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Daddy's Roommate (Alyson Wonderland) Paperback – July 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Series: Alyson Wonderland
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555831184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555831189
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This picture book is an auspicious beginning to the Alyson Wonderland imprint, "which focuses on books for and about the children of lesbian and gay parents." That the venture is being undertaken is in itself commendable: consciousness-raising concerning gay issues can handily begin at an early age with the help of books such as Willhoite's. His text is suitably straightforward, and the format--single lines of copy beneath full-page illustrations--easily accessible to the intended audience. The story's narrator begins with his parents' divorce, and continues, "Now there's somebody new at Daddy's house." The new arrival is male; Frank and Daddy are seen pursuing their daily routine (eating, shaving, sleeping--even fighting), and on weekends the three interact easily on their various outings. "Mommy says Frank and Daddy are gay"--this new concept is explained to the child as "just one more kind of love." Willhoite's cartoony pictures work well here; the colorful characters with their contemporary wardrobes and familiar surroundings lend the tale a stabilizing air of warmth and familiarity. Ages 2-5.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- A first title in a new line of books for children with homosexual parents , told in a straightforward manner. A young boy describes his father's relationship with his roommate, Frank (they "live together, work together, eat together, sleep together . . ."), and his own relationship with these men--shopping, gardening, and enjoying the zoo, beach, movies, etc. He believes that "being gay is just one more kind of love. And love is the best kind of happiness." The tone throughout the book is positive, and the boy has healthy, affectionate bonds with the adults in his life. There is no mention of bitterness or possible criticism from others. The message, that alternative lifestyles are as nurturing as mainstream ones, is intentionally obvious. Bright, framed watercolors in an almost comic-book style portray the relationships with a light touch. This is a book to consider for purchase because of the treatment of the subject rather than for the quality of writing or art. It will be useful for children in similar situations or for helping those from heterosexual families understand differences. A similar picture book, Leslie Newman's Heather Has Two Mommies (In Other Words, 1989) presents a lesbian family. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Sebb on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Apparently they (she) didn't manage to ban this book, but it seems that activists are taking out the book on loan and defacing it. Some people don't know what public libraries are for. If you don't want a copy in your god's church, that's your decision. If you don't want a copy in our public libraries.....write a letter. Or just get over it.

This is a book that is meant to help people living in the real world, where people really are born both gay and good.
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68 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on December 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
During my own childhood, my parents tried to instil open values in myself and my younger brother. We were regularly encouraged to read books about groups outside of our own and develop a strong sense of fairness.
While we did not have a chance to read this book during our own childhoods, I can vouch it is an important library addition for any parent wanting their child to grow up secure enough with themselves so they do not pick on others and/or deal with personal problems.
In his age-appropriate text (although the 'roomate' terminology is confusing after the depth of description), Willhoite demonstrates there are all kinds of good families. Both Daddy and Frank are very interested in providing a safe and stable enviroment for the youth---and enjoy an apparently supportive relationship with the mother (finding out you are the spouse of a GLBT person is not an easy position in our society) making his own growth an innately easier journey.
Not fancy by today's computer-pumped standards, the illustrations help reinforce the true meaning of caring. It is ultimately how you treat yourself and others which should determine what happens. Thus, the book purposefully ignores the possibility of daddy and Frank being hate crime and/or discrimination victims, a scenario which may worry older children after a parent's disclosure.
Realizing there are other families across the USA for whom the journey is nowhere near as smooth, I appreciate the candor attempting to end the cycle of hate-depression which takes a heavy toll on our youth. Like GLBT people themselves, the children of GLBT parents (a growing category!) have few 'safe' resources to utilize.
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41 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
DADDY'S ROOMMATE, by Michael Willhoite, is a story told by a young boy about his weeks with his father and his father's partner, Frank. The child discusses some of the activities his dad and Frank do together (activities which are familiar to all kinds of families). For example, they work, eat, sleep, shave and fight together, and always make up. The boy then describes how important Frank is to him and how Frank, as a co-parent, likes him and helps the boy feel comfortable, safe, and loved.
This book might appeal to children who, after their parents get divorced or are separated, live with one parent and visit the other parent and his/her new partner. The explanation given by the mother for being gay is one many children will understand. She says being gay is "just one more kind of love and love is the best kind of happiness." One teacher of nine- and ten-year-old children was uncomfortable with the fact that it is the mother in this story who explained the father's sexual orientation. It would be nice to see the adults in these stories take responsibility (and control) over explaining and feeling proud of their own lives and families.

Still, DADDY'S ROOMMATE presents a positive connection among gay people, love and family with illustrations of the father and Frank hugging, shaving, sleeping and caring for each other. Of the five illustrations which show the two men physically and emotionally together, only one occurs outdoors, when Frank is placing suntan lotion on the father's back at the beach. The almost exclusive private expression of love may reinforce, for some, the fact that their intimate lives cannot be exhibited in the public eye.
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36 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
My 18-month old daughter just loves this book. I picked it up from the library just because I wanted to take a look at it, and now have it memorized, beacause she wants it read to her over and over again. My only complaint is that it elides the mother's real explanation to her son of why she has said that his father is gay (I'd like to see a sentence that actually *says* that she has said that he is "gay" because he is in love with another man -- to be told that "being gay is just one more kind of love" is good but it seems to me that any child would find this an insufficient explanation). Still, I'm happy as a straight mom to have a book that my daughter loves which will help show her that ours is not the only kind of family.
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46 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a father myself I was put in a situation many years back and had to tell my 4 year old son about the man that had been apart of his life for the last three years. It was suggested to me by a family therapist to pick up a copy of Daddies Roommate. My Partner and I sat down with my son and read the book to him, we asked him for questions and what he was feeling. As in the book, he was so well adjusted from the exposer to my partner most of his early life he didn't feel any different knowing our sexual preferance. He is now much older and we still have a wonderful caring relationship. I hope this book helps other gay couples with telling there children about them. Thank you Kenneth J. Wheeler
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