Who’s Got A Normal Family?

Who’s Got A Normal Family?
Belinda Nowell and Miša Alexander
Little Steps Publishing

A family is a family be it or be it not conventional – and anyway what in this day and age is a conventional family? That is what is explored in this picture book.

On ‘News Day’ young Alex is happy to share with his classmates the news of the arrival of his new baby sister, Emma. She , like Alex is a foster child. But then one boy in the class, Jimmy who seemingly doesn’t like others to feel happy, says ‘She’s not your real sister. You don’t have a normal family.’ Unsurprisingly this makes Alex feel anything but his usual happy self.

Back home that evening, Alex asks his mum, “Are we normal?” Her response in addition to a big hug, is to say “Absolutely NOT … but why don’t we find out who is?” Thus begins and exploration of Alex’s class photo as they look at the families of his classmates one by one.

We meet Katie whose grandmother is her carer; Alir who lives with his extended family that comprises grand aunty, two uncles and some cousins, having moved to this country because it was no longer safe for them in their homeland.

Then there’s Eva who lives just with her dad; underwater expert Tim who has been adopted, Henry and his two dads; and Samantha. She has recently gained five new brothers because her mum has married Nathan’s dad. Soon there’s just Jimmy; Alex and readers find out that he has cause to be feeling sad.

When Alex goes to bed his mum whispers something to him. The following morning a now happy Alex shares with Jimmy what his mum has said and shows him something too …

A celebration of familial differences showing that the most normal thing of all is that all families are different.

Definitely a book to share and discuss in any family and with primary classes.

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