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A Family Looks Like Love

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A heartening picture book about a young pup who looks different from her siblings and ultimately learns that love, rather than how you look, is what makes a family.


Sutton Button has always looked different from her family. While her siblings had short, stout legs, Sutton’s legs were long like noodles. And while her siblings had scruffy, yellow fur, Sutton was a tricolor puppy with soft fur.

But when others don’t believe that Sutton and her siblings are actually related, Sutton starts to wonder if she really belongs in her family at all–until she realizes that her and her family are the same in all the most important ways and that love, rather than what you look like, is what makes a family.

With heartwarming text and adorable illustrations, A Family Looks Like Love is a story about the enduring power of love and teaches readers that family comes in all shapes and sizes.

40 pages, Hardcover

Published May 31, 2022

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About the author

Kaitlyn Wells

1 book23 followers
Kaitlyn Wells writes about Pets and Style at The New York Times's Wirecutter. A Family Looks Like Love is her debut picture book.

In 2020, Kaitlyn earned top awards from the Cat Writers’ Association and the Dog Writers Association of America. She's also a three-time Publisher’s Award winner. Her commentary on diverse literature has appeared in Book Page, Diverse Kids Books, and The New York Times Sunday Book Review.

She has an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a B.J. (B.A.) from The University of Texas at Austin. She lives in New York City with her wonderful husband and two rambunctious pets. In her down time, she volunteers with the ASPCA and DiverseSources.org, a database of industry experts.

Follow her on Instagram and on Twitter. And subscribe to her newsletter for the latest updates.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Zara Stone.
Author 2 books15 followers
July 12, 2022
A gorgeously illustrated book that checks all the right boxes. Cute as a button, Sutton the dog? Check. A story of siblings and life lessons? Check. Fun but useful pup facts? Check. The opportunity to make barking sounds at bedtime? Double check. A must read for parents of dog lovers, and the message — you can look a million different ways and still belong, is universal.
Profile Image for Anca.
Author 6 books142 followers
July 21, 2022
I can't wait to share this lovely story with my big-hearted, puppy-loving son. We're a transracial adoptive family, and I'm always on the lookout for good books that show different kinds of families. This book has a beautiful message and the illustrations are wonderful too.
Profile Image for Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow.
Author 7 books139 followers
June 1, 2022
This is a sweet and heartfelt book that’s perfect for children of mixed race or adoptive families who might look different from their family members. The illustrations are vibrant and adorable and the story will also inspire empathy in kids encountering different kinds of families.
Profile Image for Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance.
5,821 reviews284 followers
October 9, 2022
Sutton Button is saddened when others tell her that she doesn't look like her siblings, that she doesn't belong, and she attempts to change her appearance to more closely resemble them. But her attempts fail. It is only after she has a talk with her parents that she is able to speak up to those who tell her she doesn't belong and tell others that being part of a family is more than just looking like each other.

A story with an important message.
Profile Image for Alliah Agostini.
6 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2022
I loved the message of this sweet book! It’s the perfect analogy for the way genetics dish themselves out differently across family members, and the identity-driven conflicts that sometimes result.

The narrator’s voice was very distinct- for some reason I felt like it was being read by Julie Andrews (she’s one of my favorites, so that’s a great thing!). The illustrations were beautiful, vibrant, contemporary, and full of life- the puppies seemed to jump off of the page.

But the signed author’s note at the end was one of the most touching elements of the book. I think the kids (and grownups!) who see their or their loved one’s experiences reflected in the story and in the author’s recollection will appreciate it, too.

A book like this one is long overdue- but it will be well-loved by many.
Profile Image for Gabriele Davis.
16 reviews2 followers
May 8, 2022
A heartfelt story about the true meaning of family: It’s not whether we match on the outside; it’s the love that we feel on the inside.

Growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1960s & 70s, I was 13 when I first encountered a picture book with a family that looked like mine. And many many years passed before I saw another. How fortunate that today's young readers have books like this to guide them through issues of belonging and the stinging words of others.

