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Children’s books show that families come in all shapes and sizes—it’s time adults took notice

Reading to my daughter in the just-the-two-of-us home, I'm beginning to appreciate a different sort of literary canon

Once upon a time, every child was born into a loving home with a mum and a dad. That’s a fairy tale, of course, though you wouldn’t know it to dip into the average 20th-century classic kids’ book. Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, Eric Hill’s Spot series, Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Shirley Hughes’s Dogger, Else Holmelund…

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