Kinship by Tamara Neal

Kinship

Relationship Book For Kids

KIRKUS REVIEW

A picture book that emphasizes love and diversity while introducing children to different types of family relationships.

Over 31 pages, Neal, who has previously written a relationship book for teen and adult women (The World’s Top Ten Worst Men for Women Guide, 2012), shows how large and small families can consist of many different kinds of relationships. At one point, three sisters of different ages—all represented with the same clip-art image—are described as playing together; at another, a boy named Shawki is said to be adjusting to a new little brother who loves to ride his bike. The book’s emphasis on diversity is its strongest aspect, and images include children of many different races and children with disabilities. In one section, the book focuses on the different kinds of mothers who love their children: “Some moms are big; some moms are small. / Some moms are short; some moms are tall. / Some moms have dark skin; some have light. / Some can’t see but hold you tight. / Some moms simply can’t hear or walk. / There are moms that don’t even talk!” The art, however, is often forgettable and includes computer generated, cartoonish sketches apparently taken from public-domain collections rather than created specifically for the title. The book’s concepts may be most appropriate for preschool-age children, but for that audience there are generally too many words per page. Readers may also find the rhyme schemes awkward at times (“It takes all types of people to make the world go around— / Love and friendship link us, to our families we're bound!”). Also, two characters have the same name, which is likely to confuse young audiences and parents alike.

A picture book with a valuable message of acceptance, unevenly executed.

Pub Date: March 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1480075993
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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