Wednesday, May 1, 2019

'All Families Invited' - a bookwap

The book demonstrates why we need to talk about families in a more inclusive way.

What Does a Family Look Like?



 All Families Invited

Authored by Kathleen Goodman
Illustrated by Jo Edwards

* Ages:  6-8
* Grade Level:  1-3
* Hardcover:  34 pages
* Publisher:  Kathleen Goodman Counseling Pllc
*  Pub. Date:  April 23, 2019
* Language:  English

Families in 2019 come in all shapes and sizes - probably more so now than ever before-but for kids, growing up in a household that is different from the nuclear "norm" can still be challenging, and sometimes isolating.  Linguistic and traditional holdovers that encourage kids to celebrate Mother's Day by making things for mom in school, for example, make kids whose primary caregivers is not their mom feel like there is something wrong with them.  Even if adults recognize that families are changing, it is often kids who are left to explain and apologize for their own family situation that they perceive as outside the norm.  

 In the author's own words

" I want readers to understand that by being more inclusive and by changing 'Fathers Daughter Dance' to 'Family Fall Fest', nothing is diminished," says Goodman.  "Fathers and daughters can still celebrate their bond with a special event, and the door is opened to other children to celebrate bonds with other family members who may or may not be 'dad.'"

With engaging and realistic storytelling, Goodman provides children with a new resource:

* To feel less alone if they don't live in a "traditional" two-parent household

* To recognize ways they can make a difference by using inclusive language and actions 

* To understand lots of different family compositions 

* To start conversations with adults and kids about important questions of inclusion and diversity

* And much more!  

Unwrapping some great illustrations for you

My Take

Annabel is a little girl that is out to change an age-old tradition in school... the Father-Daughter Dance.  She has a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. She is aware that some kids come from a single parent home like her as she lives with her mom. Her friend Derek has two moms and Thomas lives with his aunt and uncle.  That means they won't be allowed to attend the dance.  

"This just doesn't seem fair, " she whispers to herself.  
"Everyone should get to go."

Empowered by her convictions she is on a mission to have the guest list made more inclusive.  Can she make a change not only of the custom but more importantly of people's hearts so they will open up the event and let every family join in on the fun? 

The illustrations are expressive and the children included in the story diverse.  The message of the book is positive and inspiring.  I highly recommend it. 

Storywraps Rating - 5 +++ HUGS!!!!!

Meet the author

Kathleen Goodman has worked for over a decade as a school counselor, where she has observed the shifting demographics of families. She wrote All Families Invited to inspire a more inclusive dialogue in school communities and to celebrate all forms of family. Goodman also runs a private counseling practice for children and adolescents and is an adjunct instructor at Seattle University. She speaks at national counselor conferences and consults with local schools. She lives in Seattle with her husband, where they spend time in the outdoors hiking and kayaking.
For more information visit

About the illustrator

Growing up, Jo was the “kid who ate anything.” Her strongest, earliest food memories are of dipping homemade bread into the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper that collected at the bottom of big bowls of greek salad her dad would make. She now loves making crazy cakes and soups, and still has her childhood love of dipping good bread into delicious soupy goodness! Jo has her degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University. 

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