Celebrating Diverse Families

The Georges Vanier Learning Commons has a great selection of titles featuring diverse families. Here are a few favourites that celebrate diversity amongst families in our school and community.


Families by Shelley Rotner. Celebrate diversity with a picture book for very young children about the many faces of contemporary families. Big or small, similar or different-looking, there are all kinds of families. Some have one parent, some have two, and many include extended family. This inclusive look at many varieties of families will help young readers see beyond their own immediate experiences and begin to understand others. (2015)  image

Families, Families, Families by Suzanne and Max Lang No matter your size, shape, or pedigree–if you love each other, you are a family. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers — and even Great Aunt Sue — appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of nontraditional families! Silly animals are cleverly depicted in framed portraits, and offer a warm celebration of family love. (2015)


Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith  This book explores all the different ways a baby or child can become part of the clan, including natural birth within a nuclear family, adoption, fostering, same-sex parents, and many other aspects of bringing babies or children home. A unique information book, Welcome to the Family spreads an important and positive message: every family is different and every family is equally valid and special, no matter how or when their children arrive. (2014)

imageWho’s In My Family? All About Our Families by Robie Harris  Join Nellie and Gus and their family — plus all manner of other families — for a day at the zoo, where they see animal families galore! To top off their day, Nellie and Gus invite friends and relatives for a fun dinner at home. Accessible, humorous, and full of charming illustrations depicting families of many configurations, this engaging story interweaves conversations between the siblings and a matter-of-fact text, making it clear to every child that whoever makes up your family, it is perfectly normal — and totally wonderful. (2012)


My Family Series by S. Schuette These titles look at the structure of different types of families. They have a reassuring tone and present matter-of-fact information. The families photographed are of varying ages, races, and ethnicities. Each title ends with a similar sentence: “-family members love each other.” (2010)


The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman This fun and fascinating treasury features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life – from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. Ros Asquith’s humorous illustrations perfectly complement a charming text from the acclaimed Mary Hoffman; kids will love poring over these pages again and again. (2010)


All Families Are Special by Norma Simon In a diversity lesson, children in a classroom describe their families: large, small, nuclear, and extended; interracial, international, single-parent, divorced parents, same-sex parents; comprised of multiple generations, adoptees, absent members, and even pets.  The conclusion is that “No families are the same. All families are definitely special!” (2003)

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The Family Book by Todd Parr and many other titles that celebrate diversity in our families. (2003)


Always Mom, Forever Dad by Joanna Rowland Many children have parents who live separately. In this reassuring picture book, young readers see children who have two households,whether because of divorce, separation, or other circumstances, experiencing life’s ups and downs with both parents, secure in the knowledge that Mom will always be Mom, and Dad is forever Dad. (2014)


Monday, Wednesday and every other Weekend by Karen  Stanton Henry Cooper and his dog Pomegranate have two houses. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other weekend, they live with Mama in her new apartment, but on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other weekend, they live with Papa in his new house. This gentle and accessible story about dealing with the many changes that come with divorce is beautifully brought to life by author Karen Stanton’s vivid and memorable illustrations. (2014)

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A Tale of Two Mommies and A Tale of Two Daddies by V. Oelschlager A Tale of Two Mommies is a beach conversation among three children. True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?” To which he answers: “Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.” This book lets us look inside a nurturing family: a same sex couple and their son. (2010)


Our Global Community: Families by Lisa Easterling Through stunning photographs and simple text, books in this series introduce children to elements of our global community. In this title, children learn about families around the world, including how they are alike and different, what families do together, and why families are important. (2007)


My Family Community by Bobbie Kalman How is a family a community? This book shows young readers that, like a community, a family has members who perform roles. Parents teach and care for their children and go to work to earn money for the family; children have rules to follow and household jobs to perform. Cooperation and communication between family members keeps the family community strong. (2010)