Love to share: ‘Family, All That You Dream it To Be’ by Byll & Beth Stephen
May 25, 2022
Serendipity. That magical process by which a seeming coincidence brings a gift and places it in your lap.
My recent serendipitous moment was having this lovely picture book sent to me for review. It’s the new ABC Kids’ book by the musical duo (and published authors) known as the ‘Teeny Tiny Stevies’.
Why is this serendipitous? Because just a month ago, I was sitting in a concert at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, listening to the music of the ‘Little Stevies’ – Byll & Beth Stephen. They were describing their entry into childrens’ music and even treated the audience to a gorgeous song for kids written during Covid lockdowns – all about the Covid lockdowns! Lovely stuff.
Family: All that you dream it to be is (as you might guess) all about family – all types of families. We follow a little girl and her mum as they enjoy a bike ride together around their neighbourhood, stopping to chat with people they know.
The families they talk to are all different: a family with single mum, one with two mums, one where their mum had died, one where dad stays home to look after the baby while mum goes out to work, among others.
The thing that all the families have in common is that there is love, and lots of it.
The warm and colourful illustrations by Simon Howe add much to the depictions of the children and their homes.
It’s a tender story, beautifully told, celebrating families everywhere.
The girl and her mum finish their ride, the sun sets as they arrive home and they go inside. Her dad sets the table, her brother feeds the dog, and she looks around at the people she most loves. She thinks of all the families who live nearby, how they’re all a bit different but also really alike. Because they love each other as much as she loves her people, that’s obvious to her, in fact it’s quite simple. You just love who you love, and you build a great team, because family’s all that you dream it to be.
Family: All that you dream it to be
Family: All you dream it to be is published by ABC Kids’ Books and Harper Collins Children’s Books in June 2022. My thanks to the publishers for a review copy.