All kinds of families


January 23, 2000|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

Over the last several decades, rapid changes in the configuration of families have taken place. The traditional family consisting of a working father and a mother at home raising a son and a daughter, is no longer the norm.

The number of families in which both parents work outside the home is on the rise, and families move more often than previously. Busy schedules create a challenge for maintaining a strong family environment, and the extended family plays an important role in the lives of children. More books are being written to help children explore their family dynamics and affirm the importance of the caring nature of the family.

Here are some ideas and titles to consider.

Communication tips

* Read the book first to be clear about the philosophical approach and values it promotes to be sure that it does not conflict with your own views.

* Read books about serious issues to your child only when you will have relaxed time for discussion.

* Periodically talk about the topic in the book (e.g., divorce, step-parent, new sibling).

* Children are not always able to communicate their thoughts completely, so give your child time to talk freely about his thoughts.


* "Dancin' in the Kitchen" by Frank Christian

* "I Got a Family" by Melrose Cooper

* "The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant


* "Song and Dance Man" by Karen Ackerman

* "The Wednesday Surprise" by Eve Bunting

* "Bigmama's" by Donald Crews

* "Abuela" by Arthur Dorros

* "Everything to Spend the Night From A to Z" by Ann Whitford Paul

Changing families

* "Mrs. Katz and Tush" by Patricia Polacco

* "Aunt Minnie McGranahan" by Mary Skillings Prigger

* "When We Married Gary" by Anna Grossnickle Hines

* "By the Dawn's Early Light" by Karen Ackerman

* "Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families" by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

* "It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear" by Vicki Lansky

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