Education and literacy have always been important to me. However, I myself have never liked reading. In fact, my mom recently shared with me that as a young child I hated reading. Teachers warned my parents about the repercussions of illiteracy. So in order to get me to read, we had to have family reading time where we all sat down with a book for an hour. It was painful.
As I’ve gotten older, I have always wished I could enjoy reading. The reality is, I have a B.A., M.S., and PhD…and I still dislike reading. But I want a different experience for our daughter.
We’ve been reading to Quinn since she came home from the hospital. Every night after her bath and before bed, we read a book as a family. Everyone gathers in Quinn’s room, even the dog and the cats.
Before she was born, we started gathering books. I’d go to thrift stores and yard sales, hunting for books to build her library. I found board books with catchy phrases and flashy illustrations. But I quickly realized many of the stories in these books would not reflect the reality of our family. We are not a “mommy + daddy + baby” kind of family. We are a “mommy + momma + baby” kind of family.
So I started looking for books that would reflect different kinds of families, including our own two-momma configuration.
Recently, I put together a list of our favorite books that include families like ours. Here are a few of our personal favorites…
The Family Book | Todd Parr
The Family Book highlights families of all shapes and sizes, emphasizing that no matter what your family looks like, you are special in your own way. This board book is about embracing and celebrating differences through Parr’s bold and colorful illustrations.
All Kinds of Families! | Mary Ann Hoberman
Playfully and rhythmically, this book shows readers that different families are all around us. All Kinds of Families! is a celebration of diverse families.
Mommy, Mamma, and Me | Lesléa Newman
This is personal favorite in our home. Mommy, Mamma, and Me follows the adventures of a toddler with two moms from hide-and-seek, to bath time, and a goodnight kiss. Mommy, Mamma, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me are the first board books ever published for children in two-mom and two-dad families.
Daddy, Papa, and Me | Lesléa Newman
Like Mommy, Mamma, and Me, this board book chronicles the adventures of a toddler and his two dads. Through rhythmic text and playful illustrations, this books follows a toddler and his dads as they go through their day.
And Tango Makes Three | Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell
And Tango Makes Three is a heartfelt book based on a true story of two penguins at the Central Park Zoo who make a nontraditional family. With the help of a zookeeper, two male penguins, Roy and Silo, hatch and care for a baby penguin of their own.
A Tale of Two Mommies | Vanita Oelschlager
A Tale of Two Mommies follows a conversation between three children as they ask a friend about having two mommies :: “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?”
Zak’s Safari is a story about a young boy with two moms conceived by a donor. Zak chronicles how his moms met, fell in love, and made him. This book uses accurate biological terms to talk about sperm and egg cells, known-donors, donors from sperm banks, and genetics. Zak’s Safari celebrates the day-to-day adventures of living with two moms :: eating meals together, playing at the beach, going for hikes, and hanging out with friends and family.
Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two? | Crystal Tompkins
With playful rhymes and simple illustrations, Oh The Things Mommies Do, is a celebration of two-mom families. The book ends with “Oh the things mommies do! What could be better than having two?”
Reading has now become something I look forward to every day. It’s an opportunity to build literacy and language development. It’s an opportunity to spend time together. It’s a time for silliness and snuggling. It’s a time to connect.
Photo Credit :: Karen Jacot Photography