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Who's in a Family?

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Who's in a Family? is a children's book that describes many different family units, including same-sex parents.

The Publishers Weekly review is as follows:

Beginning with a traditional nuclear family and ending with blank spaces in which the child reader is instructed to "draw a picture of your family," this slight book catalogs multicultural contemporary family units, including those with single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents. Kevin and his brother like their kimono-clad grandmother to help them with their jigsaw puzzles, while Ricky lives with two families. "Aunt Amanda and Uncle Stan," pictured riding in a blue convertible with their pets, "don't have any children at all" but are "still a family," says the narrator, because "they say Mouser and Fred are their 'babies.'" Because "animals have families, too," the text describes elephant, lion, chimpanzee and dog families as well as human families. (A human family headed by a mother is "like the chimpanzee family. Mama chimp raises the babies by herself, with the help of any older children she may have.") Nienhaus's lackluster illustrations, the schoolmarmish tone of the text and the comparisons with wild animals all tend to undercut the final definition of a family as "the people who love you the most!" Ages 3-7.


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