When a teacher asks her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different, but the same in one important way ...
When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.
One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One has many stepsiblings, and another has a new baby in the family.
As her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, it is special.
A warm and whimsical look at many types of families, written by award-winning author Sara O’Leary, with quirky and sweet illustrations by Qin Leng.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
When the question of what makes one's family "special" comes up in the classroom, O'Leary's (This Is Sadie) young narrator blushes and looks down in shame. "My family is not like everybody else's," she thinks. Then her classmates take turns talking about their own families, and the differences among them are both marked and wonderful. One boy notes, "I have more grandparents than anybody else I know." Another child explains, "There are lots of kids in our family. Mom and Dad just keep coming home with more." There's a joint-custody family, an adoptive family, a blended family, and multicultural families; there are families led by gay couples and by grandparents. By the time the narrator reveals that she's a foster child, she has realized that difference is an essential part of what makes a family a family. Leng's (Happy Birthday, Alice Babette) drawings of domestic life are, like O'Leary's writing, winsome but never sentimental. Together they offer a straightforward, optimistic view of everyday modern life. Ages 4 7.