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The Great Big Book of Families
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The Great Big Book of Families

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  51 reviews
This fun and fascinating treasury features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life - from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. Ros Asquith's humorous illustrations perfectly complement a charming text from the acclaimed Mary Hoffman; kids will love poring over these pages again and aga ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Dial (first published March 1st 2010)
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Kathryn
A nice book that features a wide variety of families from "traditional families" to blended families; multi-cultural and multi-racial families; single parent families; families headed by lesbian or gay parents, grandparents, foster parents; families with many siblings or cousins or great-grandparents, even; families with just one child and one adult... Beyond the basic family make-up, the book also explores jobs (sometimes only one parent works, sometimes both do, sometimes parents are out of wo ...more
Carolynne
Nearly every possible variety of family is pictured in this joyful book--every race, every gender combination, every major religion, every mood and personality, single parent, two parent, blended families, small families, big families, with long lists of relatives, families with different hobbies, families with different modes of transportation, and more There is even a very grouchy looking Grandma and cranky dad on one page (showing a family tree for a blended family--Dad and Grandma and sour U ...more
Miri
I love this book. On each page it shows several different kinds of families—how some live in houses, some live in apartments, and some don't have anywhere to live; some wear jeans all the time, some like to dress up, and some wear whatever they want (this shows a boy wearing a tutu and a kid in pajamas, I think); some kids have a mom and a dad, some have only one or the other, some are raised by their grandparents, and some have two moms or two dads. I love anything that teaches kids that everyo ...more
Muhuawu wu
I think his book can come very handy in the classroom. It explains to children what a family is or could be like and how each family is different from others while accepting these differences in society. This book entertains the reader by having a lot of pictures and examples. The information given in the book is simple and easy to read so it makes it appropriate for the younger age group. This book would be a perfect introduction to a unit on families because it has a little of everything and p ...more
Robin
TED 8650 Children's Literature

Text to World: This book has a lot of diverse views of families. For example, the first spread says that some children live with mom and dad, some live with just mom or just dad, some live with grandparents, some have two moms or two dads, some are adopted or live with foster families. Each spread is about a different topic and goes into that much depth.

Discussion Questions:
1. Name three topics that the book talks about.
2. Explain why the book has the title that it
...more
Sean Albright
1. Opening: How many of you have any brothers or sisters? How many of you have any pets? How many of you celebrate any holidays throughout the year? Whether you answered yes or no to any of these questions, Mary Hoffman explains in her book, The Great Big Book for Families, that it’s not only okay to be different, it’s best! We should embrace ourselves as individuals and appreciate others for who they are. So, when learning about culture, understand that people can be much different than we are, ...more
Joan
(2011) by Mary Hoffman
This book is great for discussion at elementary grades. It addresses a different aspect of family on each page. The opening states families may be 2 parent, 1 parent, grandma/grandpa, 2 mommies, 2 daddies, adopted or foster families. From there it explores various extended family, homes, schooling, jobs, holidays and celebrations. A lot of emotion could be brought out using this book about how families are different.
(2011). Publisher's Weekly. http://www.barnesandnoble.com
...more
Jessica
This fun, informative children’s book invites readers to explore the parts and pieces that make up all different kinds of families. In a light-hearted yet thoughtful manner, the author, Mary Hoffman, delves into the many aspects of family backgrounds (ex. structure, religion, socioeconomic status). With each turn of the page she dives into another topic. There are even pages dedicated to feelings, hobbies, clothes, school, pets, and food. As a teacher, I would use this book for read-aloud becaus ...more
Kylee Myers
In this wonderful book about different families by Mary Hoffman, the author discusses all of the different components that make up a family. What she did was take every possible family situation and break them into bits and pieces telling that these components can come together to create different kinds of families. For example, she describes how families can have two moms or two dads, they can be big or small, and they can live in an apartment or a house. There are many different elements that ...more
Karina
“The Great Big Book of Families” by Mary Hoffman shows a variety of examples of different kinds of families through the use of detailed pictures and simple text. It starts off by introducing the reader to a “typical” family with a mom, a dad, a boy, and a girl, and then opens up to talking about the differences seen in other families and relates it back to the reader. The book breaks up the topic of families into several categories; there is one for the makeup of a family, homes of families, sch ...more
Samantha Hagler
This book is exactly what the title entails, a big book full of families! It is an informational text, and a story line is not practiced in this book, as it takes another unique spin where each page something different is discussed and illustrated. This book describes how families come in all shapes and sizes and explores the differences in family shape, size, homes, jobs, school, holidays, clothes, food, hobbies, transportation, feelings, and even pets. The author, Mary Hoffman, does a fabulous ...more
Megan Piero
This informational text shows children just how many ways in which families can be alike or how they can be different. The author, Mary Hoffman, touches on several different aspects of home life (ex. the types of jobs parents have, what types of homes people live in, what types of holidays and celebrations people celebrate). The author does a great job at making children feel connected to the book (ex. “In this book are a lot of families living in different ways. Perhaps there’s one like yours?” ...more
Nausheen Ukani
“The Great Big Book of Families” is a children’s picture book by Mary Hoffman that focuses on the unique traits of all types of families. She has created a book that offers readers information on the different types of families—small vs. big families, their homes and backgrounds, schools, clothes and food, holidays, etc. Hoffman does an incredible job in creating a children’s book that will introduce to its readers various types of families who come different areas and backgrounds. The illustrat ...more
Mimi
Families are Different by Nina Pellegrini is a narrative told from the perspective of six year old girl Nico. She was adopted from Korea as a baby and now, she’s questioning why she doesn’t look like her parents. Nico feels as though she is different because the people in her family don’t look the same as some families do. Nico observed her surroundings and noticed that are families are different. There are small and large families, and families that have grandparents as the guardians. Nina Pell ...more
Katie
This is a great discussion starter book to use with your own kids or with a group. With fun, diverse illustrations it shows a variety of families, and a variety of things that families do together or do as a part of their day. The simple text leaves room for parents and kids to add in their own examples of families they know & the differences they see around them.
Sauda Abdullah
The main idea of this story is the diversity of families. The main characters are moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. This is a fiction book written for young readers. I would use this text in the classroom to work with sight words and using context clues. Students might ask questions about families units that are different from their own. The author and illustrator both belong to one or more of the family units mentioned. The author made the book an easy read so your readers can enjoy it and use ...more
Cemeread
This book can be helpful to any child who finds his/her family to be different in some way. The very diversified book shows the many different ways to be a family from who raises the child to different types homes (or lack of one). All aspects of a family are covered.
Penny
What a wonderful book!!!! Everyone should read it. It covered the different types of families beautifully!! Great job Mary and Ros!!
Rebecca Plaza
Illustrative, teachery, inclusive. I wouldn't want to share it but has its didactive uses.
Kifflie
I remember enjoying Mary Hoffman's Amazing Grace some years back when I was first starting out in the library field. I had also purchased many of her Stravaganza series for teens, without realizing it was the same Mary Hoffman.

