Mum of three, Claire Lynch, shares her favourite books about families that come in all different shapes and sizes.
Reading is an important part of a baby’s development. Seeing families like their own is important for children as they learn about the world around them. Here are some of my favourites:
Mommy, Mama, Me written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Carol Thompson (ISBN: 978-1582462639) has become a particular favourite in our house. The illustrations are warm and the rhyming text appeals to very young children. A real strength of this book is the way it captures the individuality of the parents and the baby’s sense of being at the centre of their world.
Todd Parr’s The Family Book (ISBN: 978-0316070409) uses bold colourful images to capture the uniqueness of all families. The simple text opens up room for discussion about the family you are part of and the families you see around you.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer (ISBN: 978-0525554226) uses beautiful drawings to show family life that is powered by love. Each page shows different families in familiar scenes, reading books, finding a lost toy, baking a cake. It allows all types of families to find themselves between the pages.
For even the very youngest babies, Emma Dodd’s Me (978-1848772847) and the other stories in this series are ideal bedtime reading. Each of the stories features a pairing of an adult and baby animal without gender pronouns, inviting children to place themselves and their parent in the story.
We Are Family was written by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft (ISBN: 978-1848576438). It’s a great choice for slightly older toddlers who will love the detail of the pictures. It follows a family that resembles their own through the book.
Claire Lynch is a writer and academic. She lives near Windsor with her wife Bethan and their three daughters. This article is part of series she has written about her experiences as a same-sex parent for NCT. Her book Small: On motherhoods, telling the story of her motherhood journey, is out on 24 June 2021, published by Brazen_Octopus books. If you'd like to share your story, please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.
You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Read the free guide from Stonewall ‘Pregnant Pause: A guide for lesbians on how to get pregnant’ or 'A guide for gay dads' covering all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth from conception to starting school
Read more about the parenting issues facing same-sex parents on the website, Pink Parents
Visit the We Are Family Magazine, a community resource and platform for social change, representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in a family context through positive representation, advice and support.