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The Family Book

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In his typically silly and reassuring style, Parr celebrates the many different types of families in this picture book. Full color.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Todd Parr

126 books232 followers
Todd Parr is a three-time New York Times-bestselling author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children. He has inspired and empowered children around the world with simple, hopeful, and powerful messages such as “be kind”, “love yourself” and “be who you are,” all set with vibrant images in eye-catching primary colors. His books have received numerous awards and are available in nearly twenty languages. He also is the co-creator of the popular three-time Daytime Emmy©-nominated animated TV series, "ToddWorld" with Gerry Renert of SupperTime Entertainment. Several short films for Sesame Street have also been based on Parr’s work.

Parr devotes time to numerous philanthropic causes supporting pet adoption, children’s hunger, health, and literacy. He is a frequent reader and fundraiser for The Ronald McDonald House and serves on the board of directors for the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. His corporate collaborations include Best Buy, Stouffer’s, and the San Francisco–Marin Food Bank, among others.

A native of Wyoming, Parr currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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5 stars
1,351 (54%)
4 stars
728 (29%)
3 stars
301 (12%)
2 stars
51 (2%)
1 star
28 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 333 reviews
Profile Image for Calista.
4,062 reviews31.3k followers
March 22, 2020
This is a Todd Parr book about families. Todd Parr doesn’t really vary his style, it’s a Todd Parr book through and through, bright colors and uplifting positive message.

There are all kinds of families out there and all are okay. This is for beginners and up.

I read this to myself, the niece and nephew pass on these books now. I still want to get through his bibliography though, or what the library has. I know there are bigger problems in the world and I’m being a bit silly, but I go to the library 2 times a week and I’m in library withdrawal.
Profile Image for Ezekiel.
317 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2012
I would not read this to children, even though the message is sweet (understanding of differences and the positive attributes of families), because of issues with racism.

The illustrations employ depictions of animals and humans of unnatural (purple, green, pink, bright yellow) colors to showcase how families are different. It attempts to tackle interracial families like this (among the many different family depictions that it gives). However, many people of color have spent way too much time trying to explain to white anti-racists (or those who believe themselves to be) why using depictions of either animals or humans that aren't human-shades (let alone both at the same time) to break down racism, actually reinforces white supremacy. It's like that statement "color doesn't matter to me, white, brown, black, yellow, purple, it's all the same" is made into an actual book form. The problem is that purple people are not real. By making "color-blindness" be about colors of people that don't exist, it shifts the spotlight from the institutional and systematic privileges that white people DO possess.
Profile Image for Colby Sharp.
Author 4 books1,138 followers
June 12, 2012
I decided to reread this book after a school district banned it. Banning this book is so so dumb.
Profile Image for Megan Drey.
14 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2017
The Family Book by Todd Parr has been banned in multiple school districts because of the reference to same-sex marriage in the portion about having two moms or having two dads. Although this seems like a tough and controversial topic for a child to read about, it is significant. Ever since the legalization of same-sex marriage, there are more and more families that fit this section of the book. As an aspiring teacher, it is important to me that each and every one of students is comfortable in who they are and who their family is. A book like this could really reduce bullying in schools among children regarding family statuses because it also touches on being adopted, inter-racial families, and having a diverse family. Many children may only know their life and their family, so it is important that they are educated in a way that makes them realize every type of family is the best kind of family. It also emphasizes the overall importance of family which is important to teach to children.
Profile Image for Sandy.
2,557 reviews62 followers
November 14, 2017
All families are unique and that is what makes your family special. That is the message this book is trying to explain to children with its big bold colors and large easy text. With contrasting ideas on opposing pages the book is easy to read and it gets its message out loud and clear. Children with be able to recite the pages within a few readings and will enjoy the illustrations. With breaks throughout the text the author throws in messages about what all families have in common, ideas such as “all families like to celebrate special days together” and they all are sad when they lose a loved one. I enjoyed the message that all families “can help each other be strong.” Todd addresses a wide variety of issues within this book, issues some individuals in our society are still getting a handle on. It’s not a perfect book but it’s a book for the younger child to feel a connection to, to feel that they have a place in society and that they belong. So whether your family is a different color, they look like a pet that you own, they consist of only one parent or they eat the same things, your family is special and you are too.
Profile Image for Zibby Owens.
Author 6 books17.2k followers
November 26, 2022
This beloved classic celebrates all kinds of families we find in modern times: two moms, two dads, single parents, or guardians. The book ensures all kids know that every family is unique in its own way. The bright picture and illustrations show silly hairstyles and highlight the diversity among different types of families, proving there is no "normal" family.

To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at:
Profile Image for LaDonna.
174 reviews2,451 followers
October 23, 2020
Todd Parr’s fun illustrations and bright colors set a positive and fun tone for The Family Book . The message is powerful; yet, it is wrapped in a language and drawings that an emerging or pre-reader will find inviting. Your family is special no matter what kind it is.