And here she's done a very nice easy non-fiction book about all sorts of families, with sweet illustrations by Ros Asquith. How pleasant it is to see such a variety of families represented -- and not just by make-up, but by lifestyle, culture, and even personality. Any you
...more
Elaine
A very good & insightful book about daily lives of the many different types of families that exist. The author did an excellent job explaining the many ways households are run and how families spend their time together whether the situation is status quo or not, simply of how things exist. I appreciate that. The kids were quite attentive during preschool storytime and the activity afterwards was asking what's their favorite thing to do with their families. Of course the answers were reflecti ...more
John
What a lovely book. Everyone should read it no matter the age.
Stefani
This is a great introduction to how everyone's families (and activities) are different, and that it's okay. However, there are moments where it feels judgmental. Such as using the word "but" instead of "and" when referring to families without a lot of money or the illustration of a mom driving her kid in a van has exhaust making a mouse cough. I enjoyed the inclusion of non-perfect families, but it often felt like it was really bad to not be able to do or have certain things. Still, a good intro ...more
Alice
Sigh....This book tries to be everything to everybody and trying to be politically correct at the same time. Let try to cram in every type of family, family situation, and every conceivable life scenario. That is a tall order! And well, it is at time depressing...I little TOO real. I did not like this one at all, BUT if you need to talk about diversity, or a kids with two dads/moms this might be a good one... but all in all TOO MUCH in such a small book. Each Scenario could have been its own boo ...more
Pam
well done book on families and all that entails.... including one gentle line about how your family is made up.. ie mom and mom or dad and dad.... the res is full of great multiculturally sensitive pictures of families and who they are and what they do and where they live, schools , jobs , holidays... a two page spread for each topic great for primary students... has a simple family tree at the back.....
The Library Lady
I am not sure who will use this--perhaps teachers. It's earnest and well meant, but its efforts to cover everything and to include everyone keep it from flowing well. Glad it's been classed as non-fiction for my library, I'd rather use things like Ann Morris's photo books when asked for books on families for younger children.
Vicki
This book has a great message about how families are today. It covers all aspects of family life from homes, feelings, jobs, schools, pets, and more. The illustrations give readers a lot to look at. It may be a bit long as a group read to preschoolers. It will surely create a lot of conversation by your listeners as they share how their family is.
Samantha
GREAT book! Covering topics from families, homes, school, jobs, holidays, food, to clothes and even more this book does a fantastic job of displaying the many differences that exist in our world today. Simply written with great multicultural illustrations, this would be a great book to share with a young child to introduce some big topics.
Melissa
This is a good effort, and I appreciate the effort to discuss all kinds of differences (hobbies and feelings and socio-economics as well as size & genders). I am greedy and want even more differences acknowledged, and in an even more even-handed presentation. Nice to have in our 300s though!
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Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace. Mary is also the editor of a review magazine ...more
More about Mary Hoffman...
City of Masks (Stravaganza, #1) Amazing Grace City of Stars (Stravaganza, #2) City of Flowers (Stravaganza, #3) City of Secrets (Stravaganza, #4)

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