Across the Page: Children’s Books


 In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco (Philomel Books)

Written by celebrated author and illustrator Patricia Polacco, In Our Mothers’ House is the story of a two-mom family with three adopted children of different races and ethnicities. The story is told from the perspective of the oldest daughter and reflects back on the life and times she and her siblings shared at their moms’ house.

Though most of the memories are positive, including an accepting and loving extended family, the story also tells the story of one particular neighbor who doesn’t accept Marmee and Meema (“I don’t appreciate what you two are!”) The book covers many years and focuses on both the challenges and joys that the family encounters — and how they grow from both — in and around the house.

I thought In Our Mothers’ House would be too long for my three-year-old son and that, because he’s growing up in a neighborhood with plenty of other gay families, he wouldn’t necessarily understand the neighbor’s rejection of Marmee and Meema. But the book is actually one of his favorites, so what do I know?

Flying Free written by Jennifer C. Gregg and illustrated by Janna Richards (Community Kids)

Flying Free is the first book of a series narrated by a firefly that is captured by Violet, a five-year-old girl with two moms (Mommy Blue and Mama Red).

The reader learns that Violet has two moms incidentally: “’I’ve got you!’ said a little girl. ‘I can’t wait to show you to my mommies!’” Even the firefly doesn’t think that there’s anything particularly interesting or unusual about Violet’s two-mom family: “Her mommies looked concerned.”

When Violet says that she would like to use the firefly as a nightlight, her moms help her to make the jar more comfortable by adding grass and poking holes in the top. However, the firefly has different ideas and when his plan to physically escape the jar fails he has to outsmart Violet so that she will let him out on her own.

Flying Free is fun story and beautifully illustrated.

I’m always looking for more books to add to my son’s bookcase so let me know if you have any more suggestions!

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