LIFE WITH MY FAMILY by Renee Hooker

LIFE WITH MY FAMILY

by & ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young girl wonders what life with her loud family would be like if they were animals instead of people.

Chaos surrounds her in the kitchen: Her younger brother is hurling yogurt at her, her baby brother is screaming, and her father is burning his shirt with the iron as her mother pays bills at the table. This all has the girl wondering “what else we could be.” She imagines them all as a pod of pelicans, a swarm of bees, a pride of lions, a smack of jellyfish, and more, all appearing more peaceful than they are as humans at home. When she comes to imagining them as a wisdom of wombats, she realizes that life as animals would hold danger as well: “What if they tried to take my little brother to the zoo?!” In the final two spreads, the wild kitchen scene of the family preparing dinner together settles down as they sit down to a set table, where younger brothers are still messy but smiles abound. She realizes that “while we’re together, there’s no place I’d rather be.” Fun to read, and featuring both common and rare collective nouns (“a pandemonium of parrots”), the book ends with a note about collective nouns and a list of additional “terms of venery.” Humorous illustrations distinguish each family member in the animal imaginings with their signature hair and accessories, such as glasses and a pacifier. It’s a happy interracial family, with a black-presenting dad and Asian-presenting mom; the kids are all distinct individuals.

Cute and familiar. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5247-8937-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2018




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