An updated version of a family-diversity book from the 1970s.
Simon’s revised text strives toward inclusiveness in describing diverse family constellations, and Brannen’s soft, engaging illustrations augment its efforts. Single parents, same-sex parents, multiracial families, and families of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are included. And yet while stepfamilies are mentioned, divorce isn’t, and the text is both choppy and redundant as it suggests who might be in a family. For example, one passage reads: “Do you have any stepsisters or stepbrothers? You can be a stepbrother or a stepsister to other people in your family. Did you know that?” And although the text acknowledges family rifts with a line about not getting together frequently (“maybe it’s because the family argues with one another”), a general idealization of family negates the experiences of the most vulnerable children. The lines “From when you were a baby to when you’re a kid, and from when you’re a grown-up and for as long as you live, YOU are always part of your family” exclude children who are adopted at older ages or who are among the 400,000-plus American children without permanent homes. Adoption itself is acknowledged as a way a family grows, but birth families are excluded from consideration.
Many, but not all, kinds of families. (Picture book. 4-8)