Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Family is a Family is a Family PLUS Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends!

The summer is winding down. School has already started for some kids. And I’m thrilled to feature a picture book today that belongs in every preschool and early elementary classroom.

When I grew up, most kids I knew came from two parent families…a mom and a dad…and often, it was the dad who went out to earn money while the mom stayed home and took care of the children. But these days, there has been a tremendous shift in that cookie-cutter type family. We desperately need more books that portray the various family units that exist. Thanks to author Sara O’Leary and illustrator Qin Leng, we have the perfect one!

Groundwood Logos Spine


Written by Sara O’Leary

Illustrated by Qin Leng

Published by Groundwood Books (2016)

Themes: families, diversity

Opening Lines: 

“We were talking about families at school. The teacher asked us what we thought made our family special. I went last because I wasn’t sure what to say. My family is not like everybody else’s.”


From Amazon:

When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.

One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby.

As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special.

Why I like this book:

  • Talk about diversity. Not only do we find a varied array of family units…we also find characters of all sizes, shapes, and colors!
  • Very simple text will appeal to young listeners and early readers!
  • The illustrations are fabulous!

Related Activities:

Popsicle Stick Puppets


Photo courtesy:

What a super bunch of Popsicle crafts for kids here! Take your pick of several that highlight the family. Why not help your child make a puppet for each member of the family and role play various situations. Let the fun begin!

You will need: Popsicle sticks, markets, scissors,  glue, photos of family members or construction paper to draw your own pictures.

For detailed instructions:

Dear readers, thanks to author Sara and her publisher, Groundwood Books, we will have a giveaway of a copy of A FAMILY IS A FAMILY IS A FAMILY. (U.S. or Canadian addresses only). Please make sure you leave a comment to be entered. If you get to read the book, remember that reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads are the best gift you can give to an author. I just posted my review of the book on Amazon.

And hurry back tomorrow for a super Will Write for Cookies Q&A with author Sara O’Leary who is sharing awesome insights and an AMAZING Ginger Shortbread recipe with us…and oh, how I LOVE ginger!

Have a safe and happy weekend!




About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on August 18, 2017, in book giveaway, Craft Activity for Kids, Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Great book! Thanks for highlighting it Vivian! I love the Popsicle puppets. have a fun, safe weekend yourself. 🙂


  2. Becky Scharnhorst

    This sounds like such a lovely (and important) book. Thanks for sharing this one, Vivian.


  3. I’ve read this book and think it’s wonderful!


  4. Sounds like a great book. I’m adding it to my “to-read” list. Thanks for sharing this!


  5. Love the idea behind this book. Reassurance for kids in this day and age of craziness and mixed messages is vital.


  6. Thank you, Vivian, for yet another important introduction to a book that will reassure children that the form of love that they call family is special indeed. I wish I had had this lovely book when I was in the classroom.


  7. An excellent book for a teacher to use to start off the year!


  8. This is an important book to show kids that families come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and some are broken, some are mended, and some are not even blood-related, but all families are special. I love the idea of this book (and I also love ginger so I’ll be back to get that recipe).


  9. I’m so glad there are books like this out there. I look forward to reading it.


  10. What an important share today! I love the story.


  11. A perfect book to share with a “My Family” early ed theme. So important that children know all families are different. Thank you for sharing !


  12. Ordering it now from my local library. Can’t wait to read it. Very timely and subtle way to deliver message about diversity. Thanks for featuring it,Vivian.


  13. Thank you so much, Vivian. This really was a most generous post and I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to connect with your readers.


  14. I’m not really familiar with Groundwood Books, but the cover is very charming!


  15. The question of what makes one’s family special should be asked in all classrooms. I’m learning so much about “non-cookie cutter” families from my daughter’s friendships. It seems what was thought of as “normal” or “traditional” when we were kids is now no more than a slice of the whole pie. I’m looking forward to checking out this book.


  16. This book will be a great addition to our family library.


  17. I haven’t seen this new Groundwood Books release yet, but can’t wait to find it. This IS a perfect book for back to school or any time!


  18. I’m recommending this book to my teacher friends. To get across the idea that as long as you have people who love and care about you — that IS a family is a very important message for children today with such a variety of families 🙂


  19. Sara, what a delightful interview to read. I love it that you write with such delightful books. I try too! My favourite line was your quote, “Richer than I, you can never be–I had a Mother who read to me.” We certainly tried to do this with four children.
    Most of all knowing you are loved is vital for all children.


  20. Thanks again, Vivian. So happy to see how many teachers you reach with your blog–my mother was a teacher and there’s not profession I value more highly.


  21. Nice review! The book sounds really sweet! 🙂


  1. Pingback: Sara O’Leary: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway | Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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