Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree
Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree

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Annotation: Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree is a celebration of family in all its forms when a family tree assignment gets a bit more complicated with Florence's large blended family.
Catalog Number: #215830
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Familius
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Addari, Laura,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-641-70250-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7999-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-641-70250-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7999-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2020936665
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A child in a large, blended family worries about a family-tree assignment.Florence’s narration clearly conveys her anxiety when her teacher tells the class to “just create a family tree.” Florence’s family once included only her mom, dad, and brother (who, like Florence, appear White in Addari’s muted, low-contrast illustrations), but not anymore. She explains that her parents divorced and remarried, after which new siblings, including an adoptive sibling who appears Asian, enter the fold. Some readers may balk at the frequent, unquestioning use of the term “half-brothers” to refer to Florence’s siblings (who seem to be children of color) born to her father and his wife and “half-sister” to refer to the child her mother and her second husband adopted, since it can be seen as diminishing sibling relationships. Undiminished, however, are stepparent roles. When Florence’s dad divorces his second wife and they both remarry, Florence affirms her connection to her first stepmother by sharing whom she remarries. “If you’re still counting, that’s six parents,” says Florence, still trying to complete her assignment. The solution is just to make an enormous tree that uses up lots of paper and takes up lots of classroom wall space. It’s an anticlimactic, if affirming, conclusion that frustratingly leaves open the question of whether any of Florence’s classmates had similar concerns about the assignment.A needed topic but not a fantastic treatment, title notwithstanding. (Picture book. 5-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 A family tree sounds like a pretty simple school assignment, but nothing could be further from the truth for a little girl named Florence. Unlike the other students, Florence doesn't have just a mother, father, and sibling or two; it is much more complicated than that. She has parents, siblings, stepparents, half-brothers, an adopted half-sister, and more. She is overwhelmed by the homework and how to approach it, and whether her tree will fit on the classroom wall. The more worried Florence gets, the larger the tree in her head becomes, even snaking its way into her bedroom windows. Eventually, she embraces the assignment with multiple sheets of paper and lots of colored pencils. She realizes that her family might not be simple or easy to describe, but she loves being in the middle of her "great, big, loud, colorful, fun, crazy family." The next day, a much jollier Florence presents her tree at school. VERDICT There is no normal when it comes to families, and most collections would benefit from having this on hand. Amy Nolan, St. Joseph P.L., MI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (8/1/20)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: K-3

Everyone has a family tree, no matter how big or small. But what happens when mine has more than just the roots, trunk, and branches? I've got six parents (yes, six--you can count with me and see) and enough siblings to take up almost all of my fingers. Will this piece of paper, with the stems, branches, leaves, trunk, berries, and nuts of the great, big, loud, colorful, fun, crazy family I call mine, even fit on Ms. Collin's wall at school? Florence and Her Fantastic Family Tree explores the idea of what it means to have a big, messy, complicated, and remarkable family as a young girl tries to complete her family tree assignment for school. With adorable drawings and the succinct words of a child, you can't help but love your own family tree, no matter how large or small, simple or chaotic.

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