Heather Has Two Mommies

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Heather Has Two Mommies Book Poster Image
Lively illustrations add charm to inclusion classic.

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Kids say

age 3+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Besides showing kids with all kinds of families, Heather Has Two Mommies is a fun introduction to preschool and its routine for kids about to start attending themselves.

Positive Messages

"It doesn't matter how many mommies or how many daddies your family has. It doesn't matter if your family has sisters or brothers or cousins or grandmas or grandpas or uncles or aunts. Each family is special. The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heather's two mommies (Mama Kate, a doctor, and Mama Jane, a carpenter) are supportive, loving, and very involved in the little girl's life. The other kids in class have different families, but they all seem affectionate and kind. Ms. Molly, the preschool teacher, says there are all different kinds of families, and the important thing is that the people in them love each other.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Heather Has Two Mommies is an updated, somewhat revised 25th anniversary edition of Lesléa Newman's book, which stirred controversy in 1990 for its matter-of-fact portrayal of a same-sex couple and their 3-year-old. For the most part, this is a book about happy family life and what to expect at preschool, brought to life in Laura Cornell's colorful, appealing illustrations. At Heather's preschool, there are all kinds of different families -- two mommies, two daddies, one of each, step-parents, a grandparent raising a child, siblings and no siblings, and so on. And, as preschool teacher Ms. Molly says, the important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.

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What's the story?

HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES. She lives happily with Mama Kate, a doctor, and Mama Jane, a carpenter, plus dog Midnight and cat Gingersnap, with work, play, and lots of fun. When she goes to her first day of "school" (more like preschool), another kid asks about her dad, which is a first. This leads teacher Ms. Molly to have each kid make a picture of his or her own family, and to say that while all families are different, what matters is that the people in them love each other.

Is it any good?

Many years after its controversial debut, this updated version of a now-classic tale of a little girl with same-sex parents comes across as a sweet, gentle message of inclusion and acceptance. Laura Cornell's bright, lively illustrations add a lot of visual appeal to Lesléa Newman's quiet celebration of loving family life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different people who make up a family in Heather Has Two Mommies. Who's in your family? What are your friends' families like?

  • Have you gone to school or preschool? If you have, what was your first day like? What did you do? How did you like it?

  • Do you like to go to work with your parents? Do you think you'd like to do the same kind of work when you grow up?

Book details

For kids who love books about families and picture books

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