annalovesbooks, September 18, 2008 (view all comments by annalovesbooks)
ISBN 0307001377 - Little Golden Books and Gina and Mercer Mayer? Now there's a match made in children's book heaven. This edition, published in 1993, is marked inside "Published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Little Golden Books". Family - what a nice way to celebrate fifty years!
Nameless Little Critters are introduced by the oldest child in the family. Dad works, so he buy the family things, and sometimes, when he's not too tired, he plays catch after work. Mom takes care of the family. His little sister is okay, and likes to tag along with him. His baby brother is cute, but boring and sometimes requires quiet so he can sleep. The family's pets are also part of the family, even if the goldfish isn't allowed in the tub. He pitches in to help his parents and be a good big brother. Even if they don't always get along, they love each other and that's what a family is.
I've always found the nameless-ness of the critters a little annoying, but the story is very nice and the illustrations are excellent - some are quite funny, too! The relationships between the children are so accurate that you have to laugh. "This is my sister. She's no so bad. When I don't have anything to do, I play with her." Depending on your family structure, this book may or may not fit you. One negative is that, other than the ending, "we love each other a lot. I think that's what a family is all about.", there's no real opening for a parent to say "not all families are the same". Children not in traditional family homes might be bothered by that. If it doesn't reflect your family, young children might enjoy it anyway - you'll have to figure that out, but for the lack of being open to the possibility, I've got to detract a star.
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