Title: All Kinds of Families
Author: Suzanne Lang
Illustrator: Max Lang
Publisher: Random House, 2015
Format/Genre: board book fiction
Themes: Pride Month, families, family makeup, blended families, single parent families, queer families, step-families, open-mindedness, family love, lgbtqia+
Some children have lots of SIBLINGS.
Some children have NONE.
Lots of nontraditional family structures are celebrated in this fun and super-accessible board book!
Why I like this book:
This is a simple book to talk to young kids about the different kinds of families they would encounter in the world. A silly and positive introduction to open-mindedness and all kinds of family love.
The animals chosen for each type of family (Divorced, Single Parent, Grandparents, Step-Parents, Aunts, Uncles, 2 Moms, 2 Dads etc.) are diverse in color, shape and size. They have animals ranging from as large as a hippo to as small as a spider. This is also great for students to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes.
The gender roles chosen in the book are also different. Each family has a variety of both boys and girls who represent the children. There is a clear indication of types of gender suggested in facial features. Most of the animals are not dressed which indicates that just because an animal is wearing pants does not mean it has to be a boy.
Every statement is accompanied with an illustration of the family described. Max Lang uses many mediums in the illustrations: photographs, colored pencil illustrations, magnetic letters, corkboard and push pins, etc. The “photo” frames are cool. The octopus family has a frame made of shells, the sheep family has a frame made of wool, the ducks’ frame is on a barn wall with a floor of straw and some eggs. Children will love to look at the minute details, e.g. the koala bears’ grocery list consisting of eucalyptus leaves and bark, all while learning the message simply stated at the end, “...if you love each other, then you are a family.”
I would recommend this book as a read aloud for a families and pre-school classrooms.
Children can choose an animal and then sue them to draw/paint their own family.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.