STILL A FAMILY by Brenda Reeves Sturgis


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A preschool-age girl copes with living in a homeless shelter with her mother and without her father, who is housed in a different shelter.

Sturgis’ first-person text is paired with Lee’s naïve illustration style to deliver an effective and affecting account from the protagonist’s perspective. The father in the family appears to be a white man, while the mother’s darker brown skin indicates that she is a woman of color, and the girl’s skin tone is most like her father’s. The text repeatedly underscore’s the title’s message that they are “still a family” even though they must live separately in different shelters. The story depicts ways they stay connected with visits to the park, meals at a soup kitchen, and shared co-parenting while the adults alternate caring for their young daughter and looking for work. Throughout, the girl's doll provides a sense of comfort and consistency. While there is no happily-ever-after resolution, the ending has a hopeful note as the family marks their daughter’s birthday and the text re-emphasizes the title’s message. An author’s note and resource list in the backmatter round out the book with context for readers.

A sensitive and necessary picture book to provide comfort and raise awareness and empathy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8075-7707-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2016


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