Meet My Family
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Awards & Honors

Meet My Family! Animal Babies and Their Families

Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Publisher: Millbrook, 2018
ISBN: 978-1512425321 32 pages


Do you ever feel like your family is…weird? Different? Embarrassing? So many kids feel that way, and here’s a book to reassure them that all kinds of families can work just fine. Meet animal babies who are only children or one of a ton. Who are raised by one parent, two parents, or a whole herd of women. Who take care of themselves or have grown-ups who take care of them. Charming rhyming text introduces the family lives of 23 species (including humans), and sidebars give more science info.
My parents both take care of me. [tundra swan cygnet]
I've never met my dad. [raccoon kit]
I'm the only kid around. [foal]
That doesn't sound so bad! [piglet]

Journal Reviews

The sheer splendor of life is subtly woven throughout the text and is also strikingly on display in the final illustration—a lineup of different types of human families.
—School Library Journal
Nontraditional families are represented…this is less a scientific glance at the animal kingdom and more a celebration of all kinds of families.
In a tender celebration of family, more than 20 baby animals describe the ways the adults in their lives care for them.
—Publishers Weekly
Supported by helpful backmatter including a simple map, this will interest animal-fact lovers and primary classroom teachers alike.
—Kirkus Reviews

Reader Reactions

...wait a minute, are we talking about animal babies, or about the kids in our classroom?...Salas does an excellent job of making the animal relationships familiar, without over-anthropomorphising them.

—A Mom's Spare Time

It's a big, wide, and wonderful world of parenting out there, and this nonfiction book, with its ample contrasts of care is a fine source for nature study for young naturalists.

—Books for Kids Blog

I think each of us at one time or another believes that our family is strange / weird / different. We believe that somehow we’re the only ones and that no one else can understand. Laura’s book blows that entire hypothesis out of the water.

—Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

In our world, however, lots of different human families exist and it's great to know that "normal" is just a six-letter word that includes a wide array of combinations. It's also terrific to see different make-ups of families presented by Laura in her latest book...

—Teacher Dance



1 Videos

Downloadable Activities

Classroom Guide

Photo Gallery

Laura - 1970
Laura and family 2023
Laura, Randy, Maddie, Annabelle - 2023
my family tree and me
Check out the teaching guide
Laura at the beach - 1971
Laura (5 years old) & family
More from the guide
Randy and Laura with Annabelle - 1992
Annabelle - 1992
Newborn Maddie - 1995
Maddie, Randy, Laura, and Annabelle - 1995
Maddie - 1996
Laura and sisters 2023
Laura, Gail, and Patty - This tastes nasty! - 2023
Sketch © Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Laura and her sisters 2023
Laura and all 3 sisters - 2023
Laura and family in 2015
Laura, Mom, Gail, Patty, and Maddie in front - 2015
Laura and Annabelle 2023
Laura and Annabelle - 2023
Laura and family 2015
Laura, Mom, Maddie, Dad - 2015
Laura and family 2023
Dack (Laura's brother-in-law), Maddie, Laura, Randy, and Dani (Laura's sister-in-law) - 2023
Laura, Annabelle, Randy 2023
Laura, Annabelle, and Randy - 2023
Laura in Florida 2023
Laura, Dad, and Patty - 2023

More for Educators or Writers

How this Book Got Started

As a kid, I always felt embarrassed about my family. I had extremely strict parents with very different rules. I also had a big sister who washed her hands hundreds of times a day—a condition now recognized as OCD, but back then, it was not a diagnosis. You were just “crazy.” So at the heart of this book was my question about how to make kids less embarrassed about their own seemingly weird families. I brainstormed lots of approaches to that question, but once I merged that with my fascination with animals, I realized that using animal family structures could be perfect! Almost every human family structure you can think of has a wild animal counterpart.

Poems I've Written

These poems connect to this book in topic, theme, or form—great for text-to-text connections!

love 15wol
Mom's Nightgown
One Day Too Late
2023_0511_Pick a Pine Tree_Mom's Quilted Tree Skirt_poetryaction
My Mom-in-Law Can Make Anything
Seeing Mom Today
2023_0111_Walking Grandma Home_poetryaction
Waiting for News
basement + keepsake video
Four Forever
Kitchen Canisters
love notes 15wol
Star Stuff
Maddie Can Be...
Rules from Mom and Dad
Digging for Poems – Baby
Meet My Family!
Thanks, Kid!
Long Distance Relationship
My Mom Doesn't Always Embarrass Me
fixing what rips
Equation Poem Valentines
first date haiku
A skinny poem by Laura Purdie Salas
Wolfie the Bunny
Family Recipe

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