So you want to teach your children about great aunts, first cousins once removed, and great-grandfathers? Here is a list of books that will help you explain the sometimes tricky concept of family trees.
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by Rachel Isadora, 2006
What a Family highlights characteristics and physical traits that people have in common with their family members. It shows a large descendancy family tree chart with cousins names and birth years. The note to the reader at the beginning gives a simple explanation about cousins, second cousins, and the term “removed.”
by Dusan Petricic, 2015
This book is delightful! If you open from the front, you explore the father’s side of the narrator’s family tree. If you start from the back, you learn about his mother’s side. You can spot the family resemblance between each generation. This book is good for showing how we are made up of generations of parents.
by Joan Sweeney, 1999
Me and My Family Tree
by Loreen Leedy, 1995
This book has cute animal characters who share their unique family trees with the class. Ms. Fox asks Sandy, a cat, to share her family tree. She tells about her parents, Fluffy Lou and Edward T. Fuzz. She introduces her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts, great uncles, and great grandparents. Next, a raccoon tells about how he was adopted. Frog tells how his parents got divorced and introduces his step-dad. Rabbit tells about his stepbrothers and stepsisters. Squirrel has a half brother and half sister. At the end, the children ask the teacher questions like “what is a second cousin?” A glossary lists all the family terms and what they mean. Each family is unique and this book does a good job of teaching that.
by Nancy White Carlstrom, 2004
Climb the Family Tree, Jesse Bear is a story about a family reunion. The “Bear Family Tree” diagram shows great grandpa and great grandma at the bottom with their children and grandchildren on branches growing upward. At the very top is Jesse. At the reunion, bear cousins hear stories, play dress up in old clothes, and sing family songs played on grandpa’s fiddle. And finally, Jesse Bear is old enough to do something very special this year!
So which ones were our favorites?
My five year old liked Loreen Leedy’s Who’s Who in My Family Tree. He asked a lot of questions about all the unique family trees when he noticed differences from our own. We talked for a long time afterward and the book inspired us to make a family tree chart that includes uncles, aunts, and cousins too.
My two year old liked Rachel Isadora’s What a Family! The large illustrations of babies, kids, grandparents and pets piqued her interest.