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by Dan Saks ; illustrated by Brooke Smart

Pub Date: April 6th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-22365-9
Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

A celebration of the myriad permutations of the all-American family.

The book is similar in tone, design, and message to Saks and Smart’s earlier Families Belong (2020). The many families shown combine to represent a range of racial, ethnic, and gender configurations. The accompanying rhyming verses recognize each family’s circumstances, interests, and activities as unique strengths—neither right nor wrong, just different. In one family, the father lying on the floor to play a board game wears a turban. In another, the blond-bearded man has a pale complexion, the woman is dark-skinned with straight black hair, and the child looks like the woman. The accompanying text reads: “A family can look / The same or maybe not. / Dad’s from somewhere cold. / Mom’s from somewhere hot.” Another verse hints at a family’s refugee status: “Some families were born / In places far away / And traveled all together / To where it’s safe to play.” Single, same-gender, and separated or divorced parents are depicted as well as a multigenerational family. Children familiar with the Noodle Loaf podcast version of the song may be initially confused by the added verses and minor word changes, but the new verses fit the original song’s cadence. Playful, clear, uncluttered graphic illustrations match the text while adding details not mentioned in the verses.

“Your family’s a story / That’s unique and true. // A family is beautiful, / As beautiful as you.” Can't argue with that!

(Board book. 1-3)