Parents' Guide to

Catherine and Laurence Anholt's Big Book of Families

By Karyn Wellhousen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Reassurance that each family is unique, special.

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Shouting, laughing, singing, fighting, and hugging: These are all words used by the Anholts to describe what families do best in these engaging poems. We are reassured that at times, everyone experiences similar intense positive and negative emotions about their family. The authors describe this range of emotions as "a family yo-yo," a graphic analogy that children can easily understand.

Each of the 31 rhyming poems is cleverly illustrated. The pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations feature cartoonlike characters. Interest is heightened by the original placement of the text: For example, a single poem is centered on a page with a wide, colorfully detailed border, while the facing page displays three separate poems sparingly illustrated. This mix is very effective for holding the attention of a young audience.

Book Details

  • Author: Catherine Anholt
  • Genre: Fairy Tale
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: January 1, 2000
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
  • Number of pages: 24
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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