All Join In!: An Exhibit About Families at the Osborne Collection

August 23, 2019 | Isabel

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We invite you to the exhibit All Join In!: Children's Books and Art about Families, located at the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books on the fourth floor of Lillian H. Smith Branch. This exhibit celebrates the family in children’s literature, from the families we are born into to the families we choose for ourselves. Liz Derbecker curated the exhibit and the following descriptions are taken from her case notes.

The Magic Fishbone
Illustration by F.D. Bedford for The Magic Fishbone by Charles Dickens (London: Frederick Warne, 1921).

All Join In! also features the work of Canadian author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay. 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Stella, Star of the Sea, featuring her beloved brother and sister characters, Stella and Sam. This exhibit runs from Saturday September 21, 2019 through Saturday December 7, 2019 and is open during the Osborne Collection's regular opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 10 am - 6 pm.
  • Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm.

It's free! All are welcome!

Sneak Peek of the Exhibit

What makes a family? There are many different answers to that question, and children’s books are excellent places to explore what family means to us.

Take a look at some of the items that will be featured in the exhibit.

Many Different Kinds

A Family is a Family is a Family

A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary, 2016
A classroom of children describes their families. All of them are very different from each other, but each one is very much a family. The illustrations are by Qin Leng.

The Animal Family

The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell, 1965
A hunter, a mermaid, a bear, a lynx and a boy form their own family unit in this book illustrated by Maurice Sendak.


The Moffats

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes, 1941
This is the first in a series of books about the Moffat family: a single-mother with four children living in Connecticut during World War 1. The illustrations are by Louis Slobodkin.

Grace & Family

Grace & Family by Mary Hoffman, 1995
In this sequel to Mary Hoffman’s Amazing Grace (1991), Grace visits her father and his new family in Africa. There she discovers that families, like stories, are what you make them. The illustrations are by Caroline Binch.

Jennifer Has Two Daddies

Jennifer Has Two Daddies by Priscilla Galloway, 1985
Priscilla Galloway tells the story of Jennifer, who has both a father and a stepfather. The illustrations are by Ana Auml.  


My Sister Is Different

My Sister Is Different by Betty Ren Wright, 1992
Carlo talks about life with his sister who has a developmental delay in this picture book. The illustrations are by Helen Cogancherry.

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney, 1880
The widow Pepper and her five children have many trials, but fortune and family come to the rescue in the end. This book was so popular that several sequels were published, among them Five Little Peppers Midway (1890), Five Little Peppers Grown Up (1892) and Five Little Peppers in the Little Brown House (1907).


Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
By mistake a little girl is sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. This girl became Canada’s heroine, Anne of Green Gables. First published in 1908, the exhibit displays the nineteenth printing, published in Toronto in 1969 by the Ryerson Press.

Nala’s Magical Mitsiaq

Nala’s Magical Mitsiaq by Jennifer Noah, 2013
Nala and Qiatsuk learn about Inuit custom adoption and how they became sisters. Illustrations are by Qin Leng.

Aunts and Uncles

Oy  Feh  So

Oy, Feh, So by Cary Fagan, 2013
Nephews and nieces tease their aunts and uncles in this picture book illustrated by Gary Clement. 


Love As Strong as Ginger

Love As Strong as Ginger by Lenore Look, 1999
Katie learns about the sacrifices her grandmother has made for her “with love as strong as ginger and dreams as thick as black-bean paste.” The illustrations are by Stephen T. Johnston.

Our Corner Grocery Store

Our Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwarz, 2009
Anna Maria is happy to help her grandparents at their corner grocery store every Saturday. The illustrations are by Laura Beingessner.  

Mary-Louise Gay

Stella  Star of the Sea

Stella, Star of the Sea by Marie-Louise Gay, 1999
This is the first book to feature Stella and Sam. Many of Marie-Louise Gay’s titles featuring the siblings are on display, as well as some of her original watercolour illustrations for the books. 

If you love Marie-Louise Gay, drop by the Osborne Collection on October 3, 2019, when she will deliver the 13th annual Sybille Pantazzi Memorial Lecture.

Griffin - Stubbs