Hello, friends! Our book today is We Are Family, written by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft, a phenomenally inclusive ode to family in all its shapes and forms.
Following ten very different families – including nuclear families of different skintones, LGBTQ families, a blended family, a single-parent family, the family of a disabled child, etc. – the simple rhyming texts explores what makes a family. As we see, while the families may look different, they still care for each other when sick, eat meals together, spend time together, help each other through the hard times, and show each other support and love. Readers are easily shown that no matter what a family looks like, the only definitive thing that makes a family is the love its members share.
Quite simply, we adored it. Truly inclusive picture books are always a wonderful to see, and this one did a tremendous job of representing families of different shapes and sizes. I especially like the choice to stay with the ten core families through the majority of the book – it teaches and reinforces the message that yes, families with gay parents or with children being raised by grandparents or of a different color than the reader indeed do all the same things they do, from wakeup until bedtime (there’s a brief look at more families in the interior front and back cover pages). The illustrations are bright, colorful, friendly and detailed, and feature lots of activities and objects that young beginning readers can explore with their adult. The length is perfect, and while the rhymes are occasionally a little arrhythmic, they flow well for the most part. Plus, JJ loved the art. A phenomenal look at the things that all families share, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!