Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-02-14
- Reviewer: Staff
In matter-of-fact prose and genial pen-and-ink drawings, Hoffman and Asquith reassure readers about something they may already know intuitively: there's no one right way to be a family. What sets their survey of familyhood apart in this growing genre is the collaborators' expansive take on demographics. They cover not only a wide range of parental and domestic arrangements, but also schooling, homes, consumerism, employment—or lack of it—and psychographics ("In some families everyone shares their feelings.... Sometimes not everyone in the family feels the same way about things"). Asquith's spreads have a lively, encyclopedic feel, with whimsical themed borders (variously clad feet march across the top of the "Transportation" section), occasional asides to the audience ("Is a teddy a pet?" a toy bear wonders), and a recurring cat character adding to the visual fun. "amilies can be big, small, happy, sad, rich, poor, loud, quiet, mad, good-tempered, worried, or happy-go-lucky," writes Hoffman in her wrapup. "Most families are all of these things some of time." It may not be Tolstoyan wisdom, but it's undeniably true. Ages 5–8. (Apr.)