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Molly's Family Hardcover – April 7, 2004
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1-To get ready for kindergarten Open School Night, Molly draws a picture of her family to hang on the wall-herself, Mommy, Mama Lu, and their puppy. After seeing the picture, her classmates tell her, "No one has two mommies." Despite her teacher's efforts to be supportive, the child is still concerned. That night, her parents explain, "we decided we had so much love that we wanted to share it with a baby." Thus, one of them is her birth mother; the other an adoptive parent. Still, Molly leaves her drawing home the next day. With further matter-of-fact reassurance by her teacher and the budding understanding that all families are different, Molly, and indeed the whole class, grows to accept her own family, and she proudly hangs her picture on the wall. While the children in the story are not shy about expressing their feelings, the author diffuses any tension by remaining focused on logic: Molly's family is as she claims. By tying this specific household to the general diversity within all families, Garden manages to celebrate them all. The soft colored-pencil drawings with their many realistic details depict a room full of active kindergartners. There is a squat sweetness to the characters as they work together to make everything look and feel right.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. When Molly draws a picture of her family for her kindergarten class, Tommy jeers at her that no one has two mommies. At first she is angry and hurt, but with the support of her teacher and her loving parents--Mommy (her birth mother) and Mama Lu (her adoptive mother)--she comes to accept her family. What helps her most is seeing many different kinds of families: Tanya has a mommy, a daddy, a grandma, and two brothers; Stephen has no father; Adam has no mother ("Daddy and me!"); some kids are adopted. Wooding's warm, soft-textured colored-pencil pictures show Molly in her lively classroom and in her happy, nurturing home. Less overtly messagey than Leslea Newman's Heather Has Two Mommies (1989), this will open up discussion in many families. Garden is also the author of Holly's Secret (2000), about an 11-year-old with lesbian mothers. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Molly's kindergarten class is preparing for Open School Night and decide to decorate their classroom for the visiting parents. Molly's contribution is a picture of her family, which includes Mommy, Mama Lu and her puppy, Sam. This, of course, is greeted by speculation from some of the other children in her class, who tell her that families cannot have two mothers. This crushes Molly and she is embarrassed to display her picture with the other children's art. One of the greatest parts of this book is that not only does Molly's two mothers explain to her that family's are based on love and commitment, but even her teacher takes time to explain to her students that families are different. The other children respond well to this and began describing their own families, each comparing the differences openly and proudly.
The presentation of this book is fantastic - the art is playful and colorful, very appealing to the target audience but also enjoyable for the mature reader. Molly is simply adorable and her facial expressions are captured beautifully. But its the simplicity and the gentle nature of the storytelling that makes "Molly's Family" so inspirational. Children who are read this book will come away with an important lesson: that all families are families as long as they are based on love. Bless your heart, Nancy Garden!