Booklist Reviews

In the opening two-page spread of this entry in the A First Look At . . . series, Harker depicts both homosexual and heterosexual parents interacting with their children at a petting zoo. Constructed to introduce vocabulary (e.g., gay and lesbian) and to send the message that "the world is much more interesting when we are not all the same," the text tends to be a bit heavy-handed. Four insets titled "What about you?" pose questions to engender discussion about the nature of the reader's or listener's family: "Has anyone ever been unkind about your family? What did they say?" Despite the prose's awkwardness, these books serve an important purpose and do it in a gentle, unthreatening fashion. Pleasant pastel watercolors depict mostly white families but include some racial and cultural diversity in crowd scenes. Another new title in the series is Come Home Soon: A First Look at When a Parent Goes to War (2012). Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.