Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Picture Books Representing Different Family Set-Ups


What does home look like to you? At Toppsta, our mission is to help all children find themselves in books and a huge part of this is seeing families in books that look just like their own. 

With this in mind, we've gone through some of our top-reviewed books about families and have curated a recommended list of titles that show a variety of wonderful family set-ups. With Pirate Mums and My Daddies, we have two brilliant examples of books about LGBTQ+ families. We've also included Strong and Tough, the heartwarming story of finding a forever family through adoption. And Everything Changes tackles navigating the delicate changes in a family set-up when parents separate. 

If you're on the hunt for a book that celebrates ALL families in EVERY shape and form, look no further than My Friends and Me, where we see ALL the families that can make up a child's classroom!

Home is where the heart is, and the heart of Toppsta will always be books -- for every child!


Picture Books Representing Different Family Set-Ups
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The Pirate Mums

Billy's family is not what you'd call ordinary. His mums won't listen to NORMAL music. They love to sing sea shanties and dance jigs in the lounge. Their clothes are highly unusual, they have a rude parrot for a pet, and their taste in house design is, well . . . FISHY. Billy wishes his family could be more like everyone else's. Until a swashbuckling adventure changes everything!

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My Daddies!

A funny, heartfelt picture-book celebrating same-sex parents and shared story time, perfect for introducing children to the different kinds of family in the world today.

Set off on a series of incredible adventures with an adorable family as the stories they read burst into colourful life. Battle dragons, dodge deadly dinosaurs, zoom to the moon and explore the world in a hot air balloon, before winding down in a wonderfully cosy bedtime ending.

The bouncy, rhyming, read-aloud text is brought to life by bestselling, award-winning illustrator Garry Parsons, illustrator of The Dinosaur that Pooped series.

'This rhyming picture book celebrating same-sex parents is a gentle and sweet read . . . a wonderful celebration of adoption and the different shapes a family can take!' BookTrust

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Strong and Tough

_______________ 'A very touching and honest story ... Rico and Nick make a great team!' - Jacqueline Wilson _______________ An empowering adoption story by eleven-year-old Premier League Young Writer of the Year Rico Hinson-King, illustrated by the award-winning Nick Sharratt There is a kid. Let's call him Charlie. On the outside he looks like every other football-mad boy of his age. But he isn't ... A story of hope and resilience, this gentle, inspiring picture book tells the tale of Charlie, a little boy who was taken into care when he was very small. Charlie dreams of finding his forever home to share with his sisters. Sometimes he feels scared. Sometimes he wants to scream and cry (and he does, just a little). But he is strong. He is tough. Strong and Tough is by the amazingly talented ten-year-old Rico Hinson-King. Rico, like Charlie, found strength and resilience along the journey to find his forever family (and played lots of football along the way!). Rico is a Junior Premier League footballer with a knack for words too, who wrote his story so that other children going through similar circumstances can feel less alone, and to encourage empathy in others. His moving and powerful words are paired with warm, friendly illustrations by the award-winning Nick Sharratt, who famously illustrated many of Jacqueline Wilson's books including the Tracy Beaker series.

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Everything Changes

A sensitively-told story that addresses the tricky subject of divorce with care and understanding, from Clare Helen Welsh and Asa Gilland.

Laughing and playing together as a family on the beach, it seems the happy, warm days of summer will never end. Then, everything changes. Mummy and Daddy say they can't live together anymore, and sad, worried feelings begin to emerge - It's not fair! Was it all my fault? But, as time passes and the seasons change, it becomes clearer that hard times won't always be quite so hard . . .

A lyrical book about the difficult emotions a child can feel when their parents break up, with an optimistic message of hope and resilience. Gorgeous illustrations and an emotive colour palette perfectly capture the nuances of emotion felt by both the child and parents during a separation. Much like Pat Thomas's My Family's Changing , Claire Masurel's Two Homes and Patrice Karst's The Invisible String , Everything Changes offers a way to help children understand their feelings during big changes in their family unit.

Also available from this author and illustrator: The Perfect Shelter

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My Friends and Me

Jamie has lots of friends - lots of friends with different kinds of families. Kate's got two dads, Hannah has a foster mum. And Jade's got her very own butler! This funny, heart-warming picture book celebrates different kinds of families and the special bonds between them.

A gently funny picture book celebrating the diverse mix of families that can make up any child's classroom: whether it's Harry's 'total legend' single mum, Kate's two dads or the coolest adults Jamie knows - his granny and grandpops. My Friends and Me will pull on heart strings and funny bones as it explores the love that makes up every family.

The colourful illustrations by the brilliant Katy Halford ( Naughty Narwhal ) are packed full of detail and humour to bring a smile to parents and children alike.

Educational, fun and celebrates diversity!

Stephanie Stansbie's funny and engaging story, complete with cameos from various family pets, is brimming with positivity. It is a must for every child's bookshelf, classroom and library.

My Friends and Me celebrates the love in every family, in all their varied and beautiful forms.


17th November 2022

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