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In addition to portraying families of various ethnicities, All Families are Special shows just about every kind of family: children raised by grandparents, same-sex parents, widower, absentee parent, adoptive parents, unmarried parents, divorced parents, remarried parents, immigrants, and a family with pets. It goes beyond simple listing, however, and addresses the universal sad times and happy times that all these families can experience.
Reading and hearing about all types of families can help readers become more open-minded, and any child who’s part of one of the familial structures listed will feel included and validated. A further value to this book is that it shows that these diverse families go through a lot of the same experiences. Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim wrote of the value of fairy tales and children’s literature—they help children clarify their emotions and recognize their difficulties. This value is present in All Families Are Special, which reminds children that “When there are bad times, families help each other to feel better” and “When there are good times, families enjoy them together.”
Recommended: 5-8 years
Book Reviewer: Yu-Han Chao