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Heather Has Two Mommies: 10th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Jun 1 2000

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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books; 10th Anniversary edition edition (June 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555835430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555835439
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 21.5 x 0.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #370,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

This handsome 10-anniversary edition of a minor classic presents the story of Heather, a preschooler with two moms who discovers that some of her friends have very different sorts of families. Juan, for example, has a mommy and a daddy and a big brother named Carlos. Miriam has a mommy and a baby sister. And Joshua has a mommy, a daddy, and a stepdaddy. Their teacher Molly encourages the children to draw pictures of their families, and reassures them that "each family is special" and that "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." In the afterword, the author (whose other children's books include Matzo Ball Moon) explains that although she grew up in a Jewish home, in a Jewish neighborhood, there were no families like hers on the television or in picture books. She came to regard her family as somehow "wrong," since there was no Christmas tree in the living room and no Easter egg hunt. Whatever the religious right may wish to think about nontraditional families, there is no denying that any child enrolled in an American school will encounter friends with single parents, gay parents, stepparents, or adoptive parents. This new, revised version of Heather Has Two Mommies offers an enjoyable, upbeat, age-appropriate introduction to the idea of family diversity. The book is essential for children (ages 2 to 6) with gay parents or family members, and a great addition to a Rainbow Curriculum. --Regina Marler


"Heather has two mommies—and a new look! Newman's picture book about Heather and her mommies first appeared 25 years ago as the product of desktop publishing and a determination to create a story reflecting family diversity. This updated version includes new illustrations by the commercially successful Cornell, which supply humor and avoid lesbian stereotypes that dogged earlier versions. . . . Welcome back to Heather and her mommies."
—Kirkus Reviews

The author’s text is simple yet powerful in its ability to move readers of all ages. Cornell’s fluid watercolor and gouache illustrations breathe life into this delightful story. Each page is artfully and distinctly rendered to be a visual depiction of the beauty and joy of diversity.... Readers will be warmed by this glimpse into Heather’s family, whether revisiting the text or experiencing it for the first time.
—School Library Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on Jan. 11 2004
Format: Paperback
I appreciate the openess (since kids are much smarter than we give them credit for, the insemination would not upset children) of this book, but the lack of color is tricky in a children's book.
I have read some excellent 'current issue' children's fiction books which succeed in telling their story (and inspiring creative thinking) without using color (Days with Daddy) but the lines in those stories were well-defined. The hazy presentation of this book will ironically make it difficult to talk with kids about so-called alternative families. The most open message in the world becomes cold and inviting if it cannot appeal to the eye of the intended reader.
Plus, if colors convey mood, this same decision may inadvertently suggest the women and Heather are engaged in something secretive and not as valid when compared against the activities of status quo idealized heterosexual families. Ms. Newman may have completely different politics, but she seems to echo the far right's endless admonitions about sexuality and youth with the layout.
Future editions need to have clear color graphics throughout the text.Art is not benign, but a political statement as important as carefuly crafted text. It is difficult for children to be excited/proud about their families (or the existence of GLBT families) after reading a book which seems gloomy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 29 2002
Format: Hardcover
Several of the one-star reviews here refer to a different edition of this book. This edition (10) does not have anything about artificial insemination (to appease those who were offended). It is just a simple story showing lots of different families... not very in depth, not much to it, but a nice, "feel good" story line. I did not see ANY overt sexuality or "inappropriate" topics at all, as was mentioned by one or two of the other reviewers. I have not seen other editions so I cannot comment about those.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 4 1998
Format: Paperback
HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES, by Leslea Newman, is a story of a lesbian couple who decides to have a child through alternative insemination. At three years old, Heather joins a play group where it is suggested for the first time that she has no daddy. While the children are drawing pictures and discussing their diverse families (children with two daddies, one mommy and no daddy, a mommy and step-father, adopted family and nuclear family) the teacher acknowledges that "each family is special."
HEATHER HASTWO MOMMIES has been the focus of a great deal of controversy in school districts and with parents and other adults. This is a lengthy story which can be seen as an "explanatory book" because of the focus on spelling out how Heather's family began. Part of the story is dedicated to: how Heather's mommies were friends for a long time, fell in love and decided to live together, how they created a family, visited a fertility doctor and extended their family with a child. There is even a page or two on the types of careers the women have. Mama Jane, the biological mother, is a carpenter and Mama Kate is a doctor.
The discussion of alternative insemination includesvisiting the "special" doctor, putting some sperm in Mama Jane's vagina, and the sperm and egg meeting in the womb. This detail is needed to explain how Heather was created without a father. This section makes for interesting conversation among eight year olds, for example, who are beginning to question and understand the world of sexuality and family configurations, or even six- or seven-year-olds who are wondering how a child cannot have a father because "you need a mother and father to make a baby.
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By A Customer on May 29 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the ground-breaking book about a little girl who has two mommies, a lesbian couple. Ten years ago the authors had a terrible time trying to get their book published and finally put up the money themselves. I suspect perhaps this is why the illustrations are in black and white, because color is more expensive. Although very sweet and adorable, it would be nice if the illustrations were in color. But there are plenty of books that are beloved classics and have one color illustrations such as "Millions of Cats or "Make Way for Ducklings." That is the only "fault" I find with this book. The book gives children of both gay and straight parents the security of knowing that their families are all just fine the way they are. Today only 25 % of families are traditional, with a dad and mom. As more diverse families have come on the scene more books have been written about this issue so that all children can feel they have a place at the table. After all, a family is a group of people who love and support one another--two moms, two dads, a mom and dad, grandparents, an aunt or an uncle, guardians, foster families, single parents, etc. Kids need to know this, so that they can grow up feeling proud of their families and accepted by their friends. This is in no way a "subversive" book, but one that is eminently useful for children of both straight and gay parents. If children know the truth, they have less chance of being bullies toward those children of families that "appear different." Our children live in a diverse world. They need the facts so they have to tools to flourish in it. Knowing that there are such things as gay parents will not make children gay, because sexual orientation is fixed at birth.Read more ›
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