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go...” So begins Nancy Tillman’s lovely tribute to the gift of love that parents give their children. As Tillman describes the depth and strength of a parent’s love, her mixed-media illustrations depict beautiful, vivid landscapes full of wild animal companions. Like Tillman’s debut picture book, On the Night You Were Born, this book is a favorite with children, but older kids — and even adults — can draw new meaning from its message of constant, supportive love.
"I loved you before I saw you...But before I'd finished imagining who you'd be, you were here. And you were perfect." In this touching celebration of fatherhood, the close bond between parent and child comes to life with heartwarming resonance. Simple moments, like listening to a child's stories or gazing at the stars, become shimmering moments to treasure. The tranquil text paired with tender watercolor illustrations creates a warm look at the joys, fears, and responsibilities of being a dad over the years, making it the perfect picture book for expectant fathers and already-fathers everywhere.
Bundled in warm clothes on a cold winter night, a girl and her father go out walking and looking for owls. As Pa calls softly into the night, the pair hope that they will see an owl, but even if they don't, they'll have the pleasure of quiet time together. This winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal takes a simple activity, offered as a special treat — staying up past bedtime! — and turns it into a moment of magic. Quiet, contemplative text from author Jane Yolen and rich, soft illustrations from John Schoenherr combine to bring a sense of majesty and joy to this father-daughter adventure.
Tess' family is filled with love, and her home is a warm, comforting place. So when it's time for her first day at school, Tess is worried: can her family's love come with her, even when she's far from home? Her mother assures her that the strands of love that connect them can stretch far, far away, and when Tess arrives at school, she realizes that the other kids have similar strings connecting them to people they love — even those who are far away, and those who are no longer with them except in spirit. This gentle story subtly addresses separation, anxiety, grief, and love in a sensitive way, providing the perfect reassurance for new students that their family's love will be with them every step of the way.
"From the first time I held you, so perfect and new, / I promised to do everything that I could do / To help you become your most wonderful YOU, / My darling, my daughter, my girl." The relationship between a father and daughter can be a special bond — and you can celebrate it with this touching book based on the bestselling work of Gregory E. Lang! This lovely book includes touching rhymes about the ways that fathers and daughters learn, grow, and explore together, alongside cheerful images of animal fathers and daughters. It's the perfect cozy and comforting book for fathers and daughters to read together. For the companion book about mothers, check out Why A Daughter Needs A Mom.
Ava and her mother have a very special Saturday routine that's just for them, including storytime at the library, hairdos at the salon, a picnic at the park... and this week, a very special puppet show! But today, everything goes wrong. At each step, Ava's mother reminds her of what they do to calm down when something goes wrong: "They paused, closed their eyes, and — whew! — let out a deep breath." But when it's Mom's mistake that ruins the last part of their day, Mom feels like she's going to fall apart — until Ava is able to remind her that the important thing about Saturday is that they are together. The author / illustrator behind Thank You, Omu! returns with a sweet story, full of radiant artwork, that reminds kids that the love between parent and child is more powerful than any disappointment.
"I loved you before I met you./ Before I held you in my arms,/ I sang you down from the stars." Drawing from the Inniniwak Nation's traditional belief that babies choose their parents, this gentle story follows a mother as she prepares the sacred bundle that will bring a baby to her family. Each item — a feather, cedar, sage, a river stone — offers gifts to the child: strength, family, and a whole community. And the baby will bring its own gifts to the mother, including the slow and magical growth of love. Indigenous creators Tasha Spillett-Sumner and Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade have created a resonant story about parenthood that will speak to both Native and non-Native parents alike.
A father and a daughter meet to build together. Although she is much smaller than him, he knows she is up to the task! They start with a house, "a place to stay when all is lost,/ to keep the things we love the most." Then they build more fantastical things: a road to the moon, a fortress to repel "enemies," and then, when they see their fortress is keeping out potential friends, too, gates to open wide to welcome them in. Most importantly, they are building a future together. World-renowned author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers created this companion to his best-selling book Here We Are as a tribute to the love between parent and child and the endless possibilities of our lives.
