Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"My Family: My Two Dads" and "My Family: My Two Moms" - Two great new picture books I wish had been read to me when I was a little kid

I'm very excited about these new picture books, written by my good friend Claudia Harrington. They're very sweet and charmingly illustrated stories about a second grade boy learning that his new friends' families – even though they seem different than his own on the outside – aren't that different after all.

My Family: My Two Dads by Claudia Harrington, illustrated by Zoe Persico

Lenny's new to class, so Miss Fish has come up with a plan to get him to meet some new friends. He's the class reporter, and every week Lenny has an after school playdate with a different new friend, who is then featured (with Lenny's photos!) on the class billboard as "Student of the Week."

In "My Family: My Two Dads," Lenny rides home from school with Jazz in her Dad's truck that's pulling a horse trailer.

Jazz's Dad says to Lenny, "Nice to meet you. I'm Jazz's dad. Well, the short one." He winked at Jazz. 

The tall dad is Jazz's Papi, and he's a sculptor.

an interior spread of "My Family: My Two Dads"

Together, the kids feed the family's horses (Daisy and Doodles), work on their science projects, eat dinner, and do some seriously dusty square dancing! Lenny has lots of questions, like

"Who reads your bedtime story?" asked Lenny.
"Dad and Papi take turns," said Jazz. "And Doddles listens!"

The story's funny and heartwarming, ending with hugs from everyone's parents, the photo spread of Jazz as student of the week, and a final joke.

I'm featuring this book first, because as a child, seeing this possibility – a future of two happy dads with a child – would have melted my heart a little, in the best way. It would have rocked my world. I'm so happy to know it's out there in the world now.

My Family: My Two Moms by Claudia Harrington, illustrated by Zoe Persico

This first student of the week story is about Lenny going with Elsie to her house after school. They ride the bus, and Lenny meets Elsie's Mom and Mommy.

Lenny has lots of questions about how Elsie's family does things, and Elsie has just as many questions, trying to guess what kind of pet Lenny has.

"Who helps with your homework?" asked Lenny.
"I do my homework, silly," said Elsie. "But Mommy checks it. She helps if I get stuck. But I didn't!"
"Do you have a fish?" asked Elsie.

After the kids do their spelling word search homework, they try to get Wiggles, the inside cat, back inside. Mom brings a ladder to help get Wiggles out of the tree, Mommy helps get out a splinter in Elsie's finger from the wooden seesaw, and they all get to eat french fry skyscrapers with dinner!

"Do you have a turtle?" asked Elsie.
"No turtle," said Lenny, smiling. "Who makes you brush your teeth?"
"I do that myself!" said Elsie. "Mom! Mommy! The handle came off again!" Click!
An interior spread of "My Family: My Two Moms"

The broken faucet gets fixed, then a story and then it's time for Lenny's mom to pick him up.

We see the Student of the Week bulletin board with all the photos Lenny took of Elise and her family, and then we (and Elsie) get the final reveal of what kind of pet Lenny really does have.

Another super-charming story, offering young children with two moms a mirror and young children with other kinds of families a window into Elsie's two mom family – unique, quirky, and at heart, full of love... just like theirs.

These are two out of six titles in the "My Family" series, all written by Claudia Harrington and Illustrated by Zoe Persico and published by Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO Publishing.

Add your review of "My Family: My Two Dads" and/or "My Family: My Two Moms" in comments!

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