Stella Brings the Family

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Stella Brings the Family Book Poster Image
Girl with two dads appreciates whole family in sweet tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

For some children, an eye-opening example of how seemingly normal events can be worrisome for others.

Positive Messages

Families come in many shapes and sizes, but they all provide love and comfort. Flexible, creative thinking can make potentially exclusionary events enjoyable for all. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stella resolves her problem with help from her friends. Adults are very supportive of her solution, though neither her teacher nor her fathers are shown helping her resolve the issue. Her fathers -- and her wider family circle -- are loving and engaged.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stella Brings the Family is the story of a girl who has two fathers, and she's worried about what to do about her school's Mother's Day celebration. This appealing picture book illustrates how seemingly routine occasions can be upsetting for some people and how broadening your thinking can help ensure everyone feels included.

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What's the story?

Stella is perplexed: She has two fathers. Whom could she possibly bring to her classroom's Mother's Day celebration? While she worries, her friends have a lot of questions about what it's like without a mom. Who packs her lunches, reads her bedtime stories, kisses her when she's hurt? Her fathers do, of course, but so do a lot of people in her family. Her friend suggests she bring them all, but Stella isn't sure that's a good idea.

Is it any good?

Diverse families are celebrated in this appealing story about a girl with two dads who isn't sure what to do about her classroom's Mother's Day party. She's surrounded by loving adults, but Stella works out a solution herself, with help from her friends. STELLA BRINGS THE FAMILY approaches the problem from Stella's perspective, making it very relatable for young children.

It's an excellent starting point for talking about empathy: Even as Stella resolves her problem with wonderful success, a classmate with two moms realizes he'll have a similar problem with the upcoming Father's Day party. Debut author Miriam B. Schiffer's well-paced story pairs wonderfully with Holly Clifton-Brown's warm, celebratory watercolor illustrations. A beautiful story for families of all kinds.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether their kids' schools have activities that might cause some kids to feel excluded. How can you help everyone enjoy these special occasions?

  • Kids: Have you or a friend ever felt left out or excluded from an activity everyone else seemed to enjoy?

  • Stella broadens the idea of Mother's Day to include her family. In your life, who cares for and comforts you like a parent?

Book details

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