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All Families Are Special Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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All Families Are Special + Who's in a Family? + Who's In My Family?: All About Our Families (Let's Talk about You and Me)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807521752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807521755
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-When a teacher asks her students to tell about their families, each child speaks of a different configuration. There are big, small, and extended families. Children live with a mom and dad, grandparents, two same-gender parents, or stepparents. The youngsters mention adoption, divorce, and death of a parent and pets. Then, they discuss the good and bad times that families have together. The tone throughout is upbeat and positive. The bright watercolor illustrations depict smiling, multicultural people living in immaculate middle-class surroundings. This is a good book for introducing nontraditional families to children, but some readers might find the sunny cheerfulness unrealistic. Ann Morris's Families (HarperCollins, 2000) represents a variety of family situations with color photographs of multicultural families and a simple text, but does not include same-gender parents.
Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"This is a good book for introducing nontraditional families to children."

School Library Journal

Customer Reviews

The book starts out in a classroom with the teacher announcing she's going to be a grandma.
KSL
No book is going to tell me or my children that, because I didn't birth them, I am not their "real" mom!
Fritz
This book helps kids understand how we support each other as a family -- through good times and bad.
Tribe8

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Fritz on December 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While the book includes examples of adoption, many may take offense at this book's use of "real parent" for the birth parent. As an adoptive parent of two, I certainly do! No book is going to tell me or my children that, because I didn't birth them, I am not their "real" mom!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on August 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is prefect for an early childhood classroom family unit. The basis of the story is a teacher asking the class about their families. Each page is dedicated to one of the children's responses and many different family situations are included. Two important ones its missing are single mom with no dad in the picture and gay dads. It does however have a single dad where the mom died and lesbian moms. Its a great discussion starter and jumping off point.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By KSL on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book and like the illustrations by Teresa Flavin's families. This is a book that show ALL kinds of families, and this is a book that the parent should review to see if it works with your family.

The book starts out in a classroom with the teacher announcing she's going to be a grandma. "Everyone is part of a family, would you like to talk about your families?" Families are made all sorts of ways, by adoption, having your grandparents live with you, single parents, two mommies, going to live at your grandparents home, family members how live in other countries, families include your pets, cousins, aunts, uncles and step-parents.

I think the author Morma Simon said it best on the "About this book page": Here's what she said:

" We remain linked to our families and to our family memories, throughout our lives. That's because of the powerful bonds formed in family life.

Kinship plays a significant role in shaping the personality and self-image of every child in a family. The strenghts children develop and successes they experience within their families shape the strenghts and expectations of success they carry with them as they grow up and move out into the world. The family environment influences how children thrive and mature; eventually it influences their ability to form happy families of their own.

We know that nobody lives a perfect life. Family life includes times of tension and hardship as well as times of great joy. It is up to adult family members to create a climate of love, security and optimism that will help children weather stormy times and find life's most positive values and experience.

The typical family picture of fifty years ago has undergone many changes.
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By Teacher / Mom of 1 on May 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I may now be a 25-year-old mother with a son, a husband, and a "traditional family" - but I myself have two moms, two moms who have been together for 38 years, who fought for their right to have me, and who are pretty much the two best people in the world. When I was growing up, children's books that included LGBT families in a positive light were few and far between. I am so grateful that my 1-year-old's library is stocked full of many quality books that include LGBT families, that he will have the chance to grow up reading books that celebrate all sorts of families. I have created a library for my son that focuses on multi-cultural, highly-diverse literature of all types. His toy collection is minimal but satisfying, but his library is already more extensive at 15-months-old than many adult readers' collections. Amongst his hundreds of tomes are dozens of novels that include or focus on LGBT families.

For anyone who is wondering why I would mention all of that in a review, here's why: I want anyone reading to know that when I say that this book is one of the 3 best LGBT-inclusive children's books I have ever encountered, that it REALLY means something. All Families Are Special is heartfelt, thoughtful and exceedingly thorough. The way the author seemlessly weaves together the stories of a classroom full of students' different families into one smooth narrative with a clear message is quite beautiful. Ms. Simon finds the perfect balance between being informative and enjoyable, as she has each child in the story describe their family situation with just the right amount of detail.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tribe8 on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a great resource for every family/classroom. This book helps kids understand how we support each other as a family -- through good times and bad. It shows many different families (adoption, single parents, divorce, same-gender parents, multi-generational etc) though not every possible configuration. The characterization of the families isn't perfect -- it annoyed me that the kid with gay moms calls them by their first names ("mommy" and "mama" is more common) -- but there isn't a better book I have found about family diversity. The book also has great suggestions for teachers on how to use it to promote age-appropriate discussions with kids. Here is an actual email I received today from my daughter's first grade teacher, who had requested the book as part of her Mother's Day curriculum: "We read the book today and it was AMAAAAAZING on so many levels. Thank you so much for sending it in, and I would love to offer it for lending to the other classes. Thanks again for the lending of the book, and I will make sure it gets back to you!"
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