Families, Families, Families


Author: Suzanne Lang

Illustrator: Max Lang

Publishing Information: Random House Children’s Books, 2015

Number of Pages: 24

Genre: Realistic Fiction



This Monarch Award-winning children’s book provides a glimpse at the various kinds of families that people may belong to, as an alternative to the nuclear family dynamic. With explanations such as “Some families have two moms,” “Some families have one dad,” and “Some families are children living with the aunt,” children are able to see that families come in a multitude of sizes and have can be made up in all different kinds of ways. Furthermore, it ends by explaining that no matter who or how many people make up one’s family, they are all bonded by love.

This gives children a mirror that allows them to see their own family demonstrated in the text. It is helpful because it can, therefore, make them feel included and have their family composition validated to themselves and other readers. It also provides a window to show them a multitude of different ways a family can be structured, all while stressing the importance that no one family structure is better or worse than any of the others. I especially appreciated the book’s inclusion of same-sex parents, as that is a structure that society is still working toward accepting today. By including these types of families, children who belong to a family with same-sex parents can feel more accepted and appreciate that their family is recognized by the book. Additionally, by including all different kinds of families throughout the book, it provides children with a door to practice inclusion and acceptance for all types of family structures, even if they do not mirror the one they see at home.

The illustrations in the book are unframed, with the exception of a frame that surrounds each family in a way that is designed to give it the appearance of a family portrait. Although the text could exist alone, the illustrations mirror the text and are able to provide a visual representation of each family composition that is being described by the text. Additionally, the illustrations are done in bright watercolors to mirror the happiness and freedom within the story. Facial expressions on the characters are all smiles to reflect this theme as well.