The star's first picture book, Built Together, will be published by Zonderkidz on Feb. 2

By Sam Gillette
January 27, 2021 02:02 PM
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Mina Starsiak Hawk knows how to build a strong foundation — for her family and for the homes she rehabilitates on her hit HGTV show, Good Bones.

Now, the mom of two is showing kids how to do the same with her first picture book, Built Together, which will be published by Zonderkidz on Feb. 2.

In a candid interview featured in this week's issue of PEOPLE, the 36-year-old star opens up about being a mom to son Jack, 2, and daughter Charlie, 4 months, her decision to get plastic surgery and her upcoming children's book, which celebrates "non-traditional families," including her own.

"My family is very non-traditional, with this whole idea of whatever works for you is what's right for you," Starsiak Hawk says about the inspiration behind Built Together, which celebrates the uniqueness of families. The book, which is illustrated by Barbara Bongini, draws on Starsiak Hawk's own story of creating Two Chicks and a Hammer with her mom, Karen E. Laine, working with her stepfamily and adopting her rescue dogs, according to the book's description.

Credit: Zonderkidz

"That's what the kids' book is about, but in a fun play on construction," Starsiak Hawk continues. "So, how did we build our family? Because it's not mom, dad, two-and-a-half kids anymore. There's divorces, there's same-sex couples, there's binary couples, there's adoption. And then there's friends and there's pets."

Built Together teaches young readers about diversity and acceptance, by encouraging them to embrace their own family and families that look different than theirs.

The project has been two years in the making. Starsiak Hawk started creating Built Together soon after Jack was born and wishes Charlie appeared in the story. "I feel terrible because Charlie's not in it," she says, "I'll have to do another one."

But Starsiak Hawk is thrilled about the book's main message: love.

"We love one another and we care for each other, and we take care of the people that need help," Starsiak Hawk says. "It's like the old lady next door that has no one that visits her, [so you] bring her cookies. It's just a feel good message."

The HGTV star gets a kick out of the fact that her husband, Steve Hawk, her son and her dogs are all characters in the book.

The star with her family
| Credit: Bri Valiente

"My husband is a character, it's hilarious," Starsiak Hawk jokes. "I went back and forth more on the look of his character than anything else in the book because he was like, 'This doesn't look like me. I need a beard, I look kind of dorky.' "

Built Together will hit bookshelves on Feb. 2.