Divorce may have become commonplace but its effect on children can be as unsettling as an earthquake. This is especially true for the very young, who require security to develop a good sense of self-confidence and trust. This picture book focuses on the positive aspects of having parents living apart from each other. The story's protagonist, Alex, lives part-time with each parent. Both houses are complete with the things important to a young childhis own bedroom, a place to hang his coat, his toothbrush, and special friends. Each environment is different but designed to make Alex feel at home. The illustrator's watercolors, with their homey details, contribute to an overall sense of comfort. There's a sailboat in the tub at Daddy's house, a rubber ducky at Mommy's. Alex bakes cookies with Mommy, shells peas with Daddy. By focusing on a single issue the author provides a reassurance that is understandable to the young reader. The most comforting words of the book lie in the last two lines in which the parents say, "We love you wherever we are. And we love you wherever you are." 2001, Candlewick Press, $14.99. Ages 2 to 5. Reviewer: Stephanie Farrow
PreS-Gr 1-Young Alex's parents are divorced, and he spends time with each of them. He has two rooms, two favorite chairs, two sets of friends, two of everything. He loves both of them no matter where he is, and they love him, no matter where they are. The ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are comforting and warm. There is no sign of the child missing one parent when he is with the other or questioning his situation, and he seems quite well adjusted. This book is clearly intended to help parents tell their children that they are still loved despite their living arrangements. For a different view of how children may feel about sharing two homes, look to Judith Caseley's Priscilla Twice (Greenwillow, 1995).-Holly Belli, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, West Caldwell, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Rising above the standard fare in this genre, with their deadly prose and workaday illustrations, this offering is not afraid to state the obvious: Alex's mommy and daddy don't live together. Alex matter-of-factly explains it: "Daddy lives here. Sometimes I live with Daddy. Mommy lives there. Sometimes I'm with Mommy." Writing about a now-common experience for many young children, Masurel (Good Night!, 1997) has successfully created a reassuring addition to the separated-parents bibliotherapy booklist. Alternating between Dad's and Mom's, Denton's watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations display an intimate knowledge of the complete lives of the city-dwelling Mom and the country-living Dad. At Mommy's there's a big, comfy chair to cuddle up in and read; at Daddy's a child-sized rocking chair. There are separate but equal accommodations, too, including a dog at Dad's and an aquarium full of fish at Mom's. Alex is nearly gender-neutral, dressed in a kid uniform of cotton pants and shirt (red at Dad's and blue at Mom's) with straight hair bobbed at ear length. This portrayal allows all children the opportunity to identify with the young narrator. On page after page, Alex and his parents engage in the pleasant common activities of early childhood, from playing dress-up with an assortment of friends, taking a bath, and shucking peas at Dad's, to baking gingerbread men at Mom's. An extremely positive take on an often-painful subject. (Picture book. 3-5)
Enhanced by Denton's sensitively drawn portrayals of the characters within well-imagined scenes of domestic life, this picture book will validate the experience of other two-household children, while intriguing those single-home families. Simple, yet profoundly satisfying.
The ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are comforting and warm....This book is clearly intended to help parents tell their children that they are still loved despite their living arrangements.
—School Library Journal
On page after page, Alex and his parents engage in the pleasant common activities of early childhood, from playing dress-up with an assortment of friends, taking a bath, and shucking peas at Dad's, to baking gingerbread men at Mom's. An extremely positive take on an often painful subject.
In this sweet, simple tale, Alex discovers all the positive things that come from living in different places with his mom and dad.