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All Families Invited
Kathleen Goodman, illus. by Jo Edwards. Kathleen Goodman Counseling, $19.95 (34p) ISBN 978-1-733608-01-5
Annabel, a brown-skinned girl who lives with her single mother, is upset when she faces exclusion from her school’s father-daughter dance. Two of her friends, one with two moms and one who lives with his aunt and uncle, are also left out, and their combined circumstance gives Annabel the courage to push for change. She creatively rebrands the dance as a “Family Fall Fest,” hanging a handwritten banner over the school’s dance signage. But her pedantic principal speaks of tradition, and informs her that the school has already printed all dance-related materials. Encouraged by her mother to try again, Annabel pens a thoughtful letter advocating for inclusivity and familial diversity: “Families come in all forms and I think we should celebrate that!” Though Edwards’s colorful renderings lack outlines and dimension, the textured digital artwork captures a variety of skin tones and family compositions. Goodman’s narrative offers a worthwhile, if didactic, lesson about accessibility and inclusion. Ages 5–8. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/24/2020

Release date 04/01/2019

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