When some of our French Immersion teachers asked me for a book they could read with their students that included same sex parents, I had to apologize. I had been looking for such a book for our library for quite awhile, but had found nothing. I promised to keep looking. Fortunately, I asked Evelyne from Chouette books to help and she found this one:
In this lovely story a teacher asks her students what they did during their holidays. When a boy named Martin says that he had a great holiday with his two dads, it sparks a grand discussion about diversity in families. Highly recommend as a read aloud, in the class library, in the school library, and for home.
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Gone are the books about nuclear families, with the annoyingly ‘normal’ mom, dad, brother, sister and dog, all of the same ethnic background living in a nice house with a fenced yard. Books about families should celebrate a diversity of families. When I buy books about families I always look for: single parent families, mulit-ethnic families, same sex parents, adopted children, foster children, families with grandparents or aunties, and families living in a variety of homes/neighborhoods all in the same book. If a book about families doesn’t include same sex parents, I never buy it, no matter how great it is. Even if you are borrowing or buying a family book just for your family, be sure the book includes a variety of families. Children internalize these subtle messages about which families are normal and acceptable and which are not. Be thoughtful about the values you are teaching your children and other peoples’ children, whether implicit or explicit, and make sure they are values you think are important.
The Great Big Book of Families is a wonderfully inclusive book that celebrates families of all configurations and sizes. It also explores the differences in homes, jobs, holidays, schools (including homeschooling), vacations, food, and transportation. Cute, light-hearted illustrations.
Read the book, then: make family trees, write about your families.
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