Who’s In My Family?: All About Our Families

Robie H. Harris, illus. by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3631-9
Nellie and Gus, the siblings from 2011’s Who Has What?, are back for a second Let’s Talk About You and Me book, an exploration of the many permutations of family. As the kids visit the zoo and host friends and their parents for dinner, Harris’s upbeat, nonjudgmental prose explains that families can diverge in many ways, including what they eat for breakfast, their physical appearances (“In some families, people’s eyes are different colors or different shapes”), and what constitutes family membership (“Many family have grown-ups and children in them. Some families have only grown-ups”). But the fundamentals still apply: families “love to be together” and care for one another, even in “mad times” and “sad times.” Once again, Harris is encyclopedic without being exhausting; Nellie and Gus’s dialogue, however, rarely resembles normal kidspeak (“I can be your big sister AND your friend,” Nellie tells Gus. “And I am!”). Westcott fills her spreads with idyllic environments and sunny, diverse characters (human and animal), but with less gripping subject matter than its predecessor, this outing is well-intentioned and useful, yet underwhelming. Ages 2–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/11/2012
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Hardcover - 978-1-4063-3753-2
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