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Heather Has Two Mommies Paperback – June 1, 1994

3.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Paperback, June 1, 1994
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Editorial Reviews


"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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lesla Newman is the author of five children's books for nontraditional families: Heather Has Two Mommies, Saturday is Patty Day, Belinda's Bouquet, Gloria Goes to Gay Pride, and the forthcoming Thea's Throw. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155583180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555831806
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,484,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages including the teen novel in verse, OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD; the middle grade novel, HACHIKO WAITS; the poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER; the short story collection, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK; and the children's books, A SWEET PASSOVER, THE BOY WHO CRIED FABULOUS, KETZEL, THE CAT WHO COMPOSED, and HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD was named an American Library Association 2013 Stonewall Honor Book, and A SWEET PASSOVER was named a 2013 Sydney Taylor Honor as well. A past poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she is a faculty member of Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program. Her newest poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER is a book-length cycle of poems that explores a daughter's journey through her mother's illness and death. From diagnosis through yahrtzeit (one-year anniversary), the narrator grapples with what it means to lose a mother. The poems, written in a variety of forms (sonnet, pantoum, villanelle, sestina, terza rima, haiku, and others) are finely crafted, completely accessible, and full of startling, poignant, and powerful imagery. These poems will resonant with all who have lost a parent, relative, spouse, friend, or anyone whom they dearly love.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Honestly, this is not a book that i would choose for my son to read. I'm an out-gay man who adopted an infant ten years ago. It's just not a good quality book for the apparent age-range targeted. The black-and-white drawings do not make it attractive and Alternative/Artificial Insemination is not a topic of interest to kids that age or necessarily appropriate. It's certainly not a book that my son has ever picked off the bookshelves for me to read to him or for him to read to himself. Books like One Dad, Two Dads," "The Duke Who Outlawed Jellybeens (or is it Rainbows?)," and "Two Moms, the Zark, and Me" are the books that he keeps going back to, reading on his own, asking me to read them, or sharing with his friends. Just because a book is written by us about us does not make it a good quality book.
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By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A round of applause for Leslea Newman who realized that her book needed a revision for the 10th Anniversary Edition. She focused on the true message of the book, that the "most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." She simplified the writing to better fit preschool audiences, but most importantly, removed the sections about how Mama Jane and Mama Kate got together and then concieved Heather. These were the sections that kept it out of preschools and other settings, in spite of the great message. Thank you Ms. Newman! Now I can't wait to buy several copies for my daughter's daycare, our church, and our local public Library!
Comment 39 of 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I appreciate the openess (since kids are much smarter than we give them credit for, the insemination would not upset children) of this book, but the lack of color is tricky in a children's book.
I have read some excellent 'current issue' children's fiction books which succeed in telling their story (and inspiring creative thinking) without using color (Days with Daddy) but the lines in those stories were well-defined. The hazy presentation of this book will ironically make it difficult to talk with kids about so-called alternative families. The most open message in the world becomes cold and inviting if it cannot appeal to the eye of the intended reader.
Plus, if colors convey mood, this same decision may inadvertently suggest the women and Heather are engaged in something secretive and not as valid when compared against the activities of status quo idealized heterosexual families. Ms. Newman may have completely different politics, but she seems to echo the far right's endless admonitions about sexuality and youth with the layout.
Future editions need to have clear color graphics throughout the text.Art is not benign, but a political statement as important as carefuly crafted text. It is difficult for children to be excited/proud about their families (or the existence of GLBT families) after reading a book which seems gloomy.
Comment 26 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Lesléa Newman's book Heather Has Two Mommies is about a little girl named Heather who, you guessed it, has two mommies. The book is in no way inappropriate, nor does it raise any questions parents would (or should) feel uncomfortable answering. It may seem a little silly now, 20 years after it was written because it does focus a large amount on how Heather has two moms. The more liberal opinions today make it seem like focusing exclusively on alternative families is a little overkill, but the book is immensely comforting for children of those families.

Forgive the personal back story, but I was raised by two wonderful mothers, and I loved this book to death in my early years. My parents bought it for me somewhere around five or six (eighteen now), and I remember reading it over and over. I literally slept with the book tucked in the space between my bed and wall for years. I didn't realize then that I read it for how comforting it was, I just really liked the book. In fact, I read the book well into 8th grade, mostly in the spirit of nostalgia, but also because I was enrolled in a Lutheran school where no one else had two moms. Suffice it to say that the impact of this book was more even than my beloved Junie B Jones and Clifford.

As for the criticism of the illustrations, I never found anything odd or wrong with them. They were different, but not inferior in my opinion. Then again, I was handed books of Norse mythology along with my Disney princess books, so I was always exposed to culturally, texturally, and thematically different illustrations accompanying my texts.

I recommend wholeheartedly that you give this book a try, and don't be fooled by your child's lack of interest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Several of the one-star reviews here refer to a different edition of this book. This edition (10) does not have anything about artificial insemination (to appease those who were offended). It is just a simple story showing lots of different families... not very in depth, not much to it, but a nice, "feel good" story line. I did not see ANY overt sexuality or "inappropriate" topics at all, as was mentioned by one or two of the other reviewers. I have not seen other editions so I cannot comment about those.
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