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.
Who would have thought that a nineteenth century poem would make such a beautiful board book for modern babies? When Mama falls asleep on the couch, it's Dad's turn for special time with his baby as they swing, lift, and dance their way around the house. Colorful illustrations complement the playful text and make this book the perfect prelude to a baby dance of your own.
I Will Love You Forever
"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 the littlest reader that, no matter where they go, they are cherished and loved.
The I LOVE YOU Book
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.
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.
How Do I Love You?
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.
Ladybug Girl and Her Papa
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.
The Big Big Sea
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.
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
One of the best way to show the love between a parent and a child is to do things together! In this charming story, Nelly has a big day planned, full of drawing, reading, building and playing — but everything's better if Daddy joins in. This lovely depiction of special time between a father and a daughter shows off the pleasures of an involved father-daughter relationship.
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.”
This charming picture book flips the experience of parental love on its head! When a little girl meets a lost duckling, it's love at first sight. The pair are soon inseparable, even when challenges come up — everything from midnight feedings to messes to resistance to bathtime. But as both girl and duckling grow, they realize there's something even more important to learn about love: that love means holding tight sometimes, but also letting go. Parents and children alike will adore this sweet book about growing up and the joys of offering and returning love.
Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You
Nancy Tillman’s books, with their poetic text and dreamy illustrations, do a beautiful job of conveying the power and presence of a parent’s love. In this book, a parent’s love follows a little girl through fanciful adventures with wild animals around the world and then home to where she lies, tucked safely into bed. The reassurance that your love is always with her is just the thing to give your Mighty Girl confidence in her own adventures.
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
If your Mighty Girl is adopted, she may wonder: did the way you met change the way you love her? Through the course of this story, an adoptive mother falls in love with her daughter — first from a distance, when officials send her a picture of her future child, and then in person when they finally meet. With vivid, joyful illustrations of a deeply loving adoptive mother and child, this book is a celebration of the fact that family is about so much more than genetics.
A day doesn't have to be busy to offer a special moment. A quiet walk together on a winter's night offers a beautiful moment of connection between a father and a daughter in this Caldecott Medal-winning book. As Pa softly calls the owl the pair are hoping to see, he also introduces his little girl to the joys of a moonlight night in good company. This poetic, contemplative picture book captures how simple pleasures -- like the treat of being up “long past my bedtime” -- become treasured moments with a parent.
Perhaps the most important thing your Mighty Girl needs to know about a parent’s love is that it doesn’t change, no matter what. Koala Lou doesn’t know what to do when her mother forgets to say how much she loves her. Does a bigger, busier family mean her mom loves Koala Lou less? Koala Lou’s solution — entering the Bush Olympics, hoping a win will attract her mother’s attention — doesn’t quite have the result she hoped, but she does get the reassurance she needs that Mom’s love never fades.
Because Your Daddy Loves You
A parent’s love can turn a bad day into a good one. A series of minor dramas — from a bad dream to dripping ice cream — threaten to spoil a little girl’s day in this story. Fortunately, her loving and patient father is there to help her solve every problem! It’s a lovely reminder that a parent’s love can help you get through every crisis in your life, whether big or small.
My Mama Had A Dancing Heart
Special times with a parent can even become a life's purpose! This little girl and her mother welcome each new season with a special dance, which celebrates the unique environment that results from the progression of time. Years later, that little girl has grown up into a ballerina whose dancing heart comes from her mother and who continues to take great joy from every step. This heartfelt story of how a mother's joy can become a daughter's passion is sure to touch both children and adults.
Still A Family
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.
Ramona and Her Mother
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.
Bo At Ballard Creek
A loving family can come in all shapes and sizes, and parenting can take many forms. Tough gold miners Arvid and Jack are astonished to find themselves falling in love with an abandoned baby girl, but soon they've become adoring fathers to the child. As she gets older, the exuberant Bo becomes a joyful addition not just to Arvid and Jack's life, but also to the lives of everyone in her community. This charming story is an excellent reminder that family is what you make of it.
It's Not The End Of The World
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.
One For The Murphys
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!
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.
Grandparents can open a new world of experiences up to their grandchildren. This little girl's bus ride with Abuela turns into a magical flight across New York City, watching the streets, docks, attractions, and even her father’s office. As they travel, Abuela teaches Rosalba Spanish words for the things they see, bridging the divide between Rosalba’s world and Abuela’s. This beautiful story with just a touch of fantasy is a lovely testament to the love of a grandparent.
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.
The Bee Tree
This grandfather’s way of life provides a useful lesson for his granddaughter. Mary Ellen is bored with practicing reading, and wants to run and play outside. So Grandpa leads her on a crazy chase to find a bee tree — one that sweeps up half the town! The delicious honey is worth the chase, and Grandpa reminds Mary Ellen that the treasures within books are just as wonderful and just as worthy of pursuit. This charming story will remind your children that grandparents have a lot of wisdom to offer, as well as love.
When Grandmama Sings
A grandparent can inspire a Mighty Girl and help her seek a better future. Growing up in the 1940s, Belle has the opportunity of a lifetime: a summer following Grandmama Coles as she tours the South with a swing jazz band. But segregation is everywhere, even when people just want to hear some great music. But Belle knows the power of Grandmama's voice — not just to entertain, but to bring people together — and she knows that one day, people will sing and listen together.
Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Even if separated by thousands of miles, a beloved grandparent can help a Mighty Girl explore new interests. Hana was inspired by Ojiichan's beautiful violin playing on a family trip to Japan, so she decides to take up the violin. Now, she wants to perform in the talent show even though she's only had a few lessons! Her brothers are sure it will be a disaster, but Hana just remembers Ojiichan's dedication to daily practice. And when she faces that intimidating audience for the first time, Ojiichan gives her the strength to perform her best, even if he's not at her side.
