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Picture books for families of service members

Military families face special challenges. You raise your children to understand that Mom and Dad have important jobs. You never want to see your child upset. It can be extra difficult when you work for our country. Military mothers and fathers may end up being deployed. You do what you can to comfort your child and help them feel better.

Picture books can be used as a tool to assist you in comforting your child.

These picture books are designed to specifically reflect families with service members.

  • Sometimes We Were Brave by Pat Brisson. This story follows Jerome and his dog Duffy. The two of them explore and discover what it means to be brave after Jerome's mom has to go away to do her work with the Navy.
  • Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut. This story focuses on a soldier and his son. While the soldier is deployed, they play a pretend game of catch across the globe using the North Star as their ball.
  • Captain Cat by Syd Hoff. This story follows a very patriotic cat that lives on an army base. Children can get an imaginative glimpse into life in basic training and on a base.
  • My Red Balloon by Eve Bunting. This book tells the story of Bobby, who is about to greet his father who is returning from deployment. Bobby is worried that his father won't recognize him, so brings a red balloon to signal to his father that it is him. In the end, Bobby is reassured as he is reunited with his father.
  • Love, Lizzie: Letters To A Military Mom by Lisa Tucker McElroy. This book focuses on Lizzie. Her mom is away on deployment, so she writes letters to help communicate with her mom and cope with mom being away. The letters are dated and span over a year's time.
  • My Father Is In The Navy by Robin McKinley. This story fallows Sara through her daily life with mom while dad is away. Sara begins to worry as her father is scheduled to come home. Sara doesn't remember her father that well since he has been gone so long.

You can make story time with your child a way to honor and reflect on their current situation. They may benefit from seeing themselves on the page. When both mom and dad are home, the tradition of reading can carry on to help your child navigate more of life's lessons and issues.

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