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What a Family Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (March 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399242546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399242540
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,867,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Grandpa Max says that kindergartener Ollie looks just like his brother Winthrop did in 1924 when he was the shortest kid in his class. Then, it is revealed that Ollie strongly resembles his brother Angelo because both have hair that sticks straight up. Charming illustrations highlight the similar traits within an extended family, including those shared by first cousins once removed, second or third cousins, or even half-siblings. The endpapers consist of a genealogical diagram of the whole family, and include pictures of everyone mentioned in the text. While the book has the feel and the vibrancy of a picture book, the implied concept–how genetic traits like hair color or left-handedness are shared by some family members and not others–seems far beyond its intended audience. Even so, youngsters may simply enjoy comparing their own traits to those of the characters in the story and to think about their own families–and perhaps that is enough.–Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. With lively colored-pencil portraits of one extended family, Isadora's latest book celebrates connections and diversity across several generations. She begins with Ollie, the shortest kid in his kindergarten class, who looks just like Grandpa Max's brother, who, back in 1924, was the shortest kid in his class. Grandpa says that Ollie also looks like his cousin Angelo, and that both boys look like "their first cousin once removed Roger, who has large ears that he can wiggle just like his granddaughter Sidney and his uncle Melvin." It all sounds great, but kids will surely wonder what the term cousin once removed means. Isadora tries to explain in a note, but most kids will still be confused, even though the family tree on the endpapers does help. What works best here are the wonderfully individualized portraits, some of them showing interracial connections. Whether the topic is dimples, eyebrows, or long second toes, this book will stimulate kids to explore their own family roots. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently took this book on a camping trip which included my almost 5 year old and almost 3 year old grandchildren. They had enjoyed it when they visited and I thought it would hold their attention under a variety of circumstances. I originally bought this book because I have grandchildren with mixed racial backgrounds and this book introduces you to a multi-racial family tree in a very matter of fact way. My grandchildren were every bit as interested in the intricate family tree shown on both inside covers, as they were with the delightful story of the characteristics that show up in different generations and branches of the family. They had a great time getting to know the branches of the families and discovering things like the difference in age of siblings, and that one father died when his twin girls were one years old and their mom shortly therafter remarried. While camping, the almost 5 year old was transfixed with the family trees we drew. On the next visit the photo albums came out including photos of relatives who emigrated from Poland in 1905, not to mention pictures of me when I was 5. I plan to buy it for a friend who wiggles his ears, because that is one family trait that is illustrated in the book and I am sure his grandson will want to wiggle his ears just like grandpa. I also plan to send it to a 35 year old who just lost his mother and is eager to keep her memory alive in his young children. There is so much that is terrific about this book. It makes you smile and laugh and really appreciate how unique families are.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amy Q. on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a school librarian, I'm very aware of the need to be sensitive to diversity. So many children are fostered or adopted and DON'T share "family" traits. While fun and whimsical for some, all this attention on who-looks-like-whom can be excruciatingly painful for a child who may be just coming to terms with his/her place in a family. Great sensitivity is required here.
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