Author(s): Robert Skutch
Family is important, but who's in a family? Why, the people who love you the most! This equal opportunity, open-minded picture book has no preconceptions about what makes a family a family. There's even equal time given to some of children's favorite animal families. With warm and inviting jewel-tone illustrations, this is a great book for that long talk with a little person on your lap. "Beginning with a traditional nuclear family and ending with blank spaces in which the child reader is instructed to 'draw a picture of your family,' this slight book catalogues multicultural contemporary family units, including those with single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents. Kevin and his brother like their kimono-clad grandmother to help them with their jigsaw puzzles, while Ricky lives with two families. 'Aunt Amanda and Uncle Stan,' pictured riding in a blue convertible with their pets, 'don't have any children at all' but are 'still a family,' says the narrator, because 'they say Mouser and Fred are their 'babies.' Because 'animals have families, too,' the text describes elephant, lion, chimpanzee and dog families as well as human families. (A human family headed by a mother is 'like the chimpanzee family. Mama chimp raises the babies by herself, with the help of any older children she may have.')--Publishers Weekly Ages 3-8.