I think everyone will enjoy this book and find Parr’s message of difference and acceptance extremely welcoming.
Profile Image for Lefa.
Author 3 books23 followers
December 13, 2012
This is one of our favourite books for everyone in our household. As always, Avery loves the bright illustrations, the succinct text and the simple statements. I love the politics, the gentle storytelling and the cute pictures.
Profile Image for Nicole.
101 reviews1 follower
October 31, 2012
Todd Parr's The Family Book is a great way to share the differences of families to children. The book goes through a number of different family dynamics, from adopted children to same sex parents. There are colorful illustrations that engage early readers to the more advanced.

Throughout the book Todd Parr describes many different types of families. He organizes them by opposites and similarities. "Some families are big. Some families are small. All families like to HUG each other!" I would use this book in my classroom to illustrate opposites and hopefully have my class come up with their own.

Todd Parr has received many rejections in his life with regards to his art. One could clearly see that he has overcome them. The Family Book is not the only book Parr has written and illustrated. He has many of them and they all share the bright colors and cute characters that children love. What is also great about his books is that they all share a theme of acceptance, differences and empowerment for kids.
10 reviews
June 12, 2017
This book is on the banned/challenged/censored book list. Parr's children's book is more than likely challenged because of the real life "issues" he included in his children's book. Real life scenarios present in this children's book include; single parents, divorced families, biracial and interracial families, adoption, stepmoms/stepdads, and different housing situations. All of these are controversial and can be viewed differently depending on one's opinion. This book does however teach children that "there are lots of different ways to be a family. Your family is special no matter what kind it is" (Parr, 29). I personally do not see anything wrong with using this book in the classroom. Everything included in this book is seen in real life and I believe there is no reason to hide these scenarios from children. The drawings and vibrant colors are appealing to the eye and many children would like the illustrations on every page. I think this book is okay to use in the classroom and the message within the story is nothing to serious to keep hidden.
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books487 followers
November 26, 2012
Reviewed by Me for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

I absolutely love Todd Parr's work, both in his books and his videos. No matter what subject he's writing about, or speaking about, behind it all is the universal theme of diversity and acceptance.

With THE FAMILY BOOK, children and parents learn that families come in all shapes and sizes. Some families are large, some small. Some all look the same, some look different. Some families have children who are adopted, while some families even have two moms or two dads. Regardless of how your family is made up, all families share some of the same things: they like to hug, they like to celebrate together, and sometimes they're even sad together.

What a great way to teach tolerance! The bright, bold illustrations and easy-to-read pages are perfect for both beginning readers and older children, and the story is even better when read aloud with a parent -- or two!

This is another keeper for your collection!
Profile Image for Caroline (Cary).
32 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2013
The Family Book has brightly colored illustrations and simple drawings of all different kinds of families. Todd Parr points out many ways in which these families are different, interspersed with the ways all families are the same. The book has a repetitive format- two to four two-page spreads pointing out differences in families, followed by one two-paged spread pointing out a similarity. The illustrations are simple and cartoonish, brightly and not necessarily realistically colored. On the last page, the author addresses the reader directly, "There are lots of different ways to be a family. Your family is special no matter what kind it is. Love, Todd." Above all, this books message is inclusive, addressing adoption, same-sex parents, step-parents and children, family size, and distance. Suitable for ages 4-8.
13 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2014
A simple book with bright pictures that explores different families. The book takes in big families, small families, step-families, families with different sexualities and races. The books gives the message that all families are different, but they all still like to "give hugs", "celebrate special days" but more importantly all families "help each other". From reading this book, children can then discuss their own family and how as a class we can support each other. It's a good way to introduce differences and similarities in our own class. This is a good book for inclusion and can be used in PSHE sessions as a discussion tool about acceptance. The children will really enjoy the bright pictures and is best for younger learners.
Profile Image for Kris.
3,067 reviews69 followers
April 5, 2019
Awwww. Look, this is too generalized, of course. Not all families hug each other or celebrate together. But the message comes across. Families don’t have to all look one way in order to be a family. It is a great message for an audience of young children.
Profile Image for Hannah Givens.
1,772 reviews33 followers
June 7, 2015
I wish it had a more engaging title, but it's a fun book. Love the colors and the pictures are very witty, going along with the chipper-but-serious tone of the words.
22 reviews
March 20, 2018
Text-to-Self Connection

The Family Book by Todd Parr is a great way to teach and encourage children about the variety of family compositions. I can relate to this book because I have a very big and diverse family. While growing up I wasn't very conscious of the cultural differences within my family because I wasn't raised to focus on our differences. I think this book is a great way to encourage children to celebrate who they are and where they come from. One of the ways I would incorporate this is my classroom is by inviting parents into the classroom as guest speakers to discuss their culture and family traditions. Also, as an ongoing practice I would include pictures and artifacts from different countries around the classroom to introduce the children to elements outside of their "normal". As an individual assignment I would have my students write and illustrate stories about their family and have them share their work during our reader's theater.
20 reviews
March 1, 2021
This sweet, simple book won Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine's Best of 2003 award and the 2004 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. The book is just what it sounds like it is, an affirming sentence per page showing us the various ways families are comprised. The illustrations aid the lightness and sweetness by showing animals and aliens and people when families are described. The family descriptions also vary from the serious (losing a loved one) to the silly (looking like your pet.) This book would be great used in a Kindergarten or 1st grade classroom, perhaps in a Social Studies unit on families or communities. How important to affirm that everyone's families are so important to them and no one should feel they are less because of the way their family is.
August 14, 2020
Ages: 2-7

The Family Book shows all the different ways to make a family. This includes single parent, adoption, interracial families, same-gender parents, divorced couples…
Bright and playful drawings show how families come in many different forms. However, families experience sadness when there is a loss, celebrations for special occasions, and support each other.

