What Makes a Family?


As school lets out, PJ Library offers an inclusively curated picture book list to keep kids engaged and reading all summer.

What makes a family a family? In Hebrew, mishpacha means family – and it’s not just a word, but a value to embrace as well. And families come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and configurations: families can be large, small, multi-generational, all living under the same roof or spread out geographically. Kids take great comfort in seeing families like theirs represented in books, and they become better citizens of the world when they see the many ways a family can be.

To celebrate all the different ways a family can be a family, PJ Library, the not-for-profit organization that sends more than 240,000 free books a month to families in the United States (and more than 680,000 books in 32 countries), has set forth some terrific recommendations for pictures books that are all about mishpacha and the many beautiful, diverse, and varied ways to be a family on a carefully-curated list of more than two-dozen books – from beloved PJ Library authors like Lesléa Newman, Patricia Polacco, and Todd Parr – as well as books that PJ Library staff members have on their own shelves! The categories include “Books Featuring Many Different Families,” “Books With LGBTQIA+ Family Representation,” “Books Celebrating Adoption and Foster Families” and “Books Featuring Single Parents.”

You can find all of the recommendations here.

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