Illustrated by Laura Cornell
Candlewick Press 2015
Ages 5 and up
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Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two hands, two feet, two pets, and two mommies! When a child at her new school asks her about her daddy, Heather’s teacher has all the children draw pictures of their families and learns “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” A brand new edition, with updated lively illustrations, carries the same message of celebration of diversity.
Why I wrote this book
Many years ago, a woman stopped me on the street and said, “I don’t have a book to read to my daughter that shows a family like ours. Someone should write one.” So I did! I hope Heather Has Two Mommies shows that there are many types of families in the world, and the most important thing about any family is that it is filled with love.
“Heather lives in a little white house with a big apple tree in the front yard and lots of tall grass in the backyard. Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two eyes, two ears, two hands, and two feet. Heather has two pets: a ginger-colored cat named Gingersnap and a big black dog named Midnight. Heather also has two mommies, Mama Jane and Mama Kate.”
© 2015 Lesléa Newman
“For twenty-five years, Heather Has Two Mommies, a gentle-sweet-natured book that acknowledges the existene of different family structures, has been a resource for libraries and schools, a relief for parents and educators, and a delight to kids from all kinds of families. It has become a national touchstone, and ultimately a historic landmark of American cultural progression and regression. You really should read this book again—it will make your day and it changed the world.”
This is a new edition of the now-classic picture book, first published in 1989. The story opens with descriptions of Heather playing with toys in the tall grass behind her house. The child has two of many things including arms, legs, feet, and elbows. “Heather has two pets: a ginger-colored cat named Gingersnap and a big black dog named Midnight. Heather also has two mommies: Mama Jane and Mama Kate.” As Heather enters school for the first time she observes that many of the students in her classroom have unique families. To illustrate, Ms. Molly asks the children to draw pictures of their families. Each drawing displays the differences found within each household, yet as Heather’s teacher comments, “The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” 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. Verdict: Readers will be warmed by this glimpse into Heather’s family, whether revisiting the text or experiencing it for the first time.