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All Kinds of Families! Hardcover – August 1, 2009

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Waiting
Waiting
Waiting is a big part of childhood. Waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen. However, now a child sets the stage and pulls the strings in a timeless, heartfelt picture book about imaginative play, friendship, and surprises. Paperback | More for ages 3-5
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All Kinds of Families! + The Family Book + Who's In My Family?: All About Our Families (Let's Talk about You and Me)
Price for all three: $30.25

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—Hoberman has tackled the elusive question of what makes a family a family in this sometimes silly, sometimes serious book of rhymes. She likens families to numerous items that share a relationship and are inherently the same. Her refrain says it all, "Bottle caps, gingersnaps, buttons, or rings/You can make families from all sorts of things!" Other families include tools, balloons, thimbles, and marbles, but the verses make it clear that human families are much more than a conglomeration of like, easily categorized, things; they share a human history and the promise of many more families to come. No matter what, making a family is about seeing the likenesses, not the differences. Boutavant provides colorful illustrations that vary from page to page, but as a group, complement the rhymes. Pair this with Jusin Richardson and Peter Parnell's And Tango Makes Three (S & S, 2005), Arnold Adoff's Black Is Brown Is Tan (HarperCollins, 2002); Nancy Coffelt's Fred Stays with Me! (Little, Brown, 2007), and Remy Charlip's A Perfect Day (HarperCollins, 2007) to introduce the idea that, indeed, there are all kinds of families.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman is the author of more than thirty-five books for children, including the critically acclaimed A House Is a House for Me, which won a National Book Award, the New York Times bestselling You Read to Me, I'll Read to You, and the Sing-Along Stories series.

Marc Boutavant has created picture books in English, French, and Japanese. He also does editorial illustration and comics. Mr. Boutavant lives in Paris.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316146331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316146333
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Ann Hoberman is a poet and the critically acclaimed author of many books for children, including the beloved A House Is a House for Me, which won a National Book Award. She was also the editor of the poetry anthology My Song Is Beautiful: Poems and Pictures in Many Voices. Ms. Hoberman gives readings in libraries and schools, and her poems are included in countless anthologies. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J.A. on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what to make of this book. All Kinds of Families has the kind of metaphor-rich lyricism that I love about Hoberman's award-winning A House Is a House for Me, but it some ways it ends up seeming to be more about set theory than about families.

I had this in mind for a child I know who has a rather complicated family situation, even though it's definitely not a book that explicitly states "divorced/blended/lesbian/step/adopted families are families too!" (although that is implied, of course).

The emphasis seems to be two part: (1) You are part of a family and a legacy and a future by dint of your existence, and (2) any conglomeration of items, objects or people can be a family should you choose to make it so. (Hmmm...I wonder if this book would make more sense to children than it would to adults with a didactic agenda in mind?)

The illustrations are interesting, which is not to say that they are either good or bad. They're sort of in that "Japanese kawaii" cutesy style, and they're so tangerine-colored and googly-eyed, if you know what I mean, that they can be a little distracting, but then again, there's a lot of wit to be found in the details, so a deeper look can be worthwhile.

Long story short, I'm glad that I checked this out from the library before buying on the basis of Hoberman's "brand name" alone, and I think I'm going to sit with it, so to speak, for a while before deciding if it's really something worth paying for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Hardacre on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am in love with this book. The words and sentiment are perfect. It really touches my heart everytime I read it with my children. The author Hoberman uses humor in grouping everyday objects into families but also explains to children that they are changing, altering and creating families when they are born and that they may someday create their own family. The sentiment is heartfelt. The artwork is just as beautiful as the words. Marc Boutavant is my new favorite childrens artist. My one and half year old wants to read this book everynight before bed because there is just so much to look at. I will be giving this book as a gift at every baby shower I attend. It is perfect for a new mom and baby!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cmurphy312 on July 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a blended family and my oldest son is 6 years old. He and I were alone until I met my husband. He has always considered my husband his father and he is at the age where we need to start talking about the difference between his "daddy" and the person that helped bring him into the world. His biological father disappeared never to be heard from again. Our family counselor suggested I look for books to talk about what makes a real family and my son loved this book. We are taking very slow steps, but this is a wonderful way to start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S.H on August 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book has wonderful illustrations. We couldnt get over the colors and details on every page, not to mention the charming story to go along. I recommend this book to everyone that wants a good read for children AND adults alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By teamBoo on December 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so awesome (as are Mary ann Holberman's other stories). Sweet and subtly educational (though i do recall one rhyming word used twice?) It is about all the different ways you can group things together (animals, stars and moon, saucer and dish, colors etc) Marc Boutavant's illustrations are equally as stylistically adorable.

I think it is important to mention that my only hesitation buying this book online was i was a tiny bit worried it might try to touch on complicated family styles. While i do think there is a great lesson of love for everyone in this, i really hoped it wasn't the agenda of this book. It's not. It talks about human families in a very sensitive and open ended manner, with the general meaning that family is what you make it to be. It really is a book for all views. This book would make a fantastic gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adore this book! As a Pre-K teacher and huge lover of books myself, I'm always looking for quality children's books that are both well written and thoughtful but suitable for the age group I teach. I got this book last year to introduce our unit on families and, after just finishing the unit again this year, I couldn't resist writing a review. I love Mary Ann Hoberman because the rhyming,flow, and repetition of her books always prove to be so engaging and this is definitely no exception. What I love most is how she intersperses very meaningful things about families with the lighter, more silly groupings of "families" she showcases throughout the book. Simplifying it that way really helps the littlest listeners start to understand how others' families can be so different than their own and still share so many of the same qualities. They especially love the part about why each child is such an important part of his or her own family and is so special to parents, siblings, grandparents, and family members, regardless of their placement in the family. If the writing wasn't wonderful enough, the illustrations are colorful, detailed, and absolutely adorable and perfectly compliment the text. If you're not already familiar with Hoberman's other books, a few other great ones to check out are "A House is a House for Me", "And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be Friends", and "The Seven Silly Eaters". This is another new favorite for me!
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