There’s no two ways about it: divorce is hard. It’s hard for adults, and it’s especially hard for children. That’s why I am so glad quality children’s books about divorce exist.
When I was teaching, I had several children through the years whose families dealt with separation or divorce while they were in my class. I made sure to send a special book home with those kids; I wanted those kids to know they were loved no matter what, and I wanted their parents to know our class was a judgment-free zone where their child would be cared for during a difficult time. Many of those books are on this book list.
Divorce is a tough topic for kids to understand, but books about divorce written especially for kids can help make things easier. These books help kids understand that even though things in their family may be changing, their parents love for them will always remain.
You may also enjoy these books for kids about blended families.
14 Picture Books About Divorce
Two Homes by Claire Masurel — This gentle story is told from the point of view of Alex, a little boy whose parents are divorced. Alex has special things at each home; a rocking char at Daddy’s house, a soft chair at Mommy’s. But in both places, Alex is loved. This book is a great choice for preschool-aged kids.
Dinosaurs Divorce by Marc Brown — This book serves as a kind of instructional guide for kids whose parents are going through a divorce. It defines key terms kids might hear, talks about what to expect during and after the divorce process, and addresses other concerns kids might have. Please note: this book has a lot of really great content, but it also operates in the context of “mom and dad” only. Parents might have to adjust in situations where a child has two moms or two dads.
Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child’s Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce by Tamara Schmitz — Addison’s parents are going through a divorce. It’s not an easy thing, but Addison knows that his mom and dad both love him. As Addison shares about his life with his parents living in two different places, he shows kids that they can still have a happy life that is full of love. This simple and straightforward story will resonate with kids in preschool and early elementary grades.
Luna Loves Library Day by Joseph Coelho — Luna loves library day! She loves reading new books, but most of all, she loves library day because it’s the day she spends with her dad. This lovely book has beautiful illustrations and a heartwarming story about how hearts can mend and love perseveres even when a family has experienced divorce.
Why Don’t We All Live Together Anymore? by Emma Waddington and Chris McCurry — This book, written by two child psychologists, is designed to address the specific questions and fears children have about divorce and separation. Young children may be confused and afraid by the changes happening in their family, and this book offers practical advice and straightforward answers.
Living with Mom and Living with Dad by Melanie Walsh — This story is told through the eyes of a little girl whose parents are divorced. She has certain things at her mom’s house and certain things at her dad’s house, but her favorite toys go with her to both places. This simply told lift-the-flap book is perfect for very young children.
My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas — This book was one that I regularly gifted to my students. It’s a straightforward explanation of why divorce happens and what happens during a divorce. I love this book because it is intentional about telling kids that however they feel about the situation is OK, even if they are feeling angry or upset.
Oliver at the Window by Elizabeth Shreeve — Oliver’s parents have separated, and he’s facing a lot of changes, including going to preschool for the first time. Oliver is very nervous about school at first, but slowly he’s able to adjust and feel like a part of the group. He’s even able to help the next new kid in his class feel more at home.
Fred Stays With Me! by Nancy Coffelt — A little girl is having a hard time adjusting to her parents’ divorce. Going back and forth between two homes is hard, but there’s one thing that is always with her either place — her beloved dog, Fred. This sweet story addresses some of the common fears and struggles associated with divorce and separation.
Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend by Karen Stanton — This book about divorce is told through the eyes of Henry Cooper. Some days he lives with his mom in her new apartment; other days he lives with his father in his dad’s new house. His dog Pomegranate travels with him to both places, but the change is confusing to Pomegranate, and she ends up running away and turning up at their old home. Henry relates to his dog’s confusion, but he is happy knowing both his mother and father love him very much.
Mom and Dad Glue by Kes Gray — A little boy is heartbroken by his parents’ divorce, and he feels that it’s his job to fix it. He sets out to find the perfect “mom and dad glue” to put his parents back together. This story teaches children that the issues between parents are not their fault, and that it’s not their job to “fix” anything. This is another book that I used frequently in the classroom, and it’s a really good choice for younger children.
Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy — A little girl finds two old potatoes in her dad’s cupboard, and she wants to throw them out. Instead, her father suggests that they try to grow new potatoes from the two old ones. As the story follows the potatoes’ growth over the months, it also deals with the recent divorce of the little girls’ parents. This is a beautiful story about how good things can come from our struggles, and how we can find happiness after painful changes.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst — While this book does not deal specifically with divorce, it’s a lovely story about how love connects us to the people we care about, even when we can’t see them all the time. An “invisible string” runs between two people who love each other, so that even when they are far apart, their hearts are close together. This is a great read for children who are adjusting to seeing a parent less often than they are used to, or who are going to stay at a new home for the first time.
A Day with Dad by Bo R. Holmberg — Tim lives with his mom, but he’s excited to spend a day with his dad, who is visiting from another town. Everywhere the pair goes, Tim is excited to announce, “This is my dad!” He’s sad when his dad has to go back home, but he knows they will have another special day soon.