About this book
A Family Is a Family Is a Family
Sara O'Leary • Qin Leng
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 has many stepsiblings, and another has a new baby in the family.
As 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, it is special.
A warm and whimsical look at many types of families, written by award-winning author Sara O’Leary, with quirky and sweet illustrations by Qin Leng.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
About the Creators
Sara O’Leary is a writer of fiction for both adults and children. Her highly acclaimed picture books include Percy’s Museum, illustrated by Carmen Mok; Night Walk, illustrated by Ellie Arscott; A Family Is a Family Is a Family, illustrated by Qin Leng (USBBY Outstanding International Books); and Maud and Grand-Maud, illustrated by Kenard Pak. She has also written This Is Sadie (adapted for the stage for New York City Children’s Theater) and the award-winning series of Henry books, all illustrated by Julie Morstad. Sara writes for children’s animation and teaches at Concordia University in Montreal. Visit https://saraoleary.ca/.
Qin Leng lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. She graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork. Her picture books include Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki (APALA Award, Governor General’s Literary Award finalist); Away by Emil Sher and A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary (both USBBY Outstanding International Books); When I Found Grandma by Saumiya Balasubramaniam (Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award finalist) and I Am Small, which Qin has written and illustrated. Visit www.qinillustrations.com.
Awards and Praise
Praise for Sara O'Leary and A Family Is a Family Is a Family:
"The broad diversity of family constellations is refreshing … A-plus fabulous." — Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
"Leng's drawings of domestic life are, like O'Leary's writing, winsome but never sentimental. Together they offer a straightforward, optimistic view of everyday modern life." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"This book is highly recommended — not just for teachers in the classroom, but parents (and grandparents) in the home." — Montreal Gazette
"A sweet and tender tale that shows that families are composed of love regardless of how they may be configured." — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Cheerful watercolor illustrations capture the fun and whimsy of this whole cast and make this book a delightful, unsubtle celebration of difference and variety." — Booklist
"Audacious and obvious both … this Canadian import undoubtedly belongs on bookshelves everywhere." — BookDragon
"Parents will find this book useful in helping young children understand the different kinds of families they might encounter, while accepting and loving their own." — Canadian Children's Book News
- Commended Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year, 2017
- Commended OLA Best Bets Top Ten, 2016
- Commended USBBY's Outstanding International Books List, 2017
- Short-listed Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, 2017
- Commended CBC Best Books of 2016, 2016
- Commended Toronto Public Library's First and Best List, 2016