Awards/Recognitions: Todd Parr is a New York Times Bestselling Author
Find more children's books that support diversity and tolerance in my post https://www.teacher-librarian-forlife...
Profile Image for Mitchell Friedman.
4,677 reviews175 followers
June 5, 2023
This book was on the 100 most challenged books in 2010 to 2019. It had no business being challenged for saying that different types of families were still families. The idea is a good one. However I found the garish colored artwork jarring and not all that interesting. And the text somewhat boring and trite. But it wasn't a bad book
Profile Image for Vernon Area Public Library KIDS.
927 reviews38 followers
June 29, 2020
This book illustrates the beautiful concept that we are all different, and we need to embrace our differences. Every family is special, no matter who your parents are!

Reviewed by: Debbie Hersh, Circulation, Vernon Area Public Library
Profile Image for Ron.
2,232 reviews8 followers
February 14, 2022
I saw a fellow reader comment that they had been asked to remove this book from the library shelves so I figured that I'd go read it. It's a short story about the different types of families that you might come across. If you are super-conservative, you might find a couple of the families not to your liking. However, they do exist in the real world and the book would not have been accurate to leave them out.

Regardless, if you read this with your kid, you can certainly point out the different types of families and probably even give examples of the ones that you know.
Profile Image for Mikayla Wollan.
13 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2019
I really liked this book. This book highlights that every family and every persons background can be different. I think this is a great lesson for children to begin to understand that their friends may come from homes that are different from their own, but that is okay.

This book is censored because it refers to same sex parents. The book talks about how some families can have two moms or two dads. I think this should not be censored. This book is about students understanding what different families can look like. By not teaching students this, you do not allow them to understand not every family has to nor does look just like their own family. Also, singling out this book as censored because it refers to same sex parental families is demeaning. Whether you censor the book or not, children will still come from homes with parents of the same sex. If we do not allow students to hear at a young age that families can look differently, we do not give them the opportunity to understand just because someones family is different than ours does not mean they should be treated as any less than our own family.

This book can be used to understand that families are different and unique. There is nothing wrong with families being different. As a teacher I could also relate this book to my students by first asking them to look at one another, and asking them do we all look the same? Starting with this before the book allows them to understand that they do not all look the same but we still all have the same value. We are all human no matter what our families look like we deserve to be treated with the same respect. This book should be used for students to understand all families are different, but all families deserve to be treated with respect.
Profile Image for Olivia Moe.
446 reviews25 followers
September 22, 2019
I am familiar with the artwork and themes of Todd Parr's books, and immediately enjoyed "The Family Book" with no exception. The color pallet and shapes do blind the reader due to their boldness, but it is without doubt one of the reasons children and adults of all ages return for more!

Now, the reason I picked up this title was in honor of Banned Books Week (2019). Included on our public library's display, I was curious as to the exact reason someone/anyone would oppose a book that celebrates the gorgeous diversity of what a family could look like. Here is the reason:

"Families coming in call shapes, sizes, and colors is the theme of this popular (Todd Parr) book. But concerns over depicting families that have two moms or two dads kept this bold and colorful paperback off the shelves in the Erie School District in Illinois in 2012. Recommended for ages 5-6+." - the slip included in the pages of the book for patrons.

Anyone who knows me and my love for multicultural experiences and resources knows that now, more than ever, I will be including this book in the future library of my students, children, etc. Everyone should see and celebrate what their family looks like, because love too comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Profile Image for Jill.
693 reviews19 followers
September 13, 2017
I guess people have strong opinions about Todd Parr's books, but I personally love them. I love the bold, colorful illustrations and the very to-the-point wording. I used this in a family-themed storytime for preschoolers. On each page, Parr mentions different types of families. The ways in which a family is made up is dependent upon the individuals in each family, and each family is special in their own way, but the underlying theme is love. I like the way Parr's books are inclusive of all types of families from single parent, foster parent, adoption, same sex parents, traditional two-parent households, grandparents, adults without children, etc.
Profile Image for Tammie.
58 reviews
June 5, 2019
It is important to expose children at a young age to the different family dynamics that exist outside their own. The message in this book is that there are many different ways to be a family. "Some families are big ... some are different colors ... some look alike ... some have step parents ... Some are adopted ... Some have two moms."
The book points out differences between family structures, as well as similarities that "all families" share. "All families like to hug each other … all families celebrate special days together." I like the message, but I do wonder about a child who doesn't see at home what the author says "all families" share.
Profile Image for Alana.
1,615 reviews47 followers
March 4, 2019
Sweet story showing all kinds of different families, and that each one is special, no matter what members it has or doesn't. There's also lots of strong colors and animal figures to talk through with toddlers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 333 reviews

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