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Celebrating Family Matters with Books

by Jean Dugan
January/February 2013
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/reading-matters/5020968/

When I was a kid, I gravitated to books about large families, the bigger and more rowdy the better. I was the only child in my own very quiet ­family, and reading was one way I could vicariously interact with the brothers and sisters I didn't have. Curled up with a book, I was Jo March, I was Caddie Woodlawn, I was Wendy Darling, I was even — I can admit it now — Jane, sister of Dick and Sally, owner of Puff and Spot, whose blandness I could overlook given her good fortune in not only having a brother and sister, but a cat and a dog, too. What a lucky girl!

Family stories have always been favorites, not only mine, but of all children who want to see themselves, or the selves they wish they were, in a book. It's one of the early ways we learn about community. While the reality of family has always included relations of all types and sizes — huge extended families, couples without children, multigenerational households, roommates, families with one, two, or three or more parents — we didn't always find them in the literature of our childhood. Here ...

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