A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary


A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng (InfoSoup)

A teacher in a classroom asks her class what they think make their families special. One little girl hesitates to answer, knowing that her family is not like everyone else’s. The children begin to share about their families. There are children being raised by two fathers and two mothers, another who is parented by a grandmother. Some have huge families with lots of siblings and others are only children. Some have a new baby and others have stepbrothers and sisters. Each family is different and special in its own way. By the end, the little girl knows that whatever structure her family has, all that matters is that there is lots of love.

O’Leary does not lecture about families here. Rather she shows the wide variety that there are in families and how each of those is based on love. There is no need to be didactic, as every child will see themselves in the pages of this book. It is a wise way to look at families, since each is just as special and marvelous as the one before. The emphasis here is on love itself, the care that is given to children in each of those families no matter their structure.

Leng’s illustrations add so much warmth to this picture book. The illustrations are full of details and invite readers to look closely. Each page zings with energy from the mothers singing under the night sky to the child who lives with both her father and mother, just at different times. There is a playfulness on the pages too, which makes each family come to life.

A strong picture book about diversity and families, this book is filled with warmth and love and not lectures. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.


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