A little girl named Stone lives with her loving father in a prehistoric landscape, surrounded by mastodons, bison, and other more mysterious, dangerous beasts. But when her father falls sick, the only cure is a healing flower far in the wilderness, in a cave guarded by ferocious bears — and no one else is willing to risk the journey. Stone sets off alone, but she's not sure if she can be strong enough to succeed. Fortunately, it turns out that there are many kinds of strength — including the knowledge of when to be kind — and Stone's sense of empathy is what helps her reach her goal and save her father. This tender story, with its vibrant illustrations of the creatures Stone must face, is a sweet father-daughter tale about the power of compassion.
As her family grows — and Mother Koala gets busier — she stops saying the words that Koala Lou loves to hear: "Koala Lou, I DO love you!" Koala Lou is determined to do something impressive to earn her mother's love again, and the Bush Olympics' gum-tree-climbing event seems perfect. She trains hard, despite aches and pains, sure she'll win her mother's attention. But when things don't go to according to her plan, Koala Lou's mother is there to reassure her that, no matter what, "Koala Lou, I DO love you!"
After one time-out too many, Sophia decides to run away to the moon. She writes a letter back home to tell her mom about all the things she gets to do there: eating starlight soup, riding moonicorns, and more. And her mother writes back, with a few little nudges to encourage her to come home — spaghetti for dinner, fresh-baked cookies, her favorite story — before finally saying that, since Sophia is staying on the moon, she's taken in a moon runaway named Grorg. That provides the opening Sophia needs to arrange a moon reunion! Tongue-in-cheek humor combined with unconditional love make this charming book the perfect reminder that parents love their children to the moon... and back again.
This father and daughter have a backyard that needs a shed — so it's time to build one! Daddy takes his girl along with him to the lumberyard, where she learns to find straight boards (and gets to choose the shed's latch all by herself.) Then, they get started on the building, with occasional interludes for turning the plywood into a dance floor and choosing not one, not two, but three colors of paint. And many years later, the now-grown daughter smiles as she fixes up the now-peeling shed — with the help of her own son. This charming story, which includes helpful real-life tips for building, is a warm-hearted depiction of a father-daughter bond that grows along with their project.
A grown woman remembers how she and her mother used to welcome the change of every season: with a wild, exuberant, outdoor dance! From spring meadows to summer beaches, fall orchards to winter snow, their dance together celebrated the beauties of nature, the power of a joyful life, and the love they had for one another. Today, the woman — a ballerina about to go one stage — says another thank you to the mother who gave her a dancing heart. With elegant text and evocative illustrations, this tribute to a mother-daughter tradition might just inspire you to start your own.
Harriet is doesn’t MEAN to be a problem, but she still manages to make a tremendous mess — and a lot of work for her mother. When one final mishap puts Harriet’s Mom over the edge, she yells and yells. But in the end, after apologies in each direction, the loving pair are giggling together as they clean up the mess. This is the perfect book to remind Mom that hard days come and go, but the love is always there.
When this little girl's family lost their home, they lost more than a place to sleep: she lost the peace and quiet of her own room, the comfort of her cozy quilt, and even the constant presence of her father, who has to live at a men's shelter because he's not allowed at the women's and children's shelter where she and her mother stay. But, she says, they are still a family: they spend time together every day at parks and they celebrate her birthday together with a cupcake. This sweet story highlights a challenging situation faced by millions of children every year, and reminds all children that separation doesn't mean the end of a parent's love.
It's a cold winter's night, and Mother Shrew is worried about her son, who is sick. She knows one thing that's sure to cure him: wild honey from the moon. So she grabs her red umbrella and sets out into the unknown, where she refuses to be dissuaded by the threatening owl, the "night mares," and even the drones guarding the Moon's Queen Bee: "My dear sick son needs your honey to be well. So step aside." This elegantly illustrated short chapter book that follows a mother's epic journey is a tribute to parental love and courage.
Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work, and to Ramona, it feels like their world is upside down. Without her mother at home, Ramona is too little to stay at home by herself, but too old to avoid being told to watch annoying Willa Jean. And every time she does something wrong, Ramona wonders if she still holds a place in her mother's heart. Fortunately, when she finally admits her fears, her mother is there to reassure her that she will always be loved. Ramona captures the tangled and uncertain feelings of school-aged kids perfectly. Fans of Ramona should also check out Ramona and Her Father, in which Ramona's dad reassures her that, even with tight times after a job loss, he wouldn't trade her for a million dollars.
