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
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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
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