My Family Tree and Me is a simple picture book that introduces children to genealogy and ancestry. The layout is clever. The first half of the book traces the boy’s paternal family and the second half of the book follows the boy’s maternal family. The centre spread brings both sides of the family together in a beautiful portrait.
This family portrait is where the book comes to life. In one image, Petričić depicts a large, happy and multiracial family. The boy has white skin and red hair but is biracial; his mother and her family are East Asian. The boy’s younger sibling has dark hair and looks more like the mother. The portrait also shows the boy’s Black uncle and biracial cousins, and the boy’s gay uncle who has a White partner. That’s three interracial couples and one queer couple in a single image!
My Family Tree and Me is a wonderful addition to classroom and home libraries. A teacher or parents can guide children to finding details about the boy’s family and creating a portrait of their own family. The French edition (Ma grande famille published by Éditions Scholastic) is also a great way to teach family-related vocabulary to children learning French.