Through Sutton’s story, readers learn to take pride in their family and that they don’t owe anyone an explanation for who they are. As Sutton’s dad wisely says, “[A]ll that matters is what we know in our hearts.” Such an important message, wrapped up in vibrant illustrations of two sweet families, one canine and one human.
Profile Image for Anita Jari Kharbanda.
Author 1 book32 followers
April 28, 2022
A FAMILY LOOKS LIKE LOVE by Kaitlyn Wells is a must read! It is a heartening story about a young pup who looks different that his siblings. Along the way he learns an important lesson and I did too. The title is perfect because a family really does look like love. The illustrations were vivid and well matched to the story. I can’t recommend this story enough and hope you will read alongside the children and puppies in your life!
Profile Image for Jody Keisner.
Author 1 book24 followers
July 21, 2022
This is a thoughtful, tender book that is sure to be a favorite among families with adopted, interracial, or multiracial children. My youngest is adopted and I'm also an adoptee. I don't remember books like this when I was growing up (in the 70s/80s) but they would have been a lifeline. Beautifully illustrated and written, with a really important message. I highly recommend.
15 reviews1 follower
April 25, 2022
Such a wonderful story about family, love, and belonging. We don't always look exactly the way we think we should, and this book teaches the reader how to accept that and find what truly matters, how we love! This book is wonderfully illustrated and a great read! Highly recommend!
33 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2022
This is a sweet story about accepting who you are and finding the strength of love in your family. We are all different and maybe very different in appearance from our family members, but the love that is present binds the family together and gives strength to our differences. I really like the way the author uses puppies to get this message across. In the end she shares her reason for writing this story which enhances the meaning behind the message.
Profile Image for Cindy Schrauben.
Author 1 book19 followers
May 13, 2022
What a special story. Told from a dog's point of view, we hear what makes a family a family. Differences and all.
31 reviews1 follower
May 15, 2022
On the surface this is a sweet story about a puppy who doesn't look the same as the rest of her pack. Sutton doesn't quite understand why her three siblings look nearly identical and yet she is so...different. It seems like everyone else notices too and many of them simply can't believe that she belongs in her family. With the love and support of her family, Sutton learns to accept herself and to push back against those who doubt her.
On a deeper level, this story is a reflection upon the author's own experiences growing up in a multiracial family where she did not look just like the other members of her family. I think this metaphor works so well because it really can be so random how our genetic makeup is reflected in our appearances and I imagine these types of negative experiences are very common for multiracial children. The story holds an important message for all readers - one about acceptance and about not judging others based upon their outward appearance.
Young readers will enjoy a sweet story about a family of dogs and their adults will be grateful for the opportunity to discuss more complex issues in a gentle and fun way.
Profile Image for Tameka.
Author 7 books43 followers
June 13, 2022
This is an emotion-filled story, inspired by author Kaitlyn Wells' personal experience growing up. Though written in an anthropomorphic way, I envision many humans will find this book to be relatable, validating, and a means through which conversations about families and belonging can be easily entered. The illustrations by Sawyer Cloud are both lively and lovely. A worthwhile read for all.
Profile Image for Dana Wells.
1 review
May 6, 2022
This is one of the best children’s book I have ever read, and I have read a ton! The author, Kaitlyn Wells, happens to take my favorite animal, a puppy, and explores how others assume what a family is based on appearance only. As a mother of biracial children, the parallels brought back memories of how people viewed MY family, often mistaking my daughters’ white friends as my own children, then the curious, confused looks that seemed to inquire, “Are you sure?” when I would correct them. Wonderful writing of how Sutton, with the help of her family, recognizes that you don’t have to look any certain way to be a family. I highly recommend this book. Lovely illustrations, as well! Very, very pleased with this purchase!
Profile Image for Ashley Barnett.
14 reviews
June 5, 2022
Book Review

Such a wonderful and heart-warming story. A definite book to read at the beginning of the school year (I’m already thinking of a lesson/activity to go with it) love the message of acceptance on both ends. A great book for children and adults to relate to when they are feeling that they don’t belong. Thank Kaitlyn Wells. And Sawyer Cloud for the beautiful illustrations.

https://www.wordupbooks.com/WUS978059... (signed copy)

