This post is not about an activity that Theo and I have done, but about a particular book that has caught our attention this summer in an extraordinary way. A good friend of mine happened to pick it up at the library and once she started reading it, immediately took photos of the pages in the book to share with me. The book was just published in June 2015 and is called “My Family Tree and Me” by Dusan Petricic. One side of the book depicts the paternal family tree line of the main character, a young boy, and when you flip over the book, the other side depicts his maternal family tree line. Here’s one of the reasons why my friend started sending me pics:
I love books that depict multi-racial families and this in itself would have been great: a mixed-race little boy with a Caucasian (redhead even!) father and an Asian (Chinese even!) mother. What a great book for Theo! Then we started reading more of the book and the similarities became even more shocking:
Dear Mr. Petricic,I recently became aware of your latest book MY FAMILY TREE AND ME from a dear friend who borrowed it from the library for her young daughters. As she was reading it, she became amazed at the similarities between the people in the book and my own family and notified me. I bought my own copy of the book and was stunned. I have attached an annotated version of the beautiful book which includes photos of actual members of my family. The perspective of the main character (the little boy) is that of my son, Theo, who is nearly 7 years old.[Here I went into the details of all the similarities throughout the book…]All this to say, we are extremely fond of this book for obvious reasons, and feel as if it is a treasure for Theo to have. Not only for his personal family, but for others to see the depiction of a multi-racial family with couples of all kinds. I wanted to get in touch with you to share our delight and also to ask the question: Where did you get the inspiration for your characters and do you also find it interesting that it so closely matches our own family?Thank you for your wonderful book and I would love to hear from you.Warmest regards,Christina Lau Billings
Dear Mrs. Billings,Can you imagine how surprised I was to see so many coincidences between my story and your family.Unbelievable!Or, maybe, it is not so unrealistic. Both Canada and US are multiethnic societies, with so many ethnic and racial mixed families.I have been living in Canada for the last 22 years. My origin is from Serbia, Europe.And this book is exactly how I see Canada as the society. It was extremely provocative and interesting for me to build up the story, literary, and visually, mixing different cultures, ethnicities and races in one family.Only details which are not mine are expressions for grandfather and grandmother in Chinese. The editor of the book Debbie Rogosin suggested them to me.I, even, included some of my personal family facts. I grew up in a socialistic country – Yugoslavia, so I used some communist symbols, and, my father was a military pilot.Anyway, I am so happy that you might consider the book as the story about your own family.My sincere regards to Theo, you and your whole family.Best,Dušan Petričić
This whole situation has been such a fun part of our summer and I am so charmed and delighted by it all. So many stunning details that show how wonderful diversity can be in one family and in one little boy. Theo is so lucky.