In 1920s Alaska, a little girl being taken to an orphanage captures the hearts of the most unlikely adoptive fathers — two tough-as-nails gold miners. In her new home at Ballard Creek, Bo's new fathers raise her with the help of kind people from a nearby Inuit village. Hill, who spent her first six years in a modern mining camp just like Ballard Creek, brings a voice of authenticity to Bo's adventures, while Pham's exuberant illustrations perfectly capture the energy and enthusiasm of this busy little girl! It's a charming story of what truly makes a family: love.
For Mighty Girls whose lives are being rocked by a big change like a separation or a divorce, it's particularly critical to know that their parents will always love them. In this story, Karen refuses to believe that her parents' marriage is over, even as her father plans a divorce in Las Vegas and her mother alternates between being shocked and pleased. Although a friend with divorced parents insists there's nothing Karen can do, she's determined to try. Instead, Karen learns that just because parents are no longer together doesn't mean that they love their children any less.
A foster child, especially one who’s older, may feel torn between two families — can she love both, and can they both love her? In this book, Carley has spent years building emotional walls to protect herself, especially after she ends up in the foster care system. Her foster family, the Murphys, seems, well, perfect — how could they love flawed Carley? And when her mother asks Carley to come home, can Carley believe her mother could love her and admit that she loves her mother back? This complex story about love, hope, and family is sure to touch young readers.
For more books that celebrate the love between parents and children, check out our blog posts: Celebrating Mighty Moms and Their Daughters and A Father's Love: A Mighty Girl Celebrates Father's Day.
Across The Generations: Books About Grandparents
Grandparents can also provide a special love to the Mighty Girls in their lives: an adult so like her parents yet so different, and whose life is full of fascinating experiences, is a precious thing to many girls. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of Mighty Girl books that celebrate this relationship as well!
These grandmothers are on the go — and they always bring their grandchildren along! In this delightful board book, the grandmas hike and swing, dance and fly kits, push the stroller and visit a busy market. Along the way, they encourage their grandkids to enjoy every bit of life, and every bit of precious time together. with colorful illustrations and a rollicking read-aloud rhythm, this charming book is perfect for sharing... maybe during reading time with Grandma!
In this story, two children start thinking about what makes their Granny special. After all, grannies are just as different as any other two people: some are tall, some are short, some are quiet, some are loud. Their granny is busy, funny, and has her own inimitable sense of style, including her love for an old red sweater that used to be Grandpa’s. In the end, these grandchildren decide that their Granny is perfect just as she is, especially when she’s giving them a special kiss goodnight.
A grandfather has a special gift to give his granddaughter: "I give you my hat,” he says. But this is no ordinary hat! It can keep you warm and dry on rainy days, or cool on hot ones. It can draw everyone's attention your way, or help you stay hidden. It can hold dreams and fears, and most importantly, it can hold memories. And when you're ready, you can pass it on to someone special in your life, so it can do all the same things for them... and remind them of the special bond you share. In this touching intergenerational story, with artwork that depicts both grandfather and granddaughter wearing the hat in many ways, you'll find a warm and gentle story about the joys of life and the treasure of family.
Sometimes, even if you give Grandma a very careful list of electronic gadgets you'd like for your birthday... she'll give you a lemon tree instead. If that happens, you should be polite and say thank you, and you definitely should not try to get rid of it (even if you do come up with some clever ideas.) Instead, put it somewhere sunny and give it just enough water, and with a little time, you might just have some delicious home-made lemonade (recipe included)! This wry and clever book about the joys of tending a growing plant is sure to make kids giggle, and give them a new appreciation of all the good things that can come from a little patience.
Rosalba and her Abuela are always going to new places, and after feeding the birds at the park, Rosalba sits on the bus and dreams about what it would be like if she could fly. Soon, she’s soaring through the sky, Abuela floating beside her, as they see the streets and buses, docks and buildings, and even her father’s office, all from high above. Together, they imagine a fantastic journey over their busy city, as Rosalba learns more about Abuela’s life and background with everything they see. With its colorful illustrations and mix of Spanish and English, this book is a simultaneous tribute to a bustling, multicultural community and the love between grandmother and granddaughter.