Profile Image for Laura.
Author 6 books32 followers
June 1, 2022
Families are connected by the love they share, not the way they look. That's the takeaway from this sweet picture book. A puppy who looks different from her siblings faces hurtful comments about belonging and must define for herself what it means to be part of a family. This gentle tale will connect with all sorts of children and families as they see themselves, and their friends, represented in the pages of a book.
May 31, 2022
This book is absolutely adorable. I received an advanced reader copy and immediately fell in love. This is such a cute story about loving your image!
4 reviews
May 27, 2022
Many children love dogs. This wonderful picture book tells an important story through the eyes of the adorable, Sutton Button. She is a beautiful dog, but looks so different from the rest of the family that some say she doesn’t belong. After questioning everything at first, she soon learns that the glue that binds families together is love. This lesson will shine clearly for every child, regardless of age.
Profile Image for Valerie Bolling.
Author 10 books38 followers
May 27, 2022
This book is about a topic that’s real for many families but is often not talked about. Sometimes a child looks different from her/his/their siblings, and it’s assumed the child is not part of the family, which can be devastating to the child. Kaitlyn Wells shares this experience by using a family of dogs. The message is clear. While fitting in is a desire many have, what’s more important is accepting oneself regardless of what others think.
Profile Image for Margaret Aitken.
Author 1 book30 followers
May 1, 2022
Heartwarming And Reassuring

This sweet story explores the idea that it does not matter what a family looks like, what matters is love. This fresh take on a family story is much needed and deserves a place on library shelves. This adorable dog family will win the hearts of young animal lovers who will be excited to visit their story again and again.
Profile Image for Morgan Lau.
6 reviews
May 13, 2022
Beautiful book! Delightful yet emotionally approachable on outward appearances. The author does a great job with wordplay while the illustrator has a bright and soft approach to creating characters and settings. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is really lovely and the author’s note had me in tears.
Profile Image for Jyoti Gopal.
47 reviews6 followers
May 1, 2022
A sweet story reminding us that family members come in all shapes and sizes and what makes a family is not in the similarities of how its members look, but in the things they do together and in the love they share .
Profile Image for Aya Khalil.
Author 6 books78 followers
May 23, 2022
Super cute book about a pup who looks different from her siblings and learns to realize that it is OK and in the end, it's all about love. Lovely illustrations as well. Kids will love this and will open up conversation about mixed families.
Profile Image for Bonnie Kelso.
Author 17 books13 followers
May 7, 2022
A great book for helping kids from diverse families cope with insensitive comments.
Profile Image for Amy Kate.
14 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2022
You must read this book! It is a beautiful book with a wonderful loving message.
Profile Image for Karen Fine.
Author 2 books42 followers
May 12, 2022
This is a lovely book with a beautiful and timely message. Little puppy Sutton Button's legs are "long like noodles" but she looks different from her shorter lighter-colored siblings, and some doubt that they are in fact her family. When Sutton tries to change her appearance, her parents lovingly help her accept both herself and the fact that although some may not understand, they know in their hearts they are family. Informed by the author's personal experiences, this sweet tale is perfect for multi-racial families, adoptive families, and anyone who celebrates diversity. And as a veterinarian, I appreciate that the story is told through gorgeous drawings of dogs, which I believe children will easily relate to.
Profile Image for Katie Otey.
Author 2 books4 followers
July 7, 2022
I must say, I absolutely LOVED this book!! The author obviously put her heart and soul into this story of a young pup that does not look the same as their siblings. And, although faced with hurtful observations of their differences by others in the community of animals, the pup finds solice in their belonging based on the love the family has for each other. I must say, as we all struggle at times to find our place in the world, a gentle reminder such as this is right on time for children and adults alike. A Family Looks Like Love is spot on how we should see ourselves and each other and I'm excited to see what's next from this amazing author.
Kudos to the illustrator as well. They made an amazing team!
Profile Image for Jen.
Author 1 book6 followers
May 8, 2022
Inspired by her own dog, Sutton, who didn't look like her puppy siblings, and her experiences growing up with a white mother and a Black father, Kaitlyn Wells' picture book has multiple entry points and a strong message to kids: Embrace what makes you different, and always pass along kindness to everyone you meet. This illustrations by Sawyer Cloud are reminiscent of 101 Dalmatians and they capture the love between family members - both canine and human. A great read to celebrate diverse families.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews

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