Book Review: ONE FAMILY

A must buy for all children 0-6.


ONE FAMILY by George Shannon is a beautiful, exciting way for children to learn acceptance, cardinality, and logic.

The story is absolutely enthralling, each page growing from the last. And the phenomenal imagery from artist Blanca Gómez is so vivid in color and simple, yet intricate, in style that you and the listener have many things to explore on each page.

The main idea of the book, that “one” has multiple meanings, gives children a new and interesting perspective while helping their logic grow exponentially. For example, the book starts with single ones, like one clock and one book, things most children comprehend from the get go. But then, it quickly progresses to one pair of shoes and one hand of cards, igniting a new idea, a new way of thinking that children may have never contemplated before, broadening their horizons and creating new, powerful synapse connections. Moreover (yes there’s more!) each page sums up into “one family,” showing that not just groups of objects, but also our own families can be various-sized groupings, such as two people, three people, four people, etc. To further underscore the concept of many different representations, Shannon shows diverse families on each page. As a math teacher, the logic made me fall in love with the book; as a person who always tries to understand and accept others and wants her daughter to have the same values, the powerful message of acceptance pushed that love to a whole new level. I seriously get chills every time I think of the amazing power this book has.

This is the type of story I relish in sharing with my daughter, the beauty of numbers, thoughtful logic, and powerful social message. And even better, she adores it! At two-and-a-half years old, she often chooses this book first at reading time, and even during playtime, she’ll stop and choose some books to read; ONE FAMILY has been in her top 5 since we bought it. I would say her favorite part is the recap of all the numbers 1-10 and their associated pictures. As a math teacher, I know how important repetition and review are for comprehension, so that was an added bonus for both of us!

Overall, this is an amazing picture book that’s enthralling and tells a powerful story. As a math teacher and mom, I highly recommend this book. In fact, I urge you to stop whatever else you were going to do after reading this, hop on Amazon (or whenever you like to buy books) and get this book for any child you know!

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