Grandpa is having a hard time settling since he moved to the city to live with his family: no matter what the family suggests he try, nothing is as appealing as the fishing that he had to leave behind. So when spring rolls around, his granddaughter suggests they cast out a line — off the fire escape. After a while, they get a bite: a Flying Litterfish! Soon, their rods are whipping back and forth as they hook Laundry Eels, Signfish, Constructionfish, and even a Waste-muncher. The game has to end when they attract the attention of the Troublefish/police car...but only for now. This imaginative picture book celebrates the power of play between grandparent and grandchild.
When you babysit a grandma, if you're lucky... it's a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you're guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time! This New York Times bestseller includes helpful tips for young readers on how to keep a grandma busy including things to do at the park, possible places to sleep, and what to do once you're both snugly tucked in for the night. A companion book, How to Read to a Grandma or Grandpa, showcases the joys of reading with grandparents — or check out more books from the How To... series.
When Mary Ellen gets bored and frustrated with her assigned reading, Grandpa decides to give her a little hands-on learning by taking her on a hunt for a bee tree. In a garden full of flowers, he carefully catches a few bees in a jar, explaining that the bees will lead them back to their hive. Their merry chase takes them past many landmarks — and attracts the attention of half the town! — before they find the tree and Grandpa carefully pulls just enough honey for them to enjoy. This fun, boisterous story includes valuable messages about respect for the natural world, as well as about the need for persistence to achieve sweet rewards.
Growing up in Iran, Mina adores her grandmother, and tries to do everything just like her, from sweeping to waking for prayer at dawn. Her grandmother encourages her to try new things, like helping when she sews a chador, and helps her dream big dreams, like a trip around the planets in the sky. Inspired by author Mina Javaherbin's real-life relationship with her grandmother in pre-revolutionary Iran, and illustrated with vibrant details of Iranian and Islamic traditions side-by-side with modern ones, this adoring ode to a beloved grandparent will warm every heart.
During the year, Ada lives in the city, where bright lights make it hard to see the stars — but in the summer, she visits her grandparents in Maine, where she can see osprey, paddle kayaks, hunt for shells... and stargaze. But this summer the fog may block the stars altogether! Fortunately, her grandfather has a book full of pictures of galaxies — "a lot of stars swarming around one another like bees" — that capture Ada's imagination.... until the fog parts and she can finally see her beloved stars again. Renowned physicist Alan Lightman collaborates with with author Olga Pastuchiv, illustrator Susanna Chapman, and the Hubble telescope itself to create a tribute to a loving grandparent relationship and to the beauty of the night sky.
Belle is looking forward to an exciting summer: Grandmama Coles is touring the South with a swing jazz band, and Belle gets to come! But while the places she visits are new, some things are just the same... like the segregation Belle and Grandmama face at every stop. When Grandmama sings, though, everyone comes to listen, and Grandmama says she can see a day when people are united all the time. "That's the kind of world I want for you," she tells Belle. This book doesn't shy away from the realities of segregation, but the optimistic tone highlights the power of art to bring people together.
After being inspired by her grandfather's beautiful playing on a recent trip to Japan — both classical music and fascinating imitations of natural sounds — Hana decides to take violin lessons. Now, she's signed up for the talent show even though she's only had three lessons! Her brothers insist that the performance will be a disaster, but Hana takes a page from Ojiichan's book and practices every day. And when last-minute jitters rear their heads, she draws on him for inspiration one last time — before bringing the house down! This sweet, quiet story is a lesson in the value of practice and dedication, as well as a reminder that grandparents don't have to live next door to influence their grandchildren's lives.
The family is celebrating Nana's birthday, but her granddaughter is concerned: if Nana is happy, why are there always lines on her face that make her seem worried or sad? Fortunately, Nana is quick to correct her: her wrinkles are memories, each of them created when something special happened. One furrow came from solving a mystery; some crow's-feet appeared at a seaside picnic; and one set of laugh lines happened upon hearing of the birth of a special little girl! This sweet intergenerational story alternates pictures of the present with scenes from the past, capturing how a grandparent's stories can make family history come to life.
