CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 21 . . . . June 21, 2002
My Family and Me is a scrapbook for children to complete with their parents to discover and preserve family history and trivia. At 30 pages, it is a compact collection, and yet it includes a wide range of topics. Some examples of topic headings are: The Way It Is (daily routines), Family Characters (interesting family members/talents), Family Celebrations, Family Travels, The Olden Days (ancestral information), and Once Upon A Time (family stories). A two-page family tree is also included at the end of the scrapbook.
Authors Jane Drake and Ann Love have organized My Family and Me in a very user-friendly way. Most pages have checklists, fill-in-the-blank statements, places for drawings, and hints in brackets. The scrapbook also includes a keepsake pocket at the back and a list of suggested keepsake items, such as photos, letters, postcards, ticket stubs, and drawings. Drake and Love have used inclusive language mentioning multi-cultural celebrations, step-parents, and family members who may not live with us. The tone is very upbeat, and taking pride in your unique family is stressed at all times. The only wording to question is the authors' choice of "the bossiest family member" and the "weirdest" collections and treasures as there may have been better choices of adjectives.
Illustrator Scot Ritchie has produced animated characters and scenes to complement the page topics. For the most part, these small drawings add colour and humour to the scrapbook, though a few pages are rather busy. As well, some of the fill-in-the-blank lines are short, and children may need more space for their responses.
Overall, My Family and Me would make a great summer project for kids to embark on. The message that every family is special and worth celebrating is an important one, and, at the very reasonable price of $5.95, this scrapbook is an excellent investment for family fun and quality time spent together.
Lisa Sykes has worked as an early years teacher and teacher-librarian. She is currently at home in Winnipeg, MB, enjoying her time with her two young children.
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