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When I first became a single mom, I made myself sick by trying to come up with answers to this imaginary future scenario. In this imagined scene, my child was asking: “Do I have a Daddy?”

I came up with all kinds of possible ways to start my answer:

It’s not your fault–

I want you to know the truth–

Our family is small, but it’s overflowing with love–

Still, years ago, I would have done anything to get my hands on some picture books that would have helped me. When my daughter was in preschool, there was a handful of books that showed what our family looked like. But not many.

Todd Parr was one of the first authors I discovered who truly illustrates the modern-day single parent family. He’s still one of my favorites. Here are some other favorite books that really show who we are. If you have any that aren’t on this list, please share

1.  The Family Bookby Todd Parr

Todd’s writing is so silly and sweet — and you can’t beat his super fun illustrations. You’ll meet an array of families: single moms, stepmoms, stepdads, stepsisters, two moms, two dads… you get the picture.

2. Love Is a Familyby Roma Downey

This is another all-time favorite. Written by the star of the TV show Touched by an Angel star, it’s a simple, real loving mother-daughter story. It’s Family Fun Night at school, and Lily is positive that she and her mom will be the weirdest family there. The theme: even if you’re a “small kind” of family, you’re still a family.

3. Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch

This is a must-have in every single parent home with kids under age eight. The ending includes blank spaces in which your child is instructed to “draw a picture of your family.”

4. Horton Hatches the Eggby Dr. Seuss

It’s about abandonment, perseverance, overcoming real obstacles, loyalty, and ultimately about joy.

5. Do I Have a Daddy? by Jeanne Warren Lindsay

This also deals with abandonment — it’s an intense book and best for older kids.

6.A Chair For My Motherby Vera B. Williams

It’s not about a single mother per say, but the main characters are a mother, her daughter, and the grandmother — no mention of a father. Their apartment burns and they find a new place. It’s about three women working and living together.

7. The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adoptedby Mary Zisk

A girl tells how her mother decided to become a singleparent and traveled overseas to adopt her.

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Please add your feedback — and add any children’s book titles I’ve left out!

(Dads, please chime in, too!)

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