by Katrina Morse for Family Reading Partnership
Who is in your family? Mom, dad, sister, brother? Grandma, uncle, friend, neighbor, pet? Families are made of those that we hold dear – the loved ones who share our ups and downs. Family members are there for us when we need support and help us celebrate good times, too.
Who does your child consider as part of your family? It’s a great discussion to have. These children’s books explore the many forms families can have. Find all of these books read aloud online to preview them or share with your child if you don’t have the books on hand. Better yet, get a copy of these books at the library or your local bookseller, snuggle up with your child, and learn about families.
“Families” by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. This book of photos shows how a family can be big or small, the people similar or different-looking, and they can be living together or apart. What makes a family is that the people care about each other. The book ends with the question – What does your family look like?
“Around the Table That Grandad Built” by Melanie Heuiser Hill, illustrated by Jaime Kim. This is a cumulative story that builds up to a delicious family meal. Each member of this extended family adds something to the table that grandad built, from a vase of flowers and napkins to food from a few different cuisines. The rhythm of the text makes a fun read-aloud.
“Love Makes a Family” by Sophie Beer. This board book is illustrated with playful images in bold colors that show many types of families and the activities family members enjoy doing together. Each page included lots of images for a young child to point to and name.
“Full, Full, Full of Love” by Trish Cooke, Illustrated by Paul Howard. Young Jay Jay and his Gran spend a day together waiting for a Sunday family dinner. Hugs, kisses, and happy faces finally arrive and friends and family sit down to a home cooked meal of collard greens, rice and red beans, chicken, potatoes and ham, cobbler with raspberry sauce, and more! There’s nothing like a meal to pull family together and create time to enjoy one another.
“Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell. A young girl asks her parents for a retelling of the often-told story of when she was born and brought home to live with her adoptive parents. The recounting of the silly times and loving moments when she was a newborn baby is a celebration of what makes a family.