13.9.16

Happy Families

A few more notices for our little Family.

Kerry Clare is both generous and insightful over at Pickle Me This

From the child whose parents won’t stop kissing to the family with so many kids, the family with split custody, the blended family, the single parents, two dads, and the child who lives with her grandparents (“Because I live with my grandmother, people sometimes think she is my mother. She’s not. She’s my everything.”)—O’Leary’s story paints a varied and celebratory picture of the many ways there are for a family to be. Leng’s illustrations add richness and texture to the simple prose, with their action-packed and cluttered scenes that suggest a marvellous mess of abundance (which, of course, is love).
 Great perspective from teacher/librarian/parent at Front Porch Librarian.
What I love – and what sets this book apart from some of the other family books out there – is the child’s initial nervousness. Unsure what the other students will make of her family, she quickly realizes that all of her classmates have different sorts of families – there is no standard, no one kind of family. Tapping into that childlike insecurity of oh, no, what will everyone else think makes this story so real. Concluding it with the understanding that all of us are unique, as are the families in which we belong, makes this story so authentic. 

Lovely write-up by Helen Kubiw at Can Lit for Little Canadians.

Though I know, and children do too, that not all families are perfect or happy or supportive, Sara O'Leary's book celebrates families in all their forms–big, small, alike, different, blended, separated, adopting, fostering–as worthy of note, eclectic as they may be.  Her narration is a universal one of acceptance and appreciation for families of all kinds.  The sweetness of her message is matched page by page with Qin Leng's illustrations of children and parents of assorted colours and shapes, economic backgrounds and interests. The lightness of Qin Leng's lines and the whimsy of her colour and shape help portray a diversity of families that are as fluid as they are depicted. 
As always, I'm very grateful to writers like Kerry, Mary, and Helen who take the time to talk about children's books with such care and attention.

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