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10 Delightful picture books that celebrate life

Picture books 2023

John Touhey | Aleteia

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/08/23

These books will help your kids value life at all ages and stages, whether someone is elderly, unborn, has disabilities, or anything else!

If there’s one thing that I want to teach my children, it’s to respect other people. 

We might not be friends with every person, or even like every person, but we can and should treat every person with respect and kindness.

Every individual has inherent dignity, and every life is meaningful and important. I want my kids to celebrate the natural differences that exist among all of us, while also appreciating the things we have in common.

These picture books celebrate life at all ages and stages. Whether someone is elderly, unborn, has disabilities, or anything else, every person can be our friend, and every life is worth celebrating!

Angel in the Waters

In its mother’s womb, a tiny baby grows, explores the waters, and talks with the angel who is there. 

Horton Hears a Who!

The message of this book is a profound rallying cry: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Before I Was Me

This story of an imaginary conversation between God and an unborn baby shows children that from the moment God gave them a soul at conception, He had great plans for them.

God Gave Us You

When a polar bear cub asks her Mama, “Where did I come from?” Mama explains, “We wanted you very, very much, and we are so very glad because — God gave us you.” This story is a delightful reminder that every child is a precious gift.

You Are Special: A Story for Everyone

This gentle story has an important message for every child: Regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are.


Join Rosalba and her abuela on a magical journey as they fly over New York City and celebrate their loving bond. This book is a beautiful example of love and friendship between a child and her elderly grandmother!

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability

Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles’ growth. As a result, his body hasn’t grown bigger and stronger as he’s gotten older –it’s gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed. Burcaw tackles many of the questions he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.

When Charley Met Emma

When Charley goes to the playground and sees Emma, a girl with limb differences who gets around in a wheelchair, he doesn’t know how to react at first. But after he and Emma start talking, he learns that different isn’t bad, sad, or strange — different is just different, and different is great! When Charley Met Emma teaches kids about disability, empathy, and the beauty of friendships with people who are different from you.

Miss Tizzy

Another beautiful book about intergenerational love and friendship! Miss Tizzy is an elderly, eccentric woman who is beloved by all the neighborhood kids. One day Miss Tizzy falls ill and spends some time in bed, and the children do kind acts to cheer her up and show their love for her.

When I Am Old with You

A small child imagines a future when he will be old with his Granddaddy and will sit beside him in a rocking chair and talk about everything. The story shares the important message that people do not have to be the same age to love each other, be friends, and share happy times together.

You can find more great reading ideas on our 2023 Summer Book List for Kids!

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