One Hundred Is a Family
by Pam Muñoz Ryan,
illustrated by Benrei Huang
How large or small is a family, and who makes up this core community with whom most of us spend the bulk of our lives? One Hundred Is a Family is a rhyming counting book that takes readers from one to ten, then by tens to one hundred. Each number shows a different family doing an activity together, such as “FIVE is a family planting seedlings in the ground,” and “SEVEN is a family keeping traditions of the past.” Especially as numbers increase after 10, we see the make-up of a family changing into a community-family as, for example, “FIFTY is a family mending after an angry wind” and “SIXTY is a family sharing a neighborhood street.” These illustrations show an entire community coming together to help each other or enjoy spending time together.
Cheerful illustrations depict multicultural characters engaging in a variety of activities. There is a myriad of stories shown on each page, especially as the people increase with each number. Readers will enjoy looking at every detail. One Hundred Is a Family ends with its title connection: “ONE HUNDRED is a family caring for the fragile universe…and making life better for every ONE on earth.” This is a great book to share when celebrating family and community!
This book would be excellent to use in Community units, particularly for students in K-1. Some pages show concepts that directly relate to other topics discussed in sustainability, such as bringing in a harvest, beautifying the neighborhood, and helping a neighbor in need. Discuss ways in which every family is different, and ways in which communities are similar to families.
The book would be a great model for students to use to create their own counting book. How do your school community members help each other? Students can practice math skills by placing the correct number of people on each page doing activities that help a community function. Keep the numbers low (drawing 100 people might get challenging) and bind the book to put in your school library for others to enjoy!