One Family by George Shannon: Embracing Diversity

Diversity within families comes in many forms. For instance, children may be raised by a sibling, a family friend, a foster parent, someone whose race is different from them, or an LGBTQ+ couple or neighbor. Young children may live in diverse family structures and cultures. In contemporary society, the term family signifies much diversity. It may mean different things to different people, depending on their family experience.

The educational environments of children are vital to children’s understanding of diversity and differences. The concept of diversity includes respect and acceptance. It means recognizing that everyone is unique and understanding our differences.

One Family by George Shannon

The book One Family is more than the typical counting book. It teaches that many things can be in one group, and it rejoices in a mix of families, too. One may refer to a single item, or it could mean a collection of things. It shows examples of what makes a pair of shoes, a flock of birds, a bunch of keys, and so on. Moreover, illustrations make these concepts easy to comprehend. One Family shows a multicultural variety of families of different ages, all enjoying one another. This book is an excellent choice for families searching for books with diverse characters.

The Important Lessons About Diversity to Learn with This Book


Our families are the first people ever to step foot in our lives. They teach us how to love without limits. The idea of unconditional love can only be taught through genuine care, example, and acceptance. If children learn how to love the people closest to them without asking anything in return, they will also know how to respect other people with the same limitless love every day. Here are some of the valuable lessons in this book:

Embracing diversity makes a person open-minded.

Diversity is important because the world we live in increasingly consists of various racial, cultural, and ethnic groups. Learning about other cultures, beliefs, or sexual preference helps us understand different perspectives. Knowledge of different perspectives helps children reject negative stereotypes and biases about different groups.

Respecting differences in others opens doors to more opportunities.

Teaching children to respect both similarities and differences leads to many opportunities. They will discover new things and make wise decisions, which will help them grow and improve their self-confidence. Others notice this openness, which can lead to exciting opportunities and new friends. Also, we become more interesting because of our more comprehensive worldview.

Diversity adds color to life.

Embracing diversity means that instead of viewing differences as something negative, they are seen as strengths, adding more color and flavor to life. Young ones learn that differences among groups exist and can be enjoyed and respected, rather than disliked and feared. 

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More About the Author

George Shannon is a teacher, librarian, writer, and storyteller, and he has been sharing stories with children around the world for many years. His numerous books include Lizard’s Song, Climbing Kansas Mountains, Tippy-Toe Chick Go, and The Secret Chicken Club.

He has won awards such as the ALA Booklist Editor’s Choice for Tomorrow’s Alphabet, the Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book for Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!, the Washington State Book Award for outstanding picture book, and he was named Island Treasure for 2012 by the Bainbridge Arts and Humanities Council.

When not busy writing books, Shannon finds himself teaching creative writing to children around the world, or attending workshops that take him to schools from the Arctic Circle to Jakarta.


“The breadth of diversity on display is refreshing: families include multigenerational homes, interracial marriage, neighboring households, children who identically resemble their parents and those who don’t.” ―Booklist

“Round-faced, rosy-cheeked characters representing a broad array of races, cultures, and familial make-up populate this loving concept book about the multitudes contained in the number one: “One is five. One bunch of bananas. One hand of cards. One family. In Shannon’s simple, lyrical text, well-chosen, child-accessible details suggest larger concepts of unity and collectivity, differences and commonalities, while still bolstering the fundamentals of enumeration.” ―Horn Book

“The text is focused and precise, and the examples are often friendly (“One pile of pups”) and sometimes rhyming (“One house of bears. One bowl of pears”), making for a cozy read-aloud that trips agreeably off the tongue. There’s an entertaining seek-and-find element to the cited objects, perfect for sharp young eyes, and a closing spread identifies all the countable objects spread by spread. Complicate your counting curricula in the nicest possible way with this.” ―BCCB

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