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What a Family
     

What a Family

by Rachel Isadora
 
Did you ever wonder where you got your freckles, or your weird toes, orthat astounding ability to wiggle your ears? Do you know the difference between a second cousin and a first cousin once removed?

Families are a real puzzle, especially a family as big as Ollie�s. But with Grandpa Max�s help, Ollie navigates his family tree and sees the many things all these

Overview

Did you ever wonder where you got your freckles, or your weird toes, orthat astounding ability to wiggle your ears? Do you know the difference between a second cousin and a first cousin once removed?

Families are a real puzzle, especially a family as big as Ollie�s. But with Grandpa Max�s help, Ollie navigates his family tree and sees the many things all these different people have in common as well as the things they don�t!

A book as useful as it is entertaining with fabulous portraits by a Caldecott Honor artist. And as an added bonus, Ollie�s family tree is included on the endpapers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Genealogy comes to kindergarten in this bright, happy book celebrating differences, as well as similarities in one extended family. It all begins with Ollie, the shortest kid in his kindergarten class. Ollie is connected through five generations, which are neatly displayed on the endpapers of the book. Though the formula for deciphering the cousins relationship—how they are "removed" and for how many generations—is presented and explained, it is still difficult to discern what the relation between Maggie and Talisha is. Isadora smartly includes racial diversity in this work, allowing for (hopefully) a larger, more diverse audience. Love and acceptance of everyone is crucial in a family. The presentation is delightful, inviting, and realistic. Large portraits are perfectly appropriate, and the details are incredible. Use this in your own family to think about who is alike and who is different—invite the far-flung relatives over, or bring this to your next reunion. Take this to school to see who in your class is similar, it is a great ice breaker to begin a school year, semester, summer session, etc. Everyone has family somewhere, and will relate to this colorful work. 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin, Ages 4 to 8.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Grandpa Max says that kindergartener Ollie looks just like his brother Winthrop did in 1924 when he was the shortest kid in his class. Then, it is revealed that Ollie strongly resembles his brother Angelo because both have hair that sticks straight up. Charming illustrations highlight the similar traits within an extended family, including those shared by "first cousins once removed," second or third cousins, or even half-siblings. The endpapers consist of a genealogical diagram of the "whole family," and include pictures of everyone mentioned in the text. While the book has the feel and the vibrancy of a picture book, the implied concept-how genetic traits like hair color or left-handedness are shared by some family members and not others-seems far beyond its intended audience. Even so, youngsters may simply enjoy comparing their own traits to those of the characters in the story and to think about their own families-and perhaps that is enough.-Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Poorly designed for library use but likely to keep detail-oriented children engrossed, this introduction to genetics and genealogy identifies physical characteristics shared among a multicultural gaggle of nearly three dozen cousins. It starts out simply, with little Ollie learning from his Grandpa Max that he looks just like Max's brother Winthrop at the same age, back in 1924. But in no time, each turn of the page brings something like: "Lili and George's twin second cousins once removed, Kyla and Katie, have red hair, while their half-sisters, Talisha and Zinzi, have black hair like their father, Henry." Unfortunately, Isadora leaves all of the terms except "removed" undefined, and has laid out the family tree, from which readers can make sense of these relationships only on the endpapers-much of which will be covered if the flaps are glued down. Rendered in crayon and colored pencil, the accompanying rows and rows of smiling faces, mostly those of children, not only create a bright, happy mood, but are drawn with care, so that the similarities of hair, eyes, noses, body type and other inherited features are easy to spot. But young readers with an interest in the subject are likely to get more from Loreen Leedy's Who's Who in My Family? (1995). (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399242540
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
03/16/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.32(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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