Dayeon's Grandma is a haenyeo, one of the Korean women who dive with no oxygen tanks to harvest abalone, octopuses, and sea urchins by hand; to Dayeon, she's "like a treasure-hunting mermaid." Most of the haenyeo are over 70 years old, but now Dayeon wants to learn the tradition too... but she has to overcome fears about sharks, big waves, and a previous attempt at an ocean swim that resulted in inhaling sharp, salty water. Fortunately, her reassuring Grandma — and Grandma's fellow haenyeo community — give Dayeon the encouragement she needs to appreciate the beauties of the ocean. This stunning picture book with its loving grandmother-granddaughter relationship also encourages perseverance and a respect for the power of nature.
A little girls' great-grandfather has a home full of fascinating treasures from his long life, but when invited to ask him for the story of any item that catches her eye, she picks an old cigar box. To her amazement, inside is a collection of matchboxes that represents her great-grandfather's life, each one holding a tiny remembrance of a significant event. This beautiful story, told exclusively as a dialogue between elder and child, captures the sense of history a great-grandparent can provide.
When 9-year-old Ruby’s grandmother Miss Eula goes to visit a new grandchild thousands of miles away, Ruby wonders how she will manage a summer without her. The summer ends up being a busy one: Ruby makes new friends, helps with a school play, and finally wrestles with her grief over her grandfather’s death. All the while, letters between Ruby and her grandmother fly back and forth, keeping them close until they’re finally reunited. This timeless story about the bond between grandparent and grandchild recognizes the "small" day to day events that make up the emotional landscape of a child.
11-year-old Calpurnia is curious why the yellow grasshoppers in her yard are so much bigger than the green grasshoppers. But it's Texas in 1899, and girls are supposed to devote their time to proper activities like needlework, not tromping through the grasses studying bugs. Still, Calpurnia recruits her grandfather, an avid naturalist, to help her figure out the mystery. As the pair grows closer, Calpurnia dreams of becoming a scientist, and when they discover a new species, her grandfather lobbies for it to be officially recognized. Although Calpurnia learns she will face many obstacles to pursue her love of science, this special relationship with her grandfather is a new joy for her to treasure. Calpurnia's story continues in The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, while readers age 6 to 9 can check out the early chapter book series Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet.
For more stories about Mighty Girls and their loving grandmothers and grandfathers, check out our blog post, Mighty Girls and their Grandparents: Love Through the Generations.
Born To Be Friends: Books About Siblings
Even if your Mighty Girl might sometimes dream of being an only child, the truth is that most girls, secretly or overtly, adore their older or younger siblings. But that doesn’t mean the relationship is simple or always adoring! These books celebrate the deep, abiding love a sister has for the other children in her family, while still acknowledging the inevitable ups and downs between siblings.
There's no question that becoming a big sister can bring many changes. The little girl in this toddler book discovers that babies come with their share of inconveniences, from remembering to be quiet at naptime to dealing with dirty diapers, but she's still excited by the baby's arrival — and by how grown-up she feels when she realizes how much she can do. Simple text and colorful illustrations help toddlers and preschoolers celebrate the joys of being the big sister. For a bilingual English / Spanish version of this title, check out I Am a Big Sister! / Soy una hermana mayor!.
Little Mighty Girls with brand new siblings will love this lift-the-flap book that shows them what life is like as a new big sister. While Katz shares the joys and delights of a new baby, she also reminds the new big sister of all the amazing things she does — after all, the baby can’t use a fork, a bike, or a big-girl bed! The new big sister, though, reassures her baby sibling: “one day you’ll be big like me.”
The book-loving little girl from Lola at the Library is a big sister now, and she's discovering how her stories can become part of a rapidly growing family. Despite the hustle and bustle of life with a baby, the family always makes special time for reading, and Lola is proud to be able to share her love of reading with her new little brother — something your own Mighty Girl may delight in doing with her younger siblings.
A snow day teaches two sisters that they can each enjoy things their own way! When the snowflakes fall, these two very different sisters split up: one races outside, while the other settles in with hot cocoa and a book. Outdoors, there's snowballs to throw and animal tracks to follow, but indoors, there are crafts, baking, and pretend play. And just as the one sister gets cold, wet, and tired, the other decides to go out and explore, and each sister puts her own spin on the other sister's activities. The simple mirrored text is lovely, and each spread is split to show what each sister is doing independently — until at last they come together in the sweet, satisfying conclusion.
