I love finding books for my kids that model a kind, loving family life for them. So many children’s books seem to rely on the stereotype of ridiculous parents, fighting siblings, and an “it’s all about me” kind of attitude. When I do find a nicely written story about a family who loves each other and takes care of one another, in spite of their faults, I am eager to share it with my children in the hopes of encouraging right attitudes and expectations for our own little family.
Happy Little Family by Rebecca Caudill is such a book. Here we first meet the Fairchild family, consisting of hard-working, loving Father and Mother and five children: Althy, Chris, Emmy, Debby, and Bonnie. The main character is little Bonnie, just four years old and so hopeful of being included in all that her big brother and sisters do as they enjoy everyday life on their farm in the hills of Kentucky. Together the family experiences the joys and struggles of hill country life, from finding arrowheads in the dirt to searching the woods for lost Bonnie. My daughters were only four years old when I first read this book aloud them, but even at such a young age they were very excited each day to find out what was going to happen next to the little family. I will warn you that the chapters are a bit long for such small listeners, so you might consider reading just half a chapter at each sitting in order to keep little ears more attentive.
Another wonderful aspect of this book is the wealth of eye-catching illustrations frequently found between its pages. Decie Merwin’s simple black and white drawings bring alive the settings and experiences of days gone by.
If you’re ever looking for a good book that focuses on the activities of a sweet, loving family, be sure to check out Happy Little Family! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!