Book Review: My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić

My Family Tree and Me is a two sided picturebook by Dušan Petričić. This book is a beautiful and simple introduction to the concept of family ancestry. It uses two stories in one to explore a small boy's family tree, the family story of one boy's family from his father's side starting from the front of the book, and that of his mother's side starting from the back of the book. Four previous generations are introduced for each, from his great-great-grandparents to his parents. The grand finale in the center of the book reveals the boy's entire extended family, shown in one drawing with all the members from both sides identified by their relationship to him.

My Family Tree and Me is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of a family tree, and the names for the various relatives, to readers of all ages. The artwork does a wonderful job of adding details and humor for each pairing of ancestors and allows children reading to look for clues and make connections. I really liked the fact that the family described is fairly culturally diverse. It includes European and Asian ancestors, and it is fun to see the melding and passing on of physical characteristics from each generation to the next.

My Family Tree and Me is a wonderful book for describing how family trees and generations of family are formed. It could be a great discussion starter for families or classrooms about what we call the members of our family, the cultural make up of our families, and how to build a visual representation of our own family tree. I think this book would be a great addition to classroom libraries and offers a wide range of common core and other activity tie-ins.

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