When Maple was very small, her parents planted a maple tree in her honor, and together they grew up. Maple's tree becomes a favorite spot to play, the one place that she can be as loud as she wants without worrying, but she has to admit it's not a great playmate. When Maple's little sister Willow arrives, Maple discovers that babies can be even louder than she can! Fortunately, Maple realizes that her tree's gently shifting leaves may be just what Willow needs. This sweet story features a nature-loving girl who happily shares her favorite spot with her new sister. Fans of this book can also check out the sequels, Maple and Willow Together, Maple and Willow Apart, and Maple and Willow's Christmas Tree.
Sisters are different in so many ways: one is big, one is little; one rises early, one sleeps late. But they're alike in many more, from enjoying a dress-up tea party to delighting in special experiences, like meeting a horse. And there's one thing in which they're alike — and which will never change: each of them adores their sister! This modern classic story celebrating the trials and joys of sisterhood is perfect to enjoy with a new generation of sisters; it's also now available in an English / Spanish edition, Hermanas / Sisters.
The whole Bunny family is thrilled by their newly adopted baby — except for Dot, who's exasperated that nobody else sees the danger of bringing a wolf cub home, even if he is wearing a bunny sleeper! "He's going to eat us all up!" she cries. Perhaps even worse, he begins to tag along wherever she goes. But when Wolfie is threatened, Dot realizes that, wolf or no, she loves her little brother and will protect him from anything. A whimsical story of adoption and sibling love, kids will giggle at this unique take on the new-baby story.
As a little girl waits for the school bus, she regales her audience with all the things she will do "when my brother gets home." Her plans start with the simple — a backyard tea party, a "comic book convention" in their treehouse — and slowly grow more and more elaborate: climbing mountains, fording the Amazon, and more... Anticipation rises as the school bus gets closer and closer, until the moment finally comes — and her brother's first question is, "So what do you want to do?" This sweet story celebrates the love between siblings and imaginary play, and reminds young readers that spending time together is the best adventure.
Stella is a determined young scientist with a theory: her new little brother is CLEARLY a duck. After all, he's fuzzy and yellow (when wrapped in his blanket), he's got a beak (or a pacifier that looks like one), and he's constantly quacking (or is it crying?) at the top of his lungs. Her parents even named him Drake! And as her principal points out: "If it looks like duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck." Kids will giggle at this tongue-in-cheek new sibling story and the way that Stella's careful observation of scientific rigor still leads her to the wrong conclusion. This hilarious and heartfelt story is a must-read for any soon-to-be scientific siblings.
A young girl looks longingly at the pairs of sisters she sees playing nearby, and dreams of a sister of her very own: someone loving, clever, and kind who will be by her side, no matter what. In time, her wish is granted – but her baby sister doesn't quite live up to her dream at first! She reminds herself that to be a good sister, she needs to be loving and kind and patient too... and as the days and years go by, the pair become inseparable. This charming, lyrical picture book by bestselling authors and former first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush, filled with whimsical artwork by Ramona Kaulitzki, is a touching tribute to the support and love that sisters have to offer to one another, in childhood and throughout their lives.
When a sibling accidentally makes a mess of something, it can help to remember that they're often trying to imitate someone they admire. In this fun story, Louise loves both art — painting and drawing — and Art — her younger brother. Louise has been working hard on something extra special, her masterpiece. But when Art tries to add his own touches, will Louise appreciate his artistic spirit? This charming story captures the ups and downs of a loving sibling relationship.
In this sweet tale of sisterly love, inspired by Virginia Woolf and her painter sister Vanessa, Virginia wakes up in a wolfish mood; she growls, snarls, and refuses to leave her room. It's not until Vanessa starts painting Virginia's perfect town of Bloomsbury that the wolf starts to fade, leaving an ordinary girl in its wake. This thoughtful story, which can be an allegory for either a single day's bad mood or a more serious mood disorder like depression, shows how someone's love can help you get through a difficult time.
