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My Bonus Mom!: Taking the Step Out of Stepmom Hardcover – August 29, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Talking Divorce with Your Kids - Book Review: My Bonus Mom

By Autumn Reo on 10/02/12 02:50 

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A few pages into this book, I was already crying. Not because I’m a child of divorce, but because as a mother now, I was instantly touched about how a child would feel reading this book and as a parent IF I had to discuss such a difficult issue with my child. While it is sad that divorce is so prevalent in our culture, it is fact that children will be affected when 50 percent of marriages do result in divorce.

Thankfully there is a book on a 3 – 8 year-old level that kids relate to and can help parents communicate and share their feelings about divorce in an easy-to-read format.

A child of a successful “bonus mom” relationship, author Tami Butcher penned My Bonus Mom! Take the Step out of Step Mom to plant a seed in children’s minds that having a stepmother/stepfather can be a bonus with their hearts and minds accept the new relationship in a positive way. Through colorful graphics and rhyme, she’s developed a must-have book for any family affected by divorce and remarriage. 

Read more here:

(Autumn Reo Talking Divorce with Your Kids - Book Review: My Bonus Mom)

About the Author

An Arizona girl whose roots grow deep in the state her grandmother graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1935 Tami Butcher has seen the Valley grow into the metropolis it is today. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in business communications and later earned a teaching degree from Grand Canyon University. It was while teaching seventh-graders at Phoenix Prep Academy, that she made it her goal to write a children's book. But first, she married the love of her life, Mike, and started a family. She currently has three children ages 6, 9 and 13. As a child, Butcher grew up with what she lovingly refers to as her bonus mom, a nurturing, caring woman many in society would refer to as a stepmother. Butcher's parents amicably divorced when she was 11, and for the sake of Butcher and her three sisters, decided to keep each other fully involved in their children's lives despite the divorce. Eventually both her parents remarried, but they continued to share birthdays, holidays and special times together with their children, as well as with their new spouses. Because of her parents' efforts, Butcher and her sisters grew up feeling blessed for having two moms and dads instead of stepparents. Reflecting on her own family dynamics, Butcher realized that if she could plant a seed in children's minds that having a stepmother or stepfather can be a bonus, then their minds and hearts might grow to accept their parents' new spouses instead of automatically thinking of them as evil as many childhood fairytales portray them. The product of that revelation was My Bonus Mom! Always a philanthropic person, Butcher dedicates her time to helping others in need. She is currently a member of the East Valley Women s League, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that raises funds for more than 13 projects for women and children in the Valley, and is slated to be president for 2011-12. Tami gives time to New Hope Church, an inner-city church located in the most impoverished ZIP code in Arizona, and she teaches Art Masterpiece to kindergarten and third-grade classes in Chandler, which lacks the funds for regular Art classes. Currently, Butcher resides in Chandler, Ariz. with her husband and three children, where she helps with the family restaurant business. Her mother and "bonus dad" own two popular restaurants in Phoenix, Rustler's Rooste Steakhouse and Aunt Chilada's. Tami and her three children love to travel to Southern California during baseball season as her husband, Mike, is the pitching coach for the LA Angels of Anaheim. He has been with the Angels for 21 years as both a player and a coach.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Little Five Star; 1 edition (August 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589850815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589850811
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Nelles on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an almost-stepmom to a four-year-old, I was really excited to get this book in our home to help explain this new relationship and term to him. Unfortunately, the book isn't what we were expecting. The book highlights dad's anger at the divorce (red face; lots of anger in the words and illustrations) and portrays the children's mother as a frumpy lonely woman, with dad's new wife as the stereotypical younger, spunkier woman. While I get the intent ("New stepmoms are a positive thing! Fun!"), it just fed into stereotypical situations, and didn't at all send the message we were hoping. Sorry, we returned this book and never read it to our boy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Katie on August 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband to read to my future stepson, who is five. He seems to have some loyalty conflicts and he is often confused as to what my role as stepmom is. This book is best read by the child's father, or even their mother (wishful thinking on my part, I guess), since it starts out addressing deeper issues like the parents fighting, telling the kids they are divorcing, and dad moving to a new house. But then it says how every other weekend they went to dad's, they got to have two of each holiday and birthday, and it was great. It explains how they felt when dad met someone new and that their mom even liked her. When the dad married the new woman, the kids said how no one can replace mom, but the new woman is a *bonus*, and is simply another person to love them. I think it appropriately explains what a stepmom is to children between the ages 4-7. When my fiance read this book to his five year old, you could see him thinking and making connections during certain parts of the book. I am very very happy and grateful I made this purchase!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Bernard on September 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Divorce is difficult for parents and especially the kids. The children involved don't always understand and will put the blame on themselves. The best solution for this problem is to sit down with your kids and talk to them. Help them understand that they are not the problem. If you need a little visual help, introduce your young children to "My Bonus Mom".

Not all stepparents are bad. Tami Butcher helps parents and children communicate their feelings with this wonderfully illustrated book. The core of this story comes from her own personal experiences as a young girl. Young readers can identify with the children in this book and will enjoy reading it over and over again.

The story Butcher shares is about three sisters who are experiencing divorce. Both parents are upset but they are assured it is not at them. Soon they are spending certain days with mom and every other weekend with dad. As they get the hang of the new schedule they find that birthdays and Christmas are double the fun with double the gifts. Even the dog has adapted. All seems well until dad brings along a new friend to meet them. The girls find that they enjoy her very much and would like to get to know her.

Butcher does a great job of showing readers that a new stepparent is a bonus. Readers will find through the rhythmic verse that stepparents are just people they will learn to love and in return they will be loved twice as much. This is a great story to share with children aged 5 to 8.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon A. Warren on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My Bonus Mom, Taking the Step Out of Step Mom, is a much needed and important contribution on this subject in today's world. It's an easy read with a very positive message and colorful, fun illustrations. It changes the whole 'step parent' issue into what can potentially be a happy dynamic and very healthy approach for any blended family.

Tami's caring biological parents are to be congratulated in their mutual love and nurturing of their three daughters during difficult family times. The eventual bonus Mom and Dad are also to be celebrated for their love in embracing them all (his, hers and theirs). It is inspiring to see how this enriched everyone's lives in the process. This true story is heartwarming and reflects that what we role model, instill and teach our children about love and acceptance becomes a joyous living reality both now and in future generations.

Children, parents and grandparents, who have the good fortune to read this book together will be blessed with the real understanding of the power of love in action. Thank you, Tami! Shine on!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. States on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must confess up front, I do know the author. As a matter of fact, I have known the author Tami and her entire family for quite a long time. So you may count this review as biased if you must. I can bear witness to how Tami's family turned a divorce and remarriages into a wonderful, positive thing for her entire big, beautiful blended family! To this very day, you can see and feel that from everyone in her clan. This book so wonderfully hits head on how a real life, confusing, unsettling, and scary divorce can be turned into a healthy, loving environment for all. I applaud all four of her parents for the great work they did. They all can be credited with helping to raise four pretty amazing kids that I am lucky enough to know. However, simply living the experience, does not automatically write the book. Tami has done a tremendous job molding her own story into an inspiring and touching, perfectly written guide for all those faced with this situation. I was not a child of divorce, but my daughter unfortunately was . When my daughter was young, her mother remarried and it was a struggle. I wish I would have had this book available during that time. Mostly for my daughter, but for myself as well. I have come to very much like my daughter's Bonus Dad and am thankful he is a part of my daughter's life. If your children or anyone you care about, is faced with this situation...this amazing book can be a helpful tool to help the kids (and parents) through the rough waters of a split up or a new person coming into their lives! Bravo Tami!
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