When I opened the cover to Florence and her Fantastic Family Tree, I was immediately brought back to a conversation with a cousin. One of her children was being asked to do a family tree yet her child had a rather divergent family tree and was very frustrated by this. The child didn’t want to look strange to peers, but wanted to complete the assignment. The words “antiquated lessons” came up.
Florence has a VERY divergent family tree and she handles this assignment with all these worries, and yet, she looks beyond her worries to her ability to show off her family. A timely book I think hmm?
What I am Reviewing
On behalf of Raincoast books and Familius books I am reviewing Florence and her Fantastic Family Tree. It will come as a jacketed hardcover of 32 pages. Written by Judy Gilliam with the soft illustrations by Laura Addari.
From the cover
Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree explores the idea of what it means to have a big, messy, complicated, and remarkable family as a young girl tries to complete her family tree assignment for school. With adorable drawings and the succinct words of a child, you can’t help but love your own family tree, no matter how large or small, simple or chaotic.
Florence and her fantastic family tree information
The problem is real so… does a child run away from it or grab up the opportunity? Florence, using her own words, tells us how she handled this challenged. How can she make a family tree when “my family tree doesn’t just have a trunk, roots, leaves and extra limbs. My family tree is prickly, scaly, and partially overgrown.“
Using soft tones, the illustrator helps us watch Florence’s worry turn into a sense of accomplishment. And I have to tell you as adult… it was wonderful to see. I love watching children take what could be a painful assignment and turn it into something that is great. THIS happens.
The story is told in Florence’s own words. Sharing her words, her working out what her family is like. It’s like sitting next to her as she does her homework listening in.
You’ll find the font easy enough to read. It’s not in bold and appears handwritten. It would be easy enough to hold up with a group of children to share it. I could see a teacher using this with her class before she gives them a family tree assignment. What a great way to let children know it doesn’t matter what their family looks like, just follow how the branches go even if they intertwine or go off ways.
Should you Get it?
I thought Florence and her Fantastic Family Tree was a good read. Enjoyable, easy to read, the character develops, and good results. Regardless of what YOUR family looks like, it would be good to share with your children. Help them develop empathy for what other people’s families might look like. Instead of calling it an antiquated idea, let us celebrate with children what their families look like.