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Marc Boutavant for ever (2)

Posted on Jan 8, 2010

All Kinds of Families!
Mary Ann Hoberman  (author) & Marc  Boutavant (illustrator)

(Little, Brown Young Readers)

Bottle caps, gingersnaps, buttons, or rings
You can make families from all sorts of things!

This is a real hit with my kids. They love the rhyming text and already know some of it (including the recurring quote above) by heart.I have to say I had never heard of Hoberman until this book came out, but she seems to be quite a prolific writer, maybe better known in the United States.
Personally I think some of the text is a bit clumsy, but the message of the book is great: whether it is bread slices, buttons, tools or fingers. It explains really simply how the concept of families is, which is great for young children. Here is a great example:

If you are the first baby born to your mother
Your mother’s a mother because you are here

If you are the first baby born to your father
Your father is a father because you appear

If you are the second one born in your family
Someone is a brother because you arrive
Or Someone’s a sister, and you are a sister
Or brother the moment that you are alive

And as for the illustrations, well, what can I say? Only Marc Boutavant came make illustrations which are nearly all bright pink look good, and cool:

Again, his use of colour is stunning. I don’t think anybody else could get away with this but it suits his style! And again, there are so many details, so many little things to discover. For example in this double spread, there are several elephants made out of numbers. Every time we read the book, we spend ages on this page:
I think this book is a perfect gift for a family welcoming a new addition, whether it is the first baby or there is already a big brother or sister. The book will definitely help make him or her special.
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