Just the way we are by Jessica Shirvington and Claire Robertson

We might not look like your family, but we’re my family – small and perfect….JUST THE WAY WE ARE.

Just the way we are by Jessica Shirvington and Claire Robertson is an uplifting story about all of the different types of homes and families that we all come from.


Reading this story with your child will help them to know that families come in all different shapes and sizes and because of that we are all shaped in different ways in how we look, feel and act.

Happiness abounds throughout the text as we explore the different ways families can exist and how each child can be happy no matter who their parent or parents are.

The illustrations represent the different people who make up our community and the importance of all of these differences

Claire Robertson’s illustration are filled with happiness that shows that although we are different, we can all be happy. This book really links in nicely with the current SBS theme of racism and the hidden discriminatory undertones many of us have without knowing.

This story is stirring and vibrant, allowing us to look inside of the homes of the many different families

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What can you do at home?

  • Talk about who is in your family. Ring up an older family member and ask them about their family who may have passed away. From this your can create a family tree.
  • Are any of the families in this story like yours?
  • Compare and contrast the different families using a Venn diagram.
  • Print out some family photos and make an arrangement with them that represents your family and what you love about them. It could be in the shape of a tree, a slide, a rollercoaster, a river…..
  • Why is the sentence “Just the way we are” repeated?.  Play around with the sentence by talking about your family and why you think it is perfect.


Just the Way We are



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