The world's greatest fourth-grade detective, Moxie McCoy, is on the hunt for the person who's kidnapped the school's beloved mascot... but without her best friend/crime-solving partner, who's moved away, things just don't feel right. So her interrogations now serve a double purpose: searching for clues, and interviewing for a new partner. Nobody quite seems to suit, and Moxie can't solve the case on her own. But when her quiet, tentative, boring little brother Milton proves he's an excellent listener, maybe the pair can form an unexpected alliance. Warm and funny, with clever "debrief" questions that encourage readers to examine Moxie's narrative, this will be a hit with mystery fans. The mystery-solving siblings return in The Real McCoys: Two's A Crowd.
Once, Luna's village was beside a beautiful flowing river, but ever since the dam was built it's been a grim, cursed swamp. Granny Tu mourns the loss of the river's sprites and fairies, but Luna doesn't believe in those stories; she only believes in the things she can see and hear. But when her beloved sister falls in the swamp and becomes desperately ill, doomed to die just like their father did years ago, Luna refuses to accept her sister's fate. To save her beloved sister, she'll do anything... even believe in magic. Tweens will devour this magical story of sisterly love.
The Penderwick sisters are spending the summer on a sprawling estate, and as the girls meander through the gardens and nose through the attics, they also meet a fascinating new companion: Jeffrey, the son of the estate’s owner, Mrs. Tifton. Mrs. Tifton doesn't approve of these antics, and Jeffrey's on the verge of being sent to a military school. Will the sisters' adventures save their new friend from such a terrible fate, or just get him deeper into hot water? It will be a summer of full of trouble, laughter, mischief, and confusion — definitely one that no one on the estate will ever forget! Fans of the Penderwicks can find more of their adventures in our Penderwicks Collection.
In this sequel to the popular book The Magic Half, Molly and Miri Gill are sisters... sort of. Only the two of them know that Molly used to live with an abusive family in 1935, before Miri's magical home opened a gateway that offered a better life for Molly. Molly's still not sure that she deserves this unexpected change for the better, but when the home's magic is triggered again — this time leading to the Civil War — Miri and Molly will have to work together to make things right and reassure Molly that she is exactly where she belongs.
Princesses Meryl and Addie are as different as they could be: Meryl is brave and adventurous, dreaming of fighting dragons and saving the kingdom, while Addie is shy and fearful and just wants to stay safe inside the castle. When the Gray Death plague strikes, though, and Meryl is fatally ill, Addie has to overcome her fear and attempt to fulfill an ancient prophecy, not just to save her sister, but the whole kingdom. Setting off alone with a selection of magical items to help her on her way, Addie will find the courage to defeat spectres, ogres, and even a dragon! Fans of this book will want to check out the prequel, The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre.
Even if sisters NEVER get along, a crisis will tease out how much they really love one another. In Telgemeier's autobiographical graphic novel, Raina dreamed of a little sister for years, but Amara turns out to be cranky, solitary child instead of the devoted playmate Raina was hoping for. The years don't improve their relationship, and time isn't kind to the family, as their father loses his job and their parents' relationship starts to struggle. But on a long summer road trip, Raina and Amara find themselves alone together for hours — long enough to recognize that, no matter what their differences, sisters are always there for one another.
12-year-old Libby has Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition that makes some things tough, but she's optimistic, talented at science, and crazy about her family — especially her big sister, Nonny. When Nonny gets pregnant, Libby is over the moon... but she worries about how her sister will manage finances, and whether the baby will be born healthy. So she bargains with fate: she'll enter the the Smithsonian Women in STEM contest with her project about astronomer Cecilia Payne, and she'll give Nonny the prize money. Debut author Sarah Allen, who has Turner Syndrome like her heroine, has created a heartwarming story about persistence, love, and finding yourself.
Twins Iris and Lark are identical but not the same: Iris is the sensible, capable counterpart to her brilliant and dreamy sister, and has grown accustomed to protecting Lark after a series of illnesses. But in fifth grade, the twins suddenly find themselves not just in different classrooms, but in different after-school activities too. Suddenly, everything feels wrong — strange things are happening in the city, including items going missing. If the sisters are going to save one another — and everyone else — they may have to realize that being apart isn't the same as growing apart. An eerie mystery, deep symbolism, and a mysterious narrator combine in this powerful story about the struggles of growing up.