The Lines on Nana's Face
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.
The Matchbox Diary
A grandparent or great-grandparent can also provide a unique connection to family history. When a little girl visits her immigrant great-grandfather in his home stuffed with mysterious treasures, he invites her to ask about any one item. The object she picks, a cigar box full of matchboxes, turns out to be a life in unexpected mementos, everything from the olive pit he sucked as a starving child in Italy to a ticket stub from his first American baseball game. This story, told entirely in dialogue, beautifully captures the special memories an older relative can share.
Love, Ruby Lavender
When a beloved grandparent is at a distance, a Mighty Girl might wonder if the relationship can stay strong. When Ruby’s grandmother 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.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Sometimes a shared interest reveals a new side of a previously distant grandparent. In this Newbery Honor book, Calpurnia’s fascination with nature catches the attention of her grandfather, an avid naturalist. Even though he considers a girl interested in evolution an oddity in the book’s 1899 setting, the pair bond over a mutual love of observation, and when they discover an unknown species together, Calpurnia’s grandfather lobbies to have it 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. Fans of Calpurnia will also want to check out the sequel, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate.
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.
Lola Reads To Leo
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.
I Am A Big Sister
Becoming a big sister is a big transition, but it comes with a newfound feeling of independence and responsibility. This book is the perfect way for big sisters — or soon-to-be big sisters — to celebrate their new role in the family. Even toddlers can be a big help to their parents by bringing things the baby needs, singing to the baby, and even remembering to be quiet when the baby sleeps. This sweet story is a great way to start a sibling relationship off right.
Best-Ever Big Sister
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.”
For some kids, siblings sometimes seem like more of a pain that a delight! Molly’s dream of having a sister just like her fell apart when Chloe turned out to be totally different from her. In fact, sometimes Chloe seems like she’s just in the way. But eventually Molly realizes that having a sister who’s different is just as good. After all, it’s hard for two girls to play piano at the same time, but it’s great fun when one dances to the other’s beat! A funny glimpse at sibling life, this book is sure to be a favorite.
Clara and Davie
Sometimes a sibling is the only one who can show you your own worth. Clara loves animals and nature, but wrestles with a lisp that makes it hard for her to be understood. Her kindly big brother Davie tells her, “Some day you are going to be a very great lady,” and reminds her that she has a tremendous talent for healing. And when Clara is able to nurse her beloved brother back to health, she starts on a path that will lead to great things! Based on the real story of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, this story captures how a sibling’s love can support you through anything.
Sisters can bond over shared pleasures, even when one of them is still tiny. Maple has always adored her special maple tree, the one her parents planted before she was born, but it's not the same as a real friend. One day, a new sprout appears in the garden — right before her parents announce that she'll have a baby sister soon. Baby Willow doesn't immediately seem to be an ideal playmate, but when Maple introduces her to the great outdoors and her special tree, it's obvious the two sisters will be fast friends. The sisters' story continues in the sequel, Maple and Willow Together.
Sisters can be very different from one another — one big, one little; one early riser, one who sleeps in; one who chases fireflies, one who watches stars — but there is one way in which they're the same: they both love the other more than words can say! This classic story that celebrates the trials and joys of sisterhood is now available in an English / Spanish version, perfect for sharing with a new generation of Mighty Girls. Every pair of sisters is sure to find something to relate to in this charming story! This book is also available in a bilingual edition.
Wolfie the Bunny
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.
Louise Loves Art
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.
When you don't even know yourself any more, a sister may be able to help. Vanessa discovers her sister has woken up in a wolfish mood, growling, snarling, and hiding in the dark. As Vanessa tries to cheer her sister up, Virginia tells her that no place will make her happy except a mythical perfect place called Bloomsberry. So Vanessa picks up her paintbrush and begins transforming their room into Bloomsberry, and soon Virginia is back to her regular self again. Based on the story of author Virginia Woolf and her painter sister Vanessa, this lovely story shows how the power of a sister’s love shines through even the darkest days.
A Nearer Moon
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 Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four SIsters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Sometimes your siblings are your partners in adventure! The four Penderwick sisters have a holiday estate to explore together this summer — complete with acres of gardens, tame rabbits, and a new companion that the Penderwicks need to rescue from a terribly boring future. The summer is full of ups and downs, but no matter what happens, each of the Penderwick girls knows her sisters will be there to defend her or encourage her on to greater deeds!
Magic in the Mix
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.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
A sister’s need may be the inspiration for a great adventure! Meryl has always been the daring, adventurous princess, while her sister Addie has been happy to stay safe and comfortable in the castle. But when Meryl is struck by the Gray Death plague, it’s up to Addie to fulfill a prophecy and find a cure for her sister. The timid, anxious girl will have to face dragons, unknown magic, and even death itself if she wants to save the kingdom — and her sister.
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.
The Real McCoys
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.
A sibling’s love can sustain you even when that sibling is gone. Katie Takeshima’s sister Lynn is the one who lets her know everything will be all right, even when the family has to move to a town in the Deep South where Japanese families are so rare that people stop in the street to stare. Lynn sees everything as kira-kira — glittering or shining — and gives Katie hope that things will be better. But when Lynn is diagnosed with lymphoma, can Katie still believe in kira-kira? A touching story of how a sister brightens a lifetime’s worth of moments, this Newbery Medal-winning novel will remind your Mighty Girl that love extends beyond time and space.
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: Five 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.