The Family Book (Todd Parr)

Hello friends, and welcome to the beginning of Banned Books Week! For those who may not know, Banned Books Week is a week in which the ALA draws attention to books that have been banned or challenged, and celebrates the freedom to read. In honor of Banned Books Week, JJ and I will be reading a book that has been banned or challenged (yes, they ban children’s books too)! 

Today, we read Todd Parr’s The Family Book, a celebration of families in all their forms, and the things that bring them all together. Each page introduces a different kind of family: ones with step-mothers or -fathers, ones that look the same or different, ones that are big or small, ones with adopted members, etc. And of course, no matter what your family looks like, all families are special because they love each other, and one of them is yours! 

As always, Todd Parr’s books are fantastic for younger readers: the bright, bold color scheme made every page interesting and fun for JJ, the length was perfect for baby bookworms, it’s easy and fun to read aloud, and the message is wonderful. It was just this message that got The Family Book banned by an Illinois school district: the book has a single solitary page that informs children that some families have two mommies or two daddies, and it was banned on the grounds that “those are issues that shouldn’t be taught at the elementary school level.” And while that school district may have disagreed, any book that celebrates the diversity of families, and makes children of non-traditional families feel like they belong, is a great book for all children to read. Baby Bookworm approved!

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