Books for Kids: All Kinds of Families
It takes a village to raise a child but this village can have as many faces as the kinds of families in our world – single mom, two moms, two dads, teen parents, adoptive parents, multi-generational family, interracial family and so forth. We’re all different and the beauty in our difference is that we all strive to achieve one same goal–raise happy healthy kids.
The Family Book
By Todd Parr
In a funny and silly style, this book celebrates all kinds of families with accessible and entertaining language for the preschool – K set. Featuring families in everyday settings – hugging, celebrating, helping each other – the book addresses a wide range of situations. From the traditional nuclear family to the family with grand-parents or step-parents, Bay Area author Todd Parr uses simple words and bright illustrations to show kids how families can be different and that’s OK. For the anecdote, this book is banned by the Illinois School District for referring to same-sex parents.
The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale
By Grace Lin
Happily ever after does include adoption, just read this book to be convinced. A story within a story, this book begins with a Chinese proverb that says “an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together.” So begins the tale of a king and queen who have it all but suffer from a painful longing in their heart. With the help of a mysterious peddler, they follow a red thread woven around their hearts over sea and land to the place where a baby girl awaits for them. This spiritual and rich fairy tale will delight preschoolers.
My Two Grannies
By Floella Benjamin
What’s it like to have grand-mothers from two different cultural backgrounds? Alvina has two grannies: Grannie Vero from Trinidad and Grannie Rose from England. The feisty grannies both fiercely compete for the little girl’s attention until the little girl can take no more of their bickering. Alvina devises a plan to bring them both on common ground and hopes that it’ll work. Kids will root for a clever young girl who decides to bring together the people she loves.
And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson
Based on a true story that happened at New York City’s Central Zoo, this book tells the story of two male penguins who were just a bit different and fell in love. When another heterosexual penguin couple laid an extra egg – penguins can only take care of one egg – the zoo keeper decided to give the egg to the male couple and give them a chance at becoming parents. Children will love reading how little tango was taken care of and was born out of a unique bond.
Free To Be … You And Me (35th Anniversary Edition) – Book and CD
By Marlo Thomas and Friends
“Every boy in this land grows to be his own man/ In this land, every girl grows to be her own woman.” Brought to life with bright new illustrations, Free To Be You and Me features the original 1970s songs and stories celebrating gender neutrality and inspiring kids to be free to be whoever they are. The CD features 4 songs and your kids will soon be singing along the catchy tunes and simple lyrics in the car. What was true 35 years ago still remains true – kids can achieve anything regardless of their gender or differences.
This review first appeared in the Golden Gate Mothers Group Magazine, October 2012, as the Books for Kids column. I’ve been writing this column since 2005.