All Families Are Different
By Sol Gordon
(Prometheus Books, 2000)
50 pp. $10.50
Clinical psychologist Sol Gordon provides an adult voice in this book for readers ages seven and up. Families are defined in many ways, recognizing racial and economic factors as well as covering same-sex, divorced, and foster parents. Although a same-sex couple is included, the language throughout the book is focused primarily on “mothers and fathers.” The book also explores children’s feelings about family conflicts and crises, and emphasizes helping children understand that these events are not their fault. Vivien Cohen’s insightful pencil sketches capture a broad range of emotions throughout the book.
All Families Are Special
By Norma Simon
(Albert Whitman and Company, 2003)
32 pp. $15.95
When their teacher announces she is going to be a grandmother, a group of children is introduced to different types of families. The students talk about their own diverse families, which include grandparents, foster parents, divorced parents, same-sex parents, and blended families. The book also provides examples of racial and economic diversity. Children share stories about their home lives and how they are the same and different from each other. Colorful illustrations by Teresa Flavin complement an appropriately sensitive book for young readers.
Families All Matter Book Project
P.O. Box 17417, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Families All Matter Book Project is a literature-based elementary school project about family diversity published by aMaze, a Minneapolis based nonprofit group of teachers and parents. The curriculum is easy to use, with annotated lists of children’s books by subject accompanied by creative activities and a teachers’ guide. Topics include race, ethnicity, divorce and break-ups, lesbian and gay family members, socioeconomic factors, immigration, adoption, disability, aging, and religion.
That’s a Family: A Film for Kids About Family Diversity
The Respect for All Project (Women’s Educational Media)
2180 Bryant St., Suite 203, San Francisco, CA 94110
415-641-4616, womedia.org. Spanish and English.
VHS Individual and P-12 $75; colleges and universities $199
This film explores a wide variety of family structures and promotes a deeper understanding of the concept of family. Children’s voices are central to this gentle approach to talking about and developing a respect for family diversity. Includes discussion and teachers’ guides on topics of mixed families, adoptive families, grandparents/guardians, gay and lesbian parents, separation and divorce, and single-parent families.