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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Heather Has Two Mommies Book Review: What Makes a Family?


Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Lately there is so much talk about families. There are the debates over same sex marriage and almost everyone at some point will meet a child with two same sex parents. As an avid supporter of equal rights for all, I believe it is important to help children see that this is all right. We do not want to ostracize a child because of the make up of his or her family. I know we have all heard those embarrassing stories about when a child first noticed someone who is different from them. How they are prepared to deal with differences will help make these stories non-embarrassing.  Today I get to share the perfect book to help prepare children. The book is Heather Has Two Mommies by LeslĂ©a Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell. This is a new edition of the book.

http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763666319&pix=n


Heather Has Two Mommies was first published in the 1980s. It was banned, burned, parodied among many other things. However the message of the book is very important. Hopefully in today's society it will be come a classic to help deal with the various families there are in the world. 

The story is about a young girl, Heather. She has two lesbian mothers. She loves her two mommies. On her first day of school she shares that one of her mommies is a doctor and is asked about her father. For the first time she wonders if she is the only child there without a father. The teacher knows what to do thought and has all the kids draw pictures of their families. The pictures vary from numbers of people, ages, etc. There is a child who lives with her grandmother; another draws his mother and stepfather dropping him off at his father's, etc. The overall lesson is that what matters about families is that the people love one another.


After reading this book, I had the idea of making some people and arranging them in different families. Hazel loved this activity. She loved dressing the people and she loved arranging them!!


 We even made a grandmother for one family. We mixed races as well as gender norms. We discussed how the most important part is for there to be love. She also loved acting the story out with her figures while I read it another time. We were short children so we didn't seem to make any families with more than one child.  



If you would like to do your own people you can download adults and children. We had to color the children ourselves since we only had white ones.  We used scrapbook paper to dress them (tracing them on the back sides) and drew on faces and glued on yarn or pipe cleaners for hair. 


What does your family look like? How do you want your child to see other families? I have to highly recommend this book to teach the lesson that each family is important and what matters is the love.