ALL WAYS FAMILY by Noemí Fernández Selva


Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


An introduction to a range of reproductive possibilities and family structures.

Paula is distracted at school. “We’re going to the doctor because my mom is pregnant. I get to see my little brother for the first time,” she explains to her teacher, Ms. Williams—although the accompanying illustration doesn’t depict the teacher and instead confusingly shows Paula joining her parents outside. The doctor visit is clearer, with expository text worked into the dialogue to introduce an ultrasound. When Paula shares her experience at school, Ms. Williams “explains the process of reproduction and fertilization.” Sadly, the text doesn’t do so here, nor on a page reading “Sexual intercourse is a common form of reproduction,” which depicts two nude adults standing apart with enlarged sperm and ovum floating between them. Fuller explanation arrives regarding assisted reproduction when Paula’s classmate asks her mother that evening how she came about without a father. That she wouldn’t know this already and that her mother’s suggested visit to a lab to observe intracytoplasmic sperm injection is so easily achieved both strain credulity. Efforts to include same-sex partners who build families with AR and adoption are laudable, though the adoption portion presents an oversimplified happily-ever-after narrative that belies the losses inherent in the adoptive triad. The book closes with a Q-and-A and a glossary but no sources or further resources. Ms. Williams is white while her students and their families are diverse.

No way. (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4338-3152-2
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019