Book Recommendation: ‘The Family Book’ by Todd Parr

During September, we’re featuring book recommendations of banned or challenged books in honor of Banned Book Week, which takes place Oct. 1-7 this year.

Recommended by KARLIE MARTENS, Bookseller, Novel Bay Books

Todd Parr is a quintessential child author who has written many amazing picture books. His bright and colorful illustrations, easy-to-read stories, and heartfelt letters to readers are his trademarks. His book The Family Book has been banned because of its representation of a same-sex family. In fact, it has been banned due to a single line: “Some families have two moms or two dads.”

Being a popular children’s author/illustrator, it’s impressive that he uses his platform to continue to promote diversity within children’s literature. Research shows that representation in picture books or books read to children is incredibly important, especially when we want to build skills such as empathy, foster a positive self-identity, and promote cultural understanding.

Without Parr – and numerous others since – who acknowledge and celebrate the diversity in families, skin color, gender and beyond, we would continue to struggle to raise youth who have a strong understanding of themselves and others. 

There are families that have two moms or two dads, or no moms or no dads, or grandmas or no grandmas, or brothers and sisters or no brothers and sisters. The variety is nearly endless, and shouldn’t everyone be able to see themselves in a book?