Thursday, 8 December 2011

Book Review: The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith


What is a family? 
Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden.  But as times have changed, families have changed too. Now there are almost as many kinds of families as colours of the rainbow - from a mum and dad or single parent to two mums or two dads, from a mixed-race family to children with different mums and dads, from families with a disabled member to those with a mum or dad in prison. 

Mary Hoffman takes a look through children's eyes at the wide varieties of family life: from homes, food, ways of celebrating, schools and holidays to getting around, jobs and housework, from extended families, languages and hobbies to pets and family trees - and she concludes that, for most people, their own family is the best one of all! With Ros Asquith's delightful pictures, this book takes a fresh, optimistic look at families of today.

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The Great Big Book of Families ~ a tall tales & short stories review

I'm including The Great Big Book of Families as part of my Diversity Matters series because that's what this book exemplifies, explores, but most of all, celebrates - diversity.  It shows us that families can be as diverse as the world we see around us.  That we are all unique and special, down to the foods we eat, the hobbies we like, the games we play and the clothes we wear.

Ros Asquith's cheery, playful illustrations and Mary Hoffman's accessible text, show and describe families in just about any kind of combination you can think of, and there are separate two page spreads covering topics from jobs, pets, school, holidays, and homes.

And for added fun for younger readers (and me) there's a game to play throughout the pages, find the cat in the pictures and discover his name.

This is the perfect book for discussing diversity, families, people, disability, and challenging preconceptions.  The Great Big Book of Families is a book about appreciating and celebrating diversity in its purest and most delightful form.


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