K-Gr 3A little girl draws a picture of her family tree, adding her brother, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as she repeats the phrase, Theyre all part of my family tree. After she completes the project, she asks, can you guess how I came to be? and explains that her grandparents had her mother and aunt, and that her mother and father had her brother and then her. Despite its simple text, this book fails to make the concept clear. The term family tree is not explained, so children never fully understand why the narrator is sticking pictures of her family onto her drawing of a tree. A sudden statement near the end of the book, Think of it! Everyone in the world has a family tree, seems to come out of the blue. Run-of-the-mill illustrations include scenes of relatives engaged in daily activities and pictures that represent the childs drawings of her family tree. One appealing double-page spread of the entire clan at a picnic in a park features a large tree that is sure to make confused young readers ask, Is that the family tree? A disappointing attempt at introductory genealogy.Ginny Gustin, Santa Monica Public Library, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Me And My Family Tree (32 pp.; PLB May; 0-517-70966-X; PLB 0-517-70967-8): For children who are naturally curious about the people who care for them (most make inquiries into family relationships at an early age), Sweeney explains, with the assistance of a young narrator, the concept of a family tree. Photographs become understandable once the young girl learns the relationships among family members; she wonders what her own family tree will look like when she marries and has children. A larger message comes at the end of this story: not only does she have a family tree, but so does everyone in the world. Cable's drawings clearly define the process of creating a family tree; she provides a blank tree so children can start on their own geneaology.(Picture book. 5-7)