Winter holidays often mean time spent with family. Breaks from school and work allow people to travel to see or to host family or friends. Celebration and tradition mark the season. Magination Press has published more than 50 books that honor and explore families of all kinds and the situations they experience.
Here are some of our stories about families.
When Nana Dances by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt
Nana can make any object a dancing partner. An umbrella, a broom, even a rake! Both onstage and off, she can shimmy, she can mambo, and do the bunny hop. She’s won prizes and can dance to grandpa’s music or to her own beat. But nothing is more special than when grandma dances with her grandchildren. This fun story is filled with the movement, energy, and laughter that comes when kids dance with their grandparents.
“A cadenced celebration of grandparent-grandchild relationships.” —Publishers Weekly
Read an interview with the authors.
That Missing Feeling by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Mia’s life feels split in two after her parents get divorced—even her cat and dog now live in two separate places. When she’s at her dad’s house, Mia misses her mom’s jokes and singing. And when she’s at her mom’s house, she misses her dad’s laugh and cooking. Mia just can’t quite shake that missing feeling. Sometimes that missing feeling makes her angry. And sometimes it makes her sad. One day when Mia visits her Grandpa, he gives her a notebook to write her feelings. Mia keeps her notebook wherever she goes, writing about happy and sad memories. And soon her notebook becomes a way to balance that missing feeling. And also a home for her heart.
“A sweet beginner’s guide to keeping calm.” —Kirkus Reviews
Read an interview with the author.
The Heart of Mi Familia by Carrie Lara, PsyD
Follow a young girl as she works with her abuela and her grandma to create a wonderful birthday present for her brother that celebrates her multicultural family and honors both sides and generations of her family. This follow up to the award winning Marvelous Maravilliso: Me and My Beautiful Family is a must-read for all families.
“Bicultural kids will feel seen in this sweet family story.” —Kirkus Reviews
Hear The Heart of Mi Familia read aloud.
Oh Brother! By Alberto Pellai, MD, PhD, and Barbara Tamborini
This charming story about a new addition to the family will help older siblings appreciate their expanded family. The little brother has arrived, and all he does is sleep and cry! He doesn’t play ball or swim or do anything a little brother is supposed to do. And he takes up all the parents’ time. But the little brother smiles when his big brother makes faces and claps when he plays the drums. Maybe being a big brother will be great?
Read an excerpt from the Reader’s Note.
Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst
Riley is Papa’s princess and Daddy’s dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley’s classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn’t want to have to pick one or the other. Families are made of love in this heartwarming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one.
★ “[T]his is a delightful celebration of what makes a family…. Holzwarth beautifully renders the characters in a variety of hues, making the diversity showcased throughout one of the book’s defining features and adding to the emotional punch of the story. All of the families look different, but the love they share makes them the same.” —Booklist, Starred Review
Read a post by Seamus Kirst about representation and creating Papa, Daddy, & Riley.
Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud.
Pooka & Bunni by Jennifer Zivoin
Oh no! Pooka knocked down her big sister Bunni’s pillow castle! Pooka needs to fix it before Bunni returns. Even though she’s small, Pooka uses her big imagination, creativity, and perseverance to figure out how to build an even better castle. This clever story highlights sibling bonding and how big sisters can learn a lot from their little sisters!
“Two siblings discover they can accomplish amazing things together… No sibling rivalry in this tender and loving tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
Read an interview with the author.
Hear Pooka & Bunni read aloud.
My Singing Nana is a compassionate tribute to families dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease. This story celebrates the ideals of family, heritage, and happy memories, showing kids that no matter how their loved one might change they always have ways to maintain their special connection.
“In a context perfect for the understanding of elementary-aged children, award-winning author and acclaimed literary critic Pat Mora sheds light on the everyday experiences of a family member living with dementia.”—San Francisco Book Review
Read a partial excerpt from the Note to Parents.
Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD
When both grandpas, Abuelo and Opa, visit at the same time, they can’t understand each other’s language and there is a lot of silence. The grandson’s clever thinking helps find a way for everyone to share the day together as two cultures become one family.
“This is a reassuring story, emphasizing that though we may be different we can find common ground, an especially important message for multiracial/multiethnic children who can often feel pulled between competing identities.” —Kirkus Reviews
Read a post by Dr. Gehart about finding connection through music and books.