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Ten Adoption Themed Children’s Picture Books, Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

As a mom-by-adoption to four children, we have tons of adoption picture books in our home. They open the door to conversation, encouraging our children to ask questions, and help them to navigate through their feelings.

Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to add to your child’s library. Here are ten wonderful picture books featuring adoption and love themes:

1: My Family is Forever: A girl tells the story of her adoption. She shares how she is similar to her parents and different, too. She wonders about her birth family. She concludes that no matter what, through good times and bad, she always has her family by her side.

2: Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born: Author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis is a mom by adoption. This is a beautiful story of a girl asking her parents to tell her again “about the night I was born”. Readers journey through the parents waiting to adopt, then getting the call, taking a plane ride, meeting their daughter, the first days and nights as a family, and to the present day.

3: How I Was Adopted: A little girl named Samantha talks about her adoption in the first person, including asking the reader questions throughout such as: “Do you know how old you were when you were adopted?” She shares parts of her adoption story, including using correct terminology, such as that she grew in her birth mother’s uterus.

4: Wish: This book is told from the perspective of the parents as they explore what it was like waiting to become a mom and dad. They speak directly to the child, expressing the plans they made, the disappointments along the way, and the relentless commitment to their future child.

5: A Mother for Choco: Choco is a bird yearning for a mother. He searches far and wide, asking a giraffe, a penguin, a walrus, and other animals if they are his mother. Then he sees Mrs. Bear picking apples and knows that once again, she cannot be his mother because they do not look alike. He begins to cry, and Mrs. Bear comforts him and invites him to her home. There Choco discovers that Mrs. Bear is parenting a hippo, alligator, and pig. This heartwarming story will resonate with families who adopt transracially.

6: Penguin and Pinecone: Penguin finds a Pinecone but realizes the Pinecone isn’t going to thrive in the cold environment. Penguin lovingly decides to take Pinecone to pine forest and bids goodbye, promising Pinecone that “you will always be in my heart”. Later Penguin wonders how Pinecone is doing and returns to the forest to visit, only to find Pinecone no longer a pinecone, but a tall, beautiful, healthy tree.

7 & 8: The Family Book / We Belong Together: Author Todd Parr is known for his vibrantly illustrated books that tackle hard topics at a child-appropriate level. In these two books, Parr shares the diversity in families: grandparents raising grandchildren, children with same-sex parents, children being raised by a single parent, children who were adopted, etc.

9: Quakenstein Hatches a Family: Quack lives at the zoo among many animal families, and he desperately yearns to be a father. One day he finds an egg, waits for it to hatch, and is surprised to discover a baby platypus. The graphic-style illustrations and comedic adventure will delight young readers. My kids love this scary-not-scary book style!

10: The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairytale: Two parents read a favorite story to their (adopted) child of a queen and king who yearn to be parents. The pain they feel in their hearts is revealed when they try on a pair of magical glasses: revealing a red thread tied to their chests. They journey to follow the thread, all the way to a home in a remote village, where they find the end of the thread tied to an infant’s foot.

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