Unconditional love is the common denominator linking the several families whose lives are explored in this picture book.
Regardless of differences in appearance and composition, the families portrayed at meal times, while commuting, enjoying leisure time, and caring for one another are fundamentally more alike than not, a point that is reinforced throughout in rhyming couplets: “No matter where we live, or our color, creed, or name— / In each and every family, the love is all the same.” (Oddly, given the mention of “creed,” the illustrations are devoid of religious signifiers, such as crucifixes, yarmulkes, or headscarves.) Although there are no multigenerational households portrayed, there are traditional nuclear families of different races, a blended family, a transracially adopted child, same-sex parents, grandparents raising a child, a single mother and child, multiracial families, and a child in a wheelchair. While the text occasionally feels labored, the bright, clear illustrations have a stylish, slightly retro feel to them and truly steal the show. Children will enjoy spotting tiny details in the pictures and following families from page to page.
Aimed at young readers at a stage when they are intensely curious about other people (and highly receptive to positive messages about diversity), this British import is ideal for sparking natural conversations about differences. (Picture book. 3-6)