One Family

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
One Family Book Poster Image
Happy, colorful celebration of counting and families.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Plenty of counting practice; stresses idea that one group may contain many individuals/individual things.

Positive Messages

Counting is fun; individuals are important, even in a group; being together makes life fun and friendly; families come in all shapes and sizes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents play with children; families smile at one another, no matter what they're doing together; grandparents enjoy their grandchildren; everyone likes to read.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that One Family, by George Shannon and illustrated by Blanca Gomez, is more than the usual interactive counting book. The focus here is on how many things can be in one group, and it celebrates a mix of families, too. "One" can mean one single thing, or it can mean a collection of many things. Moving from 1 to 10, each page gives examples of what makes one pair of shoes, one ring of keys, one flock of birds, and so on. And the simple illustrations not only make that easy to understand but also show a multicultural, multi-age variety of families all enjoying one another. A fine choice for families looking for books wth diverse characters.

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What's the story?

Starting with the idea of "one" representing a single book or a single person, ONE FAMILY moves through the numbers from 1 to 10, showing how groups of individuals also can make one. As with one box of many colors of crayons, one flock of birds, one pile of rocks, one tack of books, or one batch of many cookies, "[O]ne is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family." This is not only a book about counting groups but also a celebration of families. And these families are in every shape and size you can imagine, from babies in strollers to gray-haired grandparents, different ethnicities, some tall, some short, and so on. Simple text suggests items to be counted, and amazingly expressive artwork by Blanca Gomez shows a world full of people smiling, waving, and interacting. 

Is it any good?

Rich, eye-catching artwork, simple text, and a clever idea create a friendly, fun, interactive counting book that also celebrates a happy, multicultural world. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the number challenges on each page and will be drawn in by the illustrations.

Illustrator Gomez has a talent for creating a sense of happiness in the world of her drawings that extends beyond the pages of the book and shows that a family can be many things. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the counting question on each page. How many groups of two can you find? Groups of three, and so on? What other examples can you think of?

  • What does the illustrator add to each page with her artwork, especially with the way she shows the different people in each family? How do you feel about the different families? Do any of them remind you of yours? 

  • How is this book like other counting books you've read? How is it different?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and stories of families

Themes & Topics

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