Families Belong

Dan Saks, illus. by Brooke Smart. Rise x Penguin Workshop, $7.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-593-22276-8
This simple board book, first in the cocreators’ Families series, highlights a selection of the activities families may participate in, using “together” as the end of a shifting refrain. Rhythmic, loosely rhymed quatrains (“Families sing/ with voices bellowing/ songs that make us giggle / on the back of Dad’s bicycle”) are paired with inclusive illustrations in watercolor and gouache, edited digitally, that portray families snuggling, singing, sharing food, dancing, and more. Spreads effectively emphasize characters’ movement in a variety of formations and undertakings, with families of various skin tones and compositions depicted on almost every page. Though one spread oddly depicts “cleaning up the crumbs together” as what seems to be a platter of crumbless fresh spring rolls scatters across the floor, this is a solid introduction to family fun that should entertain its target audience. Ages 1–3. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/19/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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