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A Family Is a Family Is a Family
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A Family Is a Family Is a Family

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  228 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 1st 2016 by Groundwood Books
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Joanna (joreadsalot)
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
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.)
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.
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
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
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.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love makes a family (also the BEST answer to "Which are your real children?" EVER!)!
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.
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.
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
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.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: over-2017, colin, kids, liam
This one totally made me cry.
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.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A warm, whimsical portrait of many diverse families.
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
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
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.
Michele Knott
I love the matter of fact way each family's diversity is celebrated.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wsra-2016
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.
Katy Plaza
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Last week we read My Family Tree and Me. What did you discover about your family trees that you didn’t know before? (Students respond) I hear that many of you learned about relatives that you may not of known about, but one thing I also heard you say was that your families are unique in many different ways. There are always many different qualities that make up a family and make them special. For instance in my family I have three family members who have the same name and we have to diff
Ben Truong
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Family is a Family is a Family is a children's picture book written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Qin Leng, which tells a story about the many different types of families one can find in a classroom or anywhere for that matter.

O'Leary's text is rather simple and straightforward. It is a story about the composition of a myriad of different families and that they are all valid. Leng's illustrations are adorable, a tad simplistic, but very apropos to the book and bring to life all the differ
Olivia Kernochan
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Summary: One day in class, a teacher asks her students to explain why their families are special. One child in particular was worried that his family was too different to explain, until she hears her classmates' answers. They all have different answers, one is raised by her grandmother, another has two dads, and one's family just adopted a new baby. However, the child, who belongs to a foster family, realizes that there is something every family has in common. No matter the size, shape, and rela ...more
Man Fung Kelvin Tse
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Family is a Family is a Family is a picture book about what family is to children. It gives a “warm, whimsical look at many types of families.” Not only do the narration warms your heart and gives you laughs, but the illustrations add much more meaning to the story.

Diversity is extremely well represented here. People of all ages, colour and other attributes are depicted: whites, blacks, Asians, fat, skinny, long-haired, short-haired, curly-haired, ginger-haired, bearded, glasses-wearing, whee
Chelsie Howerton
A teacher asks the class, "What makes your family special?" Everyone has a different response, and it becomes clear that there is no right or wrong answer. A family is a family is a family, and a family is defined by the love and devotion they have for one another.

Materials (Each student will need):
- A piece of paper (8.5 x 11 in.)
- Drawing materials

(1) While reading (10 minutes): Pause on each page for questions, observations, connections, and explanations. To avoid long breaks
Maegan Coddington
A Family is a Family is a Family is a realistic fiction book that evokes questions about what it means to be a family. This book takes place in a modern day classroom where the teacher has asked them to tell what makes their family special. They go around the classroom casually mentioning all kinds of different families that they have. The families range from single parents to same-sex parents to kids being raised by grandparents to divorced parents to heterosexual parents to a mom in a wheelcha ...more
Xaviera Hanif
This book is absolutely adorable! It educates children on how families can be made up of a variety of different people, not just a "mom and dad." It starts off with telling us that the teacher wanted her students to share with the class what they thought made their family special. I think this book is great for young children who have a different family combination and are scared to share that with others because they feel like they are different from most families. This book shows gay and lesbi ...more
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Ludlow #4 - A Family is a Family is a Family - Varying Family Dynamics 1 1 Jun 21, 2018 07:30PM