Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Family Is a Family Is a Family” as Want to Read:
A Family Is a Family Is a Family
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Family Is a Family Is a Family

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  988 ratings  ·  311 reviews
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, an
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Groundwood Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Family Is a Family Is a Family, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Family Is a Family Is a Family

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  988 ratings  ·  311 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Family Is a Family Is a Family
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. The art is beautiful and the representation is totally there. I mean a black family with both parents. A foster family. Two families with LGBT representation. A family that was interracial. I mean there were so many more. I can tell you that while I was growing up there were no picture books like this and I really like love it. I will only fill my own library with books like this when I have children. I plan to get this for both my nephews. Really great read.
Anne Marie
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
If you think picture books are just for kids, you’re missing out on a great deal of life. I often find that young narrators hold greater self-awareness than the typical adult. O’Leory’s book is no exception to this rule…..This picture book begins with a teacher asking her class to talk about their families. At first our young narrator is skeptical that she has anything meaningful to share with her class. Her family makeup totally differs from those shared by her classmates…..But with the close o ...more
The main character is afraid their family is weird, but listening to other kids talk about their families helps them realize that everyone's family is different. The art and the text do a beautiful job of showing loving single parent families, mixed-race families, families with adopted kids, remarried parents, same-sex couples, children raised by grandparents, and more.

So, so heartwarming.
Kathy Stinson
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-cnib
Wonderful cross section of family configurations here, different in many ways but the same in the most important. Illustrated by Qin Leng in her lovely loose and expressive style. (I've been lucky to have her illustrate one of my books, Harry and Walter.)
Although it's almost a cliche to note that families come in many different shapes and sizes, it's also good to keep reminding others of that fact. In gentle, reassuring fashion, this picture book from Canada describes one child's fears that her own family is far too different from her classmates'. But as they each share what makes their families special--parents that are best friends, large families that are ever-growing, two mothers with terrible singing voices, a blended family, a grandmother ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sara O’Leary is the author of this must have book. A Family is a Family is a Family is a heartwarming book that tell the stories of family from the perspective of young children . Children are asked to describe their family by their teacher which begins to showcase how different a family can be. A student describes living with grandma and another has two moms. This book is a powerful way to reveal that not all families are the same. Perfect for all grades but the child like illustrations makes t ...more
Scott Robins
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another book surveying the various types of families out there - lots of great representation here in all areas of diversity. Leng's artwork is delightful and playful with a soft colour palette. I think the strength of this book is how the description of the various families are direct quotes from children characters. A lot of these kinds of books come off as generic but having the kids describe their families in their own words takes this one to a different level.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Note: I received a finished hardcover copy from the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2017 after I had already read and reviewed the book.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love makes a family (also the BEST answer to "Which are your real children?" EVER!)!
Amy Brydon Jones
A book my soppy heart couldn’t help but love! The story is about a little girl in class who is afraid to tell everyone about her family because she thinks it’s too different. Until! She hears about all the children’s families and realises every family is different. The aspect I loved the most about this book was the way O’Learey chose to write about the different families: the use of dialogue through the children’s voices. This for me made the writing so naive and highlighted the innocence of a ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally, an inclusive picture book that would work really well in story time! I absolutely loved the book and the illustrations were adorable. Love, love, love!
Nancy Kotkin
My initial impression was that the diversity felt forced and too overboard to be real. Then I thought about it some more and realized that I personally know the following families:
- a single woman with an adopted (formerly foster) child
- a single woman with a biological son and a foster son
- 2 female/female couples with a biological daughter from the former marriage of one of the women
- a female/female couple with an adopted child
- a male/male couple with an adopted son
- a male/male couple with
Two of my favourite picture book powerhouses team up to present a diverse introduction to a family. My kids loved this book because they have always been embarrassed to have a different family than most of the other kids in their schools- a minority mother who works fulltime and no grandparents nearby to come for sports days. For my kids to realize that people have all sorts of families was huge. I hope that other kids who read this will see their families reflected and feel normal.

I love Qin Le
So unless I am reviewing an advanced copy or a past copy that I've been asked to review, I barely put picture books on here. But this book was so great I had to share. Lovely descriptions of families without stating the obvious. A great family read which is why we got it out of the library (because like in the story our family looks different than other families).
Best line in the book "Oh I don't have any imaginary children," said Mom, "All my children are real."
That is the essence of this boo
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A beautiful representation of some of the many ways that a family is a family. Many young readers will be able to see themselves in this sweet story in both the diversity of characters and family pictures.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When a teacher asks her class what makes each student's family special, the answers highlight the different kinds of families that exist in the modern world. My favorite comes at the end. The episode is heartbreaking, but the mom's answer is lovely.
Mississippi Library Commission
No one's family is exactly the same. Everyone's family is unique and special in its own way. With cheerful text and illustrations brimming with joy and life, this simple picture book is perfect for celebrating families of all kinds.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A warm, whimsical portrait of many diverse families.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wsra-2016
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
No real story here, just children describing their families. I appreciated how many DIFFERENT kinds of families were represented - same sex, foster, adoptive, mixed race, grandparents, etc.
Sandy Nosse
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very heartwarming and sweet story about different types of families. A perfect pairing of touching text and whimsical illustrations.
Michele Knott
I love the matter of fact way each family's diversity is celebrated.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, liam, over-2017, colin
This one totally made me cry.
Mary Lee
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What makes YOUR family special?
Miss Ryoko
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story about families that is beautifully written. There are some very touching quotes in this book, and wonderfully delightful responses from the children as they describe their families
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Family Is a Family Is a Family is a realistic fiction picture book from the Welcoming Schools (A project of the human rights campaign foundation) list of children's books inclusive of LGBTQ families. This book would make a great addition to any Pre-K -1st-grade bookshelf both at home or in the classroom setting. In the book the first-grade students are talking about families the teacher asked what they thought made their family special. Each page then shares a student response about their fami ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books, lgbt
This beautifully illustrated picture book that normalizes "unconventional" families had me ugly crying in public. I would have adored being read this book when I was a child. Perfect for families that don't fit the white heterosexual norm, as well as featuring adoption, fostering, and divorce.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When a class describes their families to each other the narrator chooses to go last b/c they fear their family is weird. As each child describes their family we encounter all kinds of families - divorced, many children, foster, same sex parents, grandparent lead by the end the child is comfortable talking about their family.
Robin Blankenship
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much. It is a super sweet message.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ludlow #4 - A Family is a Family is a Family - Varying Family Dynamics 1 1 Jun 21, 2018 07:30PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • New Shoes
  • Pink Is for Boys
  • The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage
  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
  • Donovan's Big Day
  • The Seven Princesses
  • Happy in Our Skin
  • Stella Brings the Family
  • Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin
  • Worm Loves Worm
  • I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
  • The Other Side
  • Be You!
  • The Family Book
  • Visiting Day
  • From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
  • Jacob's New Dress
  • This Day in June
See similar books…

News & Interviews

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
40 likes · 15 comments