Who's in a Family?
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2006
Like another reviewer, I was disappointed that none of these families reflects the reality for so many children: you can have two mommies, or two daddies. "Mom and her partner" not only doesn't come close to describing families with two moms, it undermines one of the child's primary relationships.

And I just found it rather boring. There's no plot. Most children would much rather read a story, and I'd much rather they saw a variety of families within stories instead of having this friendly little lecture.
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70 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2006
As a white single mother of a bi-racial child, I'm always excited to find books that validate our family's composition. The problem with this one is that the main character whose family begins the book is a white girl who lives with her two white parents and sibling, has a dog and white grandparents. So the set-up is that her family is the "regular" kind and others are variations that aren't quite the same and are kind of exotic. I don't read this to my daughter anymore and I plan to throw it away.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
I'm disappointed to see that the negative reviews of this books are largely due to concerns about the inclusiveness and diversity of this book. Frankly, you should avoid this book primarily because it's badly written, poorly illustrated, and boring to read. We had the misfortune of being given a copy as a gift.

The writer makes utterly strange analogies with the animal world in ways that make no sense and that only superficially follow the point being made. There is no "plot" per se, and it won't hold the interest of a child or the adult reading it, especially since the "message" of the book is transmitted not with skill and grace but through beating the reader over the head with it. The illustrations are flat and uninteresting, and the one attempt at showing physical resemblance between a grandfather and his grandchild is accomplished by the apparent fact that they both shop at Bob's House of Soviet Eyewear.

I'd give them the one star for effort and for trying to counter the intolerant mindset out there, but that's about all that's redeeming. This book has taken an important, valuable message about diversity and tolerance and left it lying senseless and bleeding in a dark alley.
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61 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2000
We searched for months for a book for our son that showed ALL types of families. This one hit the mark. While the illustrations may not be museum quality, the message is clear and understated. We have used this in our Sunday School class and based a Sunday service on the idea that "Families Valued" are not all plain vanilla. An excellent book to validate YOUR family's configuration.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
From the other reviews it seems like this book manages to subtly offend many of us in the types of families the book was trying to support which is sad. I was hoping to find a book that showed many types of families in a positive light. Instead I found that I didn't want to share it with our child since it was more likely to make him feel like his own family was odd. In a book about different family types for this young an age group, it would have been nicer to describe the only child's family rather than using the "only child" label which young kids might not have heard of or identify with. Most of the other families are described rather than labeled. Also, for such a young age group pointing out that an only might need to bring along a friend (sibling substitute) on a camping trip points out something that many preschool/early elementary school aged onlies haven't even begun to think about. I know these are subtle points but it seems like the book just misses the mark for several of the types of families portrayed. Maybe the publisher could update it at some point because the general concept of the book is great.
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45 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2004
I am a single mother in an area where this is not the norm. This book was wonderful in showing many different types of families to my three year old son. He really enjoyed the book and was especially excited to see photos of his own family in the back of the book. I put the pictures in before we read it and he felt so confident about his own family configuration afterwards. Family has been a very important topic lately as his friends have been asking why my son's family is different. The book is simple and to the point and allows for any additional comments a person might want to add. Thank you to Robert Skutch for writing such a needed book that helps instill family confidence.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2012
The book is better than many, but falls short by not recognizing two moms or two dads as both parents. For now i change the wording when I read it, but when my son can read that won't work. Like another reviewer, i noticed the initial nuclear white family being first. There are some other subtleties that bother me. The only child "sometimes invites her friend to go camping", the assumption being an only child family is incomplete. Same with the two adult family, their pets are their "kids". Single dads are seen playing with their children, single moms are picking up their kids from the sitter. The book does at least have a variety of people of color and talk about skin color which many books don't. There is also a blending in of talking about animal families that is odd, bringing up animal behavior like elephants living in same sex packs. See kids it really is natural, some animals do it too- who is the author trying to convince? All this said, sadly, I have not found one of these all kinds of families book I like better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2013
I was disappointed in this story because I was specifically looking for a children's book that featured a Grandmother raising her grandchild....Mom not around much any more & no Dad around.
The little boy I wanted to give the book to questions why his Mom & Dad are not in his house only Grandma. Grandma requested a book about Grandmother's taking the place of Mother's role. The Grandmother in this story only babysat the Grandkids while the Mom was at work. There was a story about most other kinds of families , no Foster Families either.
I can not give this book to the little boy, it would only make him sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2013
I purchased this for my four-year-granddaughter, whose father is deceased, to help her understand that she and her mommy ARE a real 'family.' If someone does not feel comfortable presenting all content to younger children, those pages can be clipped out until later. For the most part, it is a helpful book for not quite 'traditional' families.
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34 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 1997
This colorful story is one of the best picture books that I have seen for portraying families in all their diversity. A very bright and inclusive look at who makes up a family in America today
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