Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThomas et al. direct this sequel to Free to Be . . . You and Me toward concerns of the '80s, with an emphasis on the different configurations of the ``ideal'' nuclear family caused by divorce, remarriage and other factors. Freedom here means being able to talk about negative emotions: worries about nuclear war, missing a long-absent father or anxiety about being adopted (shown in a simulated ``Superman'' comic). But the blissful moments that are also a part of children's lives seem missing from this book, almost as if the editors believe there are enough happy endings in the world, and that kids need ways to ``work through problems.'' Admirable goals, but they make for a somewhat sobering outlook on childhood. The almanac-style book features stories, poems and songs by such authors as Shel Silverstein, Charlotte Zolotow and John Steptoe, and such celebrity contributors as The Fat Boys, Kermit the Frog, Carly Simon and Whoopi Goldberg. It's a rarity in today's market, and one to be embraced by parents who believe that this perspective is a realistic oneone that may help their children along the bumpy road of growing up. All ages. (December)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 1 Up This sequel to Free to Be. . .You and Me (McGraw-Hill, 1974) celebrates ``all kinds of belonging'' and the extraordinary diversity among families. The theme of this timely anthology is the extension of the concept of ``family'' to include adoptive and foster families, step-families, relatives, friends, community, culture, andultimatelyglobal humanity. The nearly 50 selections include stories, poems, short plays, essays, comics, and songs. This literary and musical smorgasbord includes essays by Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, and Kurt Vonnegut; poems by Shel Silverstein, Judith Viorst, Charlotte Zolotow, and others; stories that range from trite and silly to subtle and compassionate; lyrics and music by popular songwriters such as Carly Simon, Kris Kristofferson, and The Fat Boys; and full-color illustrations in a multitude of styles by Susan Jeffers, Leo and Diane Dillon, John Steptoe, Arnold Lobel, and Jerry Pinckney. The integrity and significance of this book emerges through the collection as a whole, not from the individual selections, which differ tremendously in literary quality, aesthetic style, and emotional appeal. Yet each offering celebrates in its own waywith acceptance, joy, compassion, and unfailing optimism``the day. . .when all the family of humans/ are one'' (``We and They'' by Lucille Clifton). A book to read and to share. Pamela Miller Ness, The Fenn School, Concord, Mass.
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