Heather Has Two Mommies

Heather Has Two Mommies

3.3 6
by Lesléa Newman, Diana Souza
     
 

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Originally self-published in 1989, Heather Has Two Mommies became the first title in Alyson's newly formed Alyson Wonderland imprint in 1990. The simple and straightforward story of a little girl named Heather and her two lesbian mothers was created by Newman and illustrator Diana Souza because children's books that reflected a nontraditional family did not…  See more details below

Overview

Originally self-published in 1989, Heather Has Two Mommies became the first title in Alyson's newly formed Alyson Wonderland imprint in 1990. The simple and straightforward story of a little girl named Heather and her two lesbian mothers was created by Newman and illustrator Diana Souza because children's books that reflected a nontraditional family did not exist, but a firestorm of controversy soon ensued. Attacked by the religious right, lambasted by Jesse Helms from the floor of the U.S Senate, and stolen from library shelves, it was an uphill battle for Heather. Thanks to the overwhelming support of booksellers, librarians, parents, and children, however, Heather Has Two Mommies has sold over 35,000 copies, launched a minor industry in providing books for the children of gay and lesbian parents and, as attested to by a recent New Yorker cartoon, become part of the cultural lexicon.

Editorial Reviews

Nell Beram
...a frank, unapologetic, and ultimately cheerful portrait of a high-spirited preschooler who has two gay moms...
Lesbian Review of Books
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
I like the idea of sharing a large range of family books with young children to show life's diversity. Among those books there ought to be some that picture gay and lesbian families. When it comes to gay and lesbian children's books, Alyson Press is far and away the forerunner. They are known as the company that stirred up the original controversy with Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate. Both are good introductions for younger children to the subject of families with gay and lesbian parents.
From the Publisher
"Heather has two mommies—and a new look! Newman's picture book about Heather and her mommies first appeared 25 years ago as the product of desktop publishing and a determination to create a story reflecting family diversity. This updated version includes new illustrations by the commercially successful Cornell, which supply humor and avoid lesbian stereotypes that dogged earlier versions. . . . Welcome back to Heather and her mommies."
—Kirkus Reviews

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.... Readers will be warmed by this glimpse into Heather’s family, whether revisiting the text or experiencing it for the first time.
—School Library Journal

The details are different, but the nontraditional-ness is held in common.
—The Horn Book

Though a quarter of a century has passed, the book holds up well. With new illustrations and a slightly revised text, it remains a charming, sweet-spirited story that still fills a need...Newman and her new illustrator Cornell deserve kudos for bringing fresh life to this standard title.
—Booklist Online

Children's Literature - Amy McLaughlin
Heather’s favorite things come in twos. She plays with her two pets, eats two cookies at a time and spends time with her two mommies. On her first day of school, Heather discovers that not all families have two mommies, and wonders if she is the only one whose family is different! Encouraged by their teacher, Heather and her classmates draw their families and find that it does not matter how many moms or dads you have as long as your family is filled with love. Parents and teachers alike could utilize this book to begin discussions on family dynamics, differing viewpoints, and first day jitters. Newman does a fantastic job keeping the subject matter short and simple, which will help facilitate understanding amongst the target audience. The illustrations by Cornell are vibrant and a great addition to the story. This book would be great in any home or classroom library. This is an updated edition of Newman’s classic Heather Has Two Mommies. Reviewer: Amy McLaughlin; Ages 3 up.
School Library Journal
02/01/2015
PreS-Gr 2—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.—Claire Moore, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
2015-01-10
Heather has two mommies—and a new look!Newman's picture book about Heather and her mommies first appeared 25 years ago as the product of desktop publishing and a determination to create a story reflecting family diversity. This updated version includes new illustrations by the commercially successful Cornell, which supply humor and avoid lesbian stereotypes that dogged earlier versions. In keeping with prior, small-press revisions, the updated text omits reference to alternative insemination, and the story resists focusing on angst Heather feels over having two mommies. No one teases her or otherwise makes a big deal of her particular family's configuration. Instead, validation is the order of the day, and when a circle-time conversation about families arises on the first day of school, Heather's teacher has her pupils draw family pictures. Although Heather is initially worried that she might be the only child without a daddy, the artwork reveals diverse family constellations—one child has two daddies, one has a mom, a dad and a stepfather, some have siblings, one depicts a grandmother and pets. "Each family is special," Ms. Molly affirms. "The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." When Heather's mommies pick her up at school, they delight in seeing her picture. Welcome back to Heather and her mommies. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555835439
Publisher:
Alyson Publications
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Series:
Alyson Wonderland Series
Edition description:
10TH ANNIVERSARY
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.47(w) x 10.93(h) x 0.16(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Lesléa Newman is the author of more than sixty books for children and adults, including October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. A former poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Laura Cornell has illustrated many books for children, including the best-selling picture books by Jamie Lee Curtis. She lives in New York City.

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Heather Has Two Mommies: 20th Anniversary Edition 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
WhiteFlowerLei76 More than 1 year ago
An excellent ground breaking book. A must read for anyone that wants to teach their children the beauty of diversity. 
NORMA112 More than 1 year ago
As a lesbian mother of four this book helped me try to explain to my five year old how come she has two mommies. we need more books like this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This picture-storybook tells a three-part story. First, it tells how Heather's two mommies met, fell in love, and moved in together. Then there is a fairly detailed section about Heather's conception and birth. Finally there is a section that describes different kinds of families. You'll have to supply some anatomical and reproductive information to your child. The book assumes that a child would already be puzzled about how Heather got here without a father's help. Leslea Newman certainly thinks children ought to have much more information much earlier than I did, and I think that's good. The first and last parts are unquestionably good and worthwhile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do think this is a well-written book at all. I have no problem with it adressing the issue of a lesbian relationship- if you want to teach your kids about that, go for it. But keep in mind that it is a children's book, and because of that, it should be a relatively simple book. This book not only addressed and discussed the lesbian relationship, but also artificial insemination, 'tender breasts,' and even went into detail about the lives of Heather's friends. A children's book should focus on one or two topics and stick with them, not jump about and cover everything, and especially not in vitro fertilization. I do not recommend this book for reading to children.