Book Reviews

Book Review: Our Class Is A Family by Shannon Olsen, Illustrated by Sandie Sonke

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Book, Children’s Fiction
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: “Family isn’t always your relatives. It’s the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.” -Unknown

Teachers do so much more than just teach academics. They build a sense of community within their classrooms, creating a home away from home where they make their students feel safe, included, and loved.

With its heartfelt message and colorfully whimsical illustrations, “Our Class is a Family” is a book that will help build and strengthen that class community. Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others. When hearing this story being read aloud by their teacher, students are sure to feel like they are part of a special family.

And currently, during such an unprecedented time when many teachers and students are not physically IN the classroom due to COVID-19 school closures, it’s more important than it’s ever been to give kids the message that their class is a family. Even at a distance, they still stick together.


My Review: Our Class Is A Family is a must-have for a kid’s bookshelf and a classroom library, especially when school is back in session. I loved the parallel drawn between a family and classroom. I like how it points out different groups of people can be a family for different reasons.

Kids do spend a lot of time at school (depending on where you live) with almost the same group of kids for several years. Our families impact us as much as our classroom and classmates impact us.

I also appreciate the emphasis on the critical role teachers play in our lives beyond teaching. It illustrates the impact the classroom has on a child’s development. The classroom is a family that lifts each other up, where it’s okay to make mistakes, where similarities are shared, differences celebrated, and so much more.

Beautifully illustrated, Our Class Is A Family is a fantastic story with a great message. For sure, a must read.

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