After 11-year-old Claire and her older sister Sophie move to Windermere Manor, they discover a secret ladder in the fireplace leads to the magical land of Arden. There, they find a world in constant turmoil: the four magic guilds no longer trust each other after the disappearance of their beloved unicorns, and terrible wraiths freely roam the land. Scared, the girls return home, but when Sophie disappears, Claire will have to push through her fear to return to Arden and bring her sister safely home. A magical world where nothing is ruled by pure good or evil and a protagonist who challenges herself to find her own power make this an exciting introduction to the world of Arden. The sisters' adventures continue in the sequel, Secret in the Stone and concludes with Fire in the Star.
10-year-old Della knows that two things will never change: her own big mouth, and the protection of her 16-year-old sister Suki. Suki took care of her when her mother was jailed, and when her mother's boyfriend started sexually abusing Della, it was Suki who helped her escape. Now they're staying with a foster mother, Francine, and Della is starting to feel safe — but Suki has her sights set on obtaining independence, and custody of Della, at age 18. When Suki learns that won't be possible, her mental health begins to unravel, and Della realizes that it's time for her to use her "big mouth" to break the stigma about childhood sexual abuse and make people take notice. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, the Newbery Honor-winning author of The War That Saved My Life, tells Della's story with humor, poignancy, and power.
Maureen and Francine are twin sisters, but they're also best friends — or they were until this year. Just before 6th grade, Francine decided to start going by Fran, started dressing differently, and even picked different activities from Maureen. Hurt and confused, Maureen pushes back by running against Fran for student council, kicking off a campaign that includes nasty slander, poster defacement, and an awful lot of family tension. It's not long before Maureen wonders if sisters really are forever, or if they're done for good. Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright team up to create a funny and heartfelt graphic novel about sisterhood, identity, and the rapidly shifting emotional world of tweens.
Katie Takeshima’s sister Lynn is the one who makes everything seem brighter, whether she's pointing out the simple things like the light on the ocean, or helping Katie with the challenges of being the only Japanese family in a 1950s Deep South town. But when Lynn becomes seriously ill, the job of making everything kira-kira — glittering and shining — falls to Katie. And when Lynn dies, Katie is determined to honor her sisters memory by making kira-kira a part of her life forever. This powerful story of optimism and sisterhood also captures the many challenges faced by immigrants in recent times.
18-year-old Ginny is brilliant (if a bit dramatic) extrovert, while her 15-year-old sister Plum is a loner who quietly takes over everything forgotten by Ginny and their illustrator mother. But when their mother's royalty payments unexpectedly stop — just as their old Victorian home needs major work — everything gets up-ended. Ginny is frantic about how she'll pay for her dream Ivy League college, while Plum, to her surprise, finds herself growing close to outgoing, popular Tate Kurosawa. And just as it seems like things will pull the sisters apart, the revelation of long-held secrets might bring them closer than they've ever been. This witty and heartfelt story inspired by Sense and Sensibility explores how sisters grow together as they grow independently.
For more books about the complex, crazy, and adoring relationships between Mighty Girls and their sisters and brothers, visit our Siblings Collection.
So this Valentine’s Day, remind your Mighty Girl just how many people love her — and how much joy her own love gives them — both on special days and on every day of the year. There’s no better way to let her know how special love is!
Additional Recommended Resources
- For more books about the parent/daughter relationship, visit our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day blogs, or our selection of Mighty Girl books about Parents.
- For five of our favorite Mighty Girl books celebrating the special relationship that comes through adoption, check out our blog post: Born In My Heart: Mighty GIrl Books for National Adoption Day.
- For Mighty Girl books that celebrate grandparents, visit our post on Mighty Girls and Their Grandparents: Stories for Celebrating Grandparents’ Day or our Grandparents section.
- For many Mighty Girl books about sibling relationships, visit our Sibling section.
- For books about friends, check out our post on Making and Keeping Friends: Mighty Girl Books about Friendship or our full selection of books about Friends.
- To talk to your older Mighty Girl about romantic love, check out our blog post on Valentine’s Day Books for Tweens and Teens, or see our selection of books featuring Romantic relationships.