Harris and Westcott, who previously collaborated on Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies (2011), return with another matter-of-fact and sensitive informational book, this time not about the human body and sexuality, but about human families and relationships.
Beginning with cover art introducing an interracial family comprised of a mother, father, daughter, son and pet dog, the book follows the family on an outing to the zoo, where they encounter many different kinds of families. Narrative text and speech balloons introduce diverse family constellations in a celebratory spirit of inclusivity and community. In addition to the outing to the zoo, the family also spends time at home, which includes a get-together with extended family members. The balance between the particular experience of this central cast of characters and the general narrative comments about families is executed well, and the tone remains positive and affirming even as it acknowledges that “sometimes, families have mad times. And sometimes, families have sad times.” Throughout, Westcott’s cartoonlike illustrations echo and extend the text, making a wide range of families visible and accessible to readers.
A welcome addition. (Informational picture book. 4-8)