If you look at any hotel or beach this summer, you can’t help but notice those matching t-shirts. We love to celebrate families and chosen families so today we want to share Brilliant Books that Celebrate Family Reunions. We hope these books help connect to your own wonderful memories during the summer or any family gathering.
• Brilliant Books that Celebrate Family Reunions •
In this contemporary tale, a boy is reluctant to go to his family reunion, which he’s sure will be boring. Vivid, poetic language and rich illustrations bring readers along for the boy’s emotional journey, as he ultimately finds himself enjoying the large and joyous gathering in spite of himself. This modern kid’s-eye view depiction of a Black American extended family celebrates the importance of kinship and intergenerational ties.
Written by Chad and Dad Richardson and Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin
While at a family reunion, Hattie wants to play horseshoes with Uncle Jake and Aunt Celia, but her boisterous relatives keep hugging her. Hattie’s stomach squirms uncomfortably when she’s hugged, but dodging and hiding from the open arms isn’t working. Great-Grandma is the only relative who understands how Hattie feels. With Great-Grandma’s help, Hattie learns to use simple but clear body language with verbal reinforcement to set boundaries around her personal space and to assert her right to consent to physical touch. And she even wins a game of horseshoes!
This picture book will teach huggers and non-huggers alike the importance of respecting people’s personal boundaries and provides an example of how to advocate for yourself with confidence.
HATTIE HATES HUGS
Written by Sarah Hovorka and Illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee
Published by Beaming Books
Once a year, each of Ruby’s relatives prepares a special dish to share at their family reunion. Daddy calls it their “signature dish”–and Ruby wants one of her own. She wanders through the bustling kitchen looking for inspiration. As she watches Pop-Pop’s chicken sizzling in the skillet, Uncle G slicing onions, and Auntie Billie cooking corn on the hot grill, she wonders if she’s just too young to have a signature dish. That’s when she finds it– the perfect solution!
Angela Dalton’s warm text is perfectly paired with Jestenia Southerland’s beautiful art in this sweet picture book, filled with the tenderness and warmth of this multigenerational extended family and the food they share.
This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away — and shows how a family’s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.
A NEW YEAR’S REUNION Written by Yu Li-Qiong and Illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang
Published by Candlewick Press
Ana & Andrew are always on an adventure! They live in Washington, DC with their parents, but with family in Savannah, Georgia and Trinidad, there’s always something exciting and new to learn about African American history and culture.
Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator as well as a reading and literacy
specialist. On Biracial Bookworms, she focuses on multiracial and multicultural resources for teaching literacy skills using reading, travel, and learning multiple languages. Additionally, she offers online and self-paced courses for parents and caregivers on Biracial Bookworms Academy.
“My Dad’s a King” aims to provide comfort, reassurance, and understanding to children affected by parental incarceration, reminding them that they are not alone in their experiences. It encourages them to cherish the love shared with their parents and find strength in the power of family, ultimately inspiring a sense of hope and optimism for the future.