Books for Queer Families: Mom and Mum are Getting Married!

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I bet you can guess the plot of Mom and Mum are Getting Married! Published in 2004 (in Canada, not the UK as I assumed from the Mum), the book tells of Rosie and Jack’s moms’ wedding – and Rosie’s desire to be a flower girl. The books does seem a little dated now – both because of the clothes in the illustrations and because Moms getting married in the middle of their kids childhood (and not because they are creating a blended family) is from a particular two decade-ish moment in time. This is certainly still happening, but now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. (and Canada and a dozen other countries), I think there will be less and less of two moms or two dads getting married after years and years together with several kids in tow.

Pros: Moms getting married is NEVER an issue. Yay! The only issue is Will Rosie Get to Be a Flower Girl/Ring Bearer, an issue that any kid who has been involved in a wedding will relate to.

Cons: I don’t love the illustrations. Not my favorite style (although I do really love Rosie at the wedding with a bandaid on her knee), and as mentioned, they look pretty dated now.

The Bottom Line: Worth reading, but you can totally just get it from the library.

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

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Books for Queer Families: Mom and Mum are Getting Married!

Books For Queer Families: Real Sisters Pretend

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Real Sisters Pretend is a sweet and simple tale about two sisters pretending to be mountain-hiking princesses. In the context of pretend play, big sister Tayja tells little sister Mia that they don’t have be pretend to be sisters, they are real sisters “because of adoption”. Published in 2016, I discovered this on my public library’s “New Books” display. Yay, libraries!

Pros: I love that this is a book about adoption – and especially about transracial adoption. The author Megan Dowd Lambert is by her description: “a white, bi parent of six children in a multiracial, adoptive, blended family that includes two moms and two stepdads.” Yay for queer folks writing our OWN stories!

Nicole Tadgell’s illustrations are lovely. I especially love the illustration of the two sisters looking at the picture of their family on Mia’s “adoption day”, the first time we realize Tayja and Mia have two moms. I’ve probably made clear, that books with two moms that aren’t ABOUT having two moms are my favorite, so this is right up my alley.

Cons: I don’t really have any. It’s light on plot, but it’s just the sort of basic story, with a family that happens to have two moms that I am always hoping to stumble across. I would be interested in hearing what adoptive families think of this book – does the adoption discussion seem heavy handed? I thought it was great, because adoption is not something we had specifically discussed with our four year old, even though her aunt is adopted and she has a several friends with families created through adoption. I found it helpful to have it be so explicit. But I know that I often wish the Two Mom thing was less explicit, so I wonder if adoptive families sometimes feel the same.

The Bottom Line: Love this book! Definitely pick it up from the library or buy yourself a copy. So happy to have stumbled across it!

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books For Queer Families: Real Sisters Pretend

Books for Queer Families: And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three is a picture book account of the true tale of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who formed a bonded pair and raised an egg another couple had abandoned. It is one of the most frequently challenged books in school and public libraries because of its “promotion of the homosexual agenda.” (If only my agenda involved more adorable baby penguins!)

Pros: Such a cute sweet tale, with great illustrations. The book does a great job of describing how Tango’s family is different without making them seem odd or abnormal. Difference as a fact of life, rather than a problem to be overcome.

Cons: It’s a little sad that my favorite book about two dad families is about penguins, but hey, that’s not this book’s fault!

The Bottom Line: Definitely read it! Such a lovely story. Super accessible to every one.

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books for Queer Families: And Tango Makes Three

Books for Queer Families: What Makes a Baby

What Makes a Baby is a birds and the bees book for all kinds of families – queer, straight, adoptive, birth, folks who conceived “naturally” and folks who needed medical assistance, folks who had a vaginal birth and folks who had a c-section. Totally appropriate for little kids.

Pros: Age-appropriate and medically accurate without being clinical or saying anything about “when a mommy and daddy love each other”. Bright, colorful, fun illustrations. Has one of the best descriptions of childbirth I’ve ever read: “sometimes it hurts a little, and sometimes it hurts a lot.”

Cons: I can’t think of one.

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a basic “how babies are made” book, buy this one. It’s great for queer families, but also for folks who used IVF or adopted or just didn’t have the standard conception.

Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books for Queer Families: What Makes a Baby

Books for Queer Families: The Purim Superhero

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It’s Purim and Nate is trying to figure out what costume he wants to wear. He loves aliens, but all the other boys at his Hebrew school are dressing up as superheroes and he wants to fit in! With the help of his Daddy and his Abba, Nate finds a creative solution to his costume dilemma.

Pros: Loved the totally normalized presence about two dads. This is very much a book about a kid trying to figure out how to be true to himself and not in any way about the “problem” of having two dads. Totally fits my goal of finding books where kids happen to have two dads or two moms, but the books isn’t ABOUT that. And the illustrations are cute.

Cons: If you are hoping to learn more about Purim, this isn’t the book for you. Judging by reviews on Amazon, lots of folks bought this book hoping to get a Purim story, and here Purim is really more a plot device than the point.

This isn’t really a con, but I do find it interesting that this book (and the other two dads book I’ve reviewed) is written by a woman. I would love to see more #ownvoices in books about two mom and two dad families.

The Bottom Line: Cute! Normalizing! Nice to have a picture book about a Jewish family with same-sex parents. Would recommend for purchase or library check out.

Books for Queer Families: The Purim Superhero

Books for Queer Families: Everywhere Babies

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This is my absolute favorite book for new babies and I recommend it to everyone. It’s not a book specifically for queer families, so much as it is a book that is super inclusive of all kinds of babies and families. A rhyming tale of what babies do.

Pros: Inclusive – there are two moms zonked out with a newborn, there are white grandparents holding a brown-skinned baby, there are dads being dads (i.e., involved and awesome) just as muchas there a moms being moms. Marla Frazee is one of my absolute favorite illustrators and the pictures here are just a delight. Love it.

Cons: There are no cons. Okay, that’s not totally true – for a super inclusive book, it’s surprising to me that there are no illustrations with a kid or parent with a visible disability.

The Bottom Line: So lovely. Buy it, read it, love it, give it away.

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Looking for more books about queer families? You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Books for Queer Families: Everywhere Babies

Books for Queer Families: Heather Has Two Mommies

Heather Has Two Mommies (written by Leslea Newman) was first published in 1989, making it a CLASSIC of lesbian children’s literature. It was reissued with new illustrations last year. Reviews of the reissue (illustrated by Laura Cornell) focused heavily on the fact that Heather’s mommies were now married (this portrayed through weddings band in the pictures, not mentioned outright), but as someone who actually read the first edition, I’m here to tell you that the big news is that the awkward pages on Mama Jane’s artificial insemination are now gone! Plot-wise, this is your basic, kid with two moms goes to school, discussion of family structures ensues story.

Pros: First of its kind! Plot is pretty basic and boring, but since it was first children’s book about two moms EVER that was in fact a novel concept at the time, so I will forgive it. It’s very respectful and having two moms is never presented as weird or a problem, just a thing to talk about, which is how you can tell the book was written by lesbian and not a straight lady.

Cons: I’m not that crazy about the new illustrations. The old ones were like some sort of tribute to 1970s lesbian feminism, so I can get that they needed an update, but the new ones are just kind of… messy. Not my favorite illustration style.

Bottom Line: If your kid has two moms, you should probably read this to them at some point (otherwise someone may reclaim your toaster), but you can totally get it from the library. Public/school libraries and non-two mom families could do way worse than the reissued version of this book if they are looking for a book about two mom families to share. Basically, go for it!

Books for Queer Families: Heather Has Two Mommies