Living with Mom and Living with Dad

Overview

For young children who live in two homes, this bright, simple story with oversized flaps reassures young readers that there is love in each one.

Her parents don't live together anymore, so sometimes the child in this book lives with her mom and cat, and sometimes with Dad. Her bedroom looks a little different in each house, and she keeps some toys in one place and some in another. But her favorite toys she takes with her wherever she goes. In an inviting lift-the-flap format ...

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Overview

For young children who live in two homes, this bright, simple story with oversized flaps reassures young readers that there is love in each one.

Her parents don't live together anymore, so sometimes the child in this book lives with her mom and cat, and sometimes with Dad. Her bedroom looks a little different in each house, and she keeps some toys in one place and some in another. But her favorite toys she takes with her wherever she goes. In an inviting lift-the-flap format saturated with colorful illustrations, Melanie Walsh visits the changes in routine that are familiar to many children whose parents live apart, but whose love and involvement remain as constant as ever.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Walsh addresses divorce from a playful angle in this interactive story with smudgy, inviting pictures that resemble finger-painting. Large flaps compare and contrast the time a sandy-haired girl spends with each of her parents. A turn of a flap turns her yellow-walled bedroom at her mother’s house into her florally decorated bedroom at her father’s apartment. Her father takes her camping, her mom takes her to a farm, and when she is in a school play, both are sitting in the audience. The bright acrylics underscore the love in the girl’s life, as does an extended family photo album in the final pages. Ages 3–up. (June)
From the Publisher
Walsh addresses divorce from a playful angle in this interactive story with smudgy, inviting pictures that resemble finger-painting.
—Publishers Weekly

Children with divorced parents often lead bifurcated lives, and Walsh’s ingenious lift-the-flap book acknowledges this common situation in a welcoming, straightforward manner. On each spread, Walsh’s cheery, childlike paintings morph, via flaps, from yellow bedroom walls to flowered ones, from a panda nightlight to a string of glowing plastic butterflies. She also gracefully addresses post-divorce changes in birthday celebrations and afterschool routines... Of course no arrangement is perfect, and sometimes the girl misses the absent parent, but luckily the remedy is only a reassuring phone conversation—and a flap lift—away.
—The Horn Book

A little girl’s parents have separated, so she lives with her mom at her house and also stays with her dad at his apartment. As she describes her life in both homes, oversize lift-the-flaps show the differences... Bold, clear acrylic art mixed with collage is simple and childlike, while the flap on each spread lovingly supports differences and provides enjoyment. Children who live in two separate homes can gain a sense of security from this attractive, reassuring book.
—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Melissa Rife
After her parents' divorce, the main character in this story has to learn the details of living with each of them separately. Starting with where each of her parents lives, she tells the reader about all the parts of living with both. She tells where she keeps all her toys, what her two bedrooms look like, what she does with each of them during the weekends, and even what she does with each of them for her birthday. Walsh does an excellent job of including all the sensitive issues that a child of divorce would encounter, such as how to handle missing Mom or Dad, who picks her up from school, and who comes to see her when she is in a school play. Making the book even more fun is the fact that Walsh used flaps on each page to illustrate the separation of the two homes. For example, on the first page, the reader sees an illustration of the house where the little girl lives with her Mom. If the reader lifts the flap that is the size of the house, the illustration transforms into the apartment building where she lives when with her Dad. It easily shows the two different lifestyles on one page. This picture book does a good job of comforting any children going through this rough situation and showing them that in spite of the parents being apart, life will still work out. Reviewer: Melissa Rife
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A little girl's parents have separated, so she lives with her mom at her house and also stays with her dad at his apartment. As she describes her life in both homes, oversize lift-the-flaps show the differences. She has a bedroom in each household, but they are decorated differently, with a panda night-light in one and butterfly lights in the other. She has toys in both places, but it's okay to take her favorites wherever she goes. Her parents take turns picking her up from school and they provide different activities on the weekends and for special occasions. And if she's at one parent's house and misses the other, it's okay to talk on the phone. At the conclusion of the similarities in routine, the youngster knows that her parents love her, and there are pictures of her extended family members, who love her, too. Bold, clear acrylic art mixed with collage is simple and childlike, while the flap on each spread lovingly supports differences and provides enjoyment. Children who live in two separate homes can gain a sense of security from this attractive, reassuring book.—Janet Weber, Tigard Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Her parents may be divorced, but this little girl's family is anything but broken. Sometimes she lives with her mom, and sometimes with her dad, and clever lift-the-flap design juxtaposes how things are in one home versus the other. On her birthday, the girl's mother makes a cake, and the flap lifts to show her dad taking her bowling. Another spread reads, "Sometimes my dad takes me camping on the weekend…" and the flap lifts to reveal that sometimes her mom takes her "to see the animals at the farm." Other pages show joint activities--both parents attend a school play, and both are included in a photo album that the girl can look at if she misses one of them. This last point firmly situates the family's co-parenting arrangement on the side of the child, as does the fact that she freely brings favorite toys between homes. Despite this laudable content and its charming, simple, acrylic illustrations, the book lacks careful pacing. It begins and ends on the endpapers, resulting in a cramped feeling, and culminates in a rushed ending with pictures of friends and family who also love the little girl. Even with this misgiving, this is a necessary and accessible treatment of a common family constellation. Recommended for children of divorce and for others seeking to understand diverse family structures. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763658694
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 674,273
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Melanie Walsh is the author-illustrator of Trick or Treat?, Ten Things I Can Do to Help My World, and many other books for children. She lives in England.
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