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Families Hardcover – January 3, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4–This book consists of interviews with the children from 15 different families, including mixed-race, immigrant, gay, lesbian, and divorced, as well as single parents and families for whom religion is a focal point. The children may be adopted, have special needs, be only children or have multiple siblings, and, of course, the characteristics frequently overlap. The interviews focus on the youngsters' feelings about being part of their family: adults do not interfere. The voices are natural, and the children come across as individuals, not just representative of a particular lifestyle or ethnic group. According to an author's note, Kuklin allowed her subjects to choose how they would be photographed, including the clothing worn and what family mementos would be shown. Working with those constraints, Kuklin has composed sharp and vibrant photos that capture the essence of each of them. This book will be both attractive to browsers and an excellent impetus for discussing relationships and diversity in America.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. Combining interviews and engaging color photos, Kuklin's latest book shows the diversity of families in America. Each of the 15 double-page spreads focuses on one family, illustrated by three photographs: a family portrait, a picture of the children, and a photo from the family's own collection. The text consists of the children's wide-ranging and occasionally disjointed comments about themselves, their siblings, their parents, and aspects of their lives such as religion, divorce, Down syndrome, and growing up in a biracial family. Readers may not want to pursue all this in one sitting, but each story is interesting. Eloise, adopted at a Chinese orphanage, wonders about her birth parents. Ella, who has two fathers, tells how her family dealt with "Moms Weekend" at her sleep-away camp. Joshua and his twin sisters, Ashley and Kati, talk about twinship, hobbies, and Korean elements in their daily lives. An attractive introduction to the ever-stretching definition of family. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786808225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786808229
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Oleanna on October 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although Kuklin claims looks were unimportant in this interesting photo

picture book on family diversity, somehow she ended up with attractive,

appealing subjects children and adults will enjoy looking at.

She set out to find a panoply of outgoing U.S. children with varied

families willing to provide young readers either a window into their own

lives or a mirror of the readers' identities through tiny glimpses of

themselves as perceived and expressed by the children-- "Gutsy" families,

notes Kuklin, in the March 2006 American Library Association Book Links


Fifteen nurturing families representing a broad range of characteristics

obliged. They are featured in fifteen attractive page spreads. Each has

a group family picture, a cut-out shot of the children, an album photo,

and text in the children's own words, omitting questions or prompts that

must have elicited some of the comments.

Kuklin let the children's personalities and decisions guide her

collaborative project. The children, ages four to fourteen, not the

adults, were interviewed for the text, revealed whatever they chose

about their families, and directed the depiction of their family life,

including poses, props, pets, and what everyone should wear in the

photos. (Parents did consult on location for the photo shoots.)

Additionally, because many of the children showed her their family

albums during interviews, Kuklin had each family select one significant

photo from their family's history which is included and described.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By HenderHouse on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A welcome addition to the collection of books about different sorts of families, Kuklin's book is unique in that it contains the authentic voices of the children in the families. Families contains the stories of 16 families -- like all families, they are unique and unlike any other family and yet bound by the same universal emotions (love, humor, frustration) and activities (teasing, teasing, and teasing) that bind us together. Each family has a two-page spread with a large color photo and their special story. We meet Maisie, who lives part-time with her mom and part-time with her dad, and Ben, an only child who lives with his mom and dad. There are sisters Verona and Leona, whose older sister Melanie stayed in Trinidad when the parents moved to the US and Jehangir, who shares with his grandfather the dream that he will become the first Muslim President of the United States. The children's voices are funny and serious and loving. A warm portrait of today's family.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is really good. It describes 15 different family situations that children might find themselves in. It includes everything from the traditional Christian family to one with 2 moms or 2 dads. What makes this book unique is that it is told from the point of view of the children in the family along with photographs. I thought this was a great way to explain what a family is. Recommended for ages 4-8 years.
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