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The Great Big Book of Families Hardcover – 1 Apr 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Apr 2010
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184507999X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845079994
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 1 x 30.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"The Great Big Book of Families...celebrates families for every social background - and it does so with utter joy."

(The Bookseller)

"Ros Asquith’s comic illustrations complement and extend the text, providing lots to talk about."


"Highlighting and celebrating diversity in a fun, easy way, this book is great for starting discussions." 

(Book Bag)

"Mary Hoffman thoughtfully explores and Ros Asquith joyfully illustrates."

(Love Reading)

A celebration of families and the very many different things they do and the very many different ways they do them. Some families are big, some families are small; some parents work, some parents don’t. Holidays, hobbies, school, clothes and food and the different ways that different families approach them are just some of the topics which Mary Hoffman thoughtfully explores and Ros Asquith joyfully illustrates.

(Julia Eccleshare Lovereading)

This brilliant book just shows the combinations in life that sometimes constitute a unit, or more, that our children live within and what they live with. I especially like the lady in the hijab asking: "What are we celebrating?" and the man behind her replying exuberantly: "EVERYTHING!"

(Families South East)

Challenges preconceptions by breaking the way in which most children's books portray the typical home arrangement. Ros Asquith's delightful cartoons punctuate the pages, showing realistic varieties of family life. Mary Hoffman's witty, sensitive captions invite the reader to explore every aspect of home life. From food, homes and ways of celebrating, to schools, holidays, languages and family trees, children are encouraged to look at people and their relationships in all their different types.

(Headteacher Update)

'A charming book that helps children understand and recognise many different types of family units.This book manages to challenge preconceptions while reassuring children of all ages and backgrounds.' Book Nook.

(Independent on Sunday)

The text is sympathetic and the illustrations often humorous in this fresh and contemporary look at families of today.

(Nursery World)

Something for everyone in this truly multicultural exploration. Ros Asquith's illustrations are witty and wonderful… An excellent choice for the primary school library.

(School Librarian)

Plenty of humourous detail in the illustrations, adding to the textual content and inviting comment and discussion on the range and diversity of family experiences.

(Books for Keeps)

Gets close to how young children themselves perceive difference… A lovely book to share with any child.


This book is an emphatic statement that everyone is different in their own way, and that is something to be celebrated.

(Grandparent Times)

Avoiding overt political correctness, the book just tells it like it is with clear sections that develop themes, accompanied by bright illustrations that enhance the fun of family life in all its forms.

(Nursery Education/Child Education Books of the Year)

This is a superb book. It is well illustrated, providing lots to look at and discuss. It helps show that all families are different, exploring family life, challenging preconceptions and encouraging the children into discussions… The book has become a firm favourite with each child able to find something to match their circmumstances... The book is a great asset for encouraging equal opportunity discussions and encouraging children to think about others.

(Child Care)

This excellent book looks at the way in which stereotypical families have changed over the years. It neatly illustrates all the different types of relationships that constitute a family unit today, through the use of delightful illustrations and clear text to make this book appealing and insightful.

(Youth in Mind)

A wonderful addition to the limited supply of non-fiction books that really try to reflect contemporary family life. Through illustration, it celebrates family members, their homes, schools, jobs, holidays, food, clothes, pets, hobbies, celebrations and feelings.

(Nursery World)

Families come in all shapes and sizes, as this book demonstrates with warmth and humour. All facets of family life, including homes, clothes and pets are celebrated through words and pictures. A book for sharing or for poring over by yourself, there is much to encourage discussion and engagement. All children, whatever their family is like, should see themselves reflected here. Though it might not appear to be a conventional information book, it is a book which can be used across the primary age range. For example, my school has used it for several weeks’ worth of work with Year 4 pupils on the diversity of family life.

(SLA Award - Jane Gould)

A fresh, contemporary look through children's eyes at the modern family. SLA AWARD winner

(Primary Times)

"This clever book is taking a truly 21st Century look at family life… In spite of managing to reflect the reality of life for all families, the book refrains from making value judgements. No family is depicted as better or worse than any other – just different."

(Primary Teacher Update)

'Useful, funny and truthful'

(The Bookseller Crow, Families SE)

 'A wonderfully entertaining celebration of the huge diversity found within contemporary families.'

(Little Parachutes)

'It’s a book packed with detail, humour and interest, reminding us that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ – we are all equal. ..In terms of diversity in its widest sense, books simply don’t get much more inclusive than this.'


About the Author

MARY HOFFMAN has written over 90 books for children, that range from picture books to novels. Amazing Grace (9781845077495), first published in 1991, was commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal and has since become a modern classic. Mary lives in Oxfordshire.
ROS ASQUITH contributes Doris, a regular cartoon feature, to the Guardian. She is the author of the Teenage Worrier books which explore the many anxious moments facing teenagers, suggesting how to solve them with humour and self-reliance. Ros lives in north London.

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