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

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/10/02/4303668/talking-divorce-with-your-kids.html#storylink=cpy

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

About the Author

Tami Butcher made it her goal to write a children’s book while teaching seventh-graders at Phoenix Prep Academy.

As a child, she grew up with what she lovingly refers to as her “bonus mom,” a nurturing, caring woman many 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!

Currently, Butcher resides in Chandler, Ariz. with her husband and three children. When she’s not volunteering, writing or promoting her new book, she helps with the family restaurant business. Her mother and “bonus dad” own Rustler’s Rooste Steakhouse and Aunt Chilada’s at Squaw Peak restaurants. Although her professional life is full, she always makes room for her greatest pride and joy: her family.



Feras Nouf is a published illustrator of children's books and was selected by Tami Butcher to illustrate My Bonus Mom!



I love my stepmom. She did a great job of stepping into a difficult situation, and I would highly
recommend any parent going through a similar situation to read this book to their child. Not only
is it a cute read, but it is also written in a loving way that children can relate to. I wish this book
had been around for me when I was a child going through divorce and remarriage. Well done, my
friend, well done.
–Bill Engvall, Comedian, television star of “The Bill Engvall Show” and “Blue Collar Comedy Tour”

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am the stepmother of 2 children ages 5 and 3. My husband and I have a strong, healthy relationship with their mother. We thought this book would help them to understand the role/title of their new step-parent, but it does so by denigrating the father ever so slightly. For example, it shows a picture of the father leaving the house with a box of his things all in a huff and a dog chasing behind him (maybe the dad isn't always the one that leaves or is angry?); on the next page it says, "On Mondays and Tuesdays Mom's dinners were good/On Thursdays and Fridays Dad made what he could" - this is the opposite in our family and, again, degrades the ability of a father. We're all very aware of the negative connotation men get in divorce and/or child custody - and there are plenty of stories to support it. But there are just as many stories of truly wonderful fathers who are every bit as good of a dad as the mommy is a mom (and stories where the mom isn't involved at all). Really wish this book would have done a better job holding both parents up on a pedestal so our children could relate. Unfortunately, the negative stereotypes softly perpetuated in the book take away from the real beauty of a growing family out of divorce.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very positive book for our 5 year old. The role of step mom is very confusing to a kindergarten. This book helped defined the roles of the dad, the stepmom and the mom without disrespecting the birth mom. This book was up beat, rhymed (what 5 year old doesn't like that), and was written in simple terms that clearly defined the positivity of a step mom/bonus mom. Part of what makes this book unique is the fact that it was written by a child of a step parent, instead of a step parent to a child. Highly recommend this book for new or soon to be step moms.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for my soon-to-be stepchildren who I already have a good relationship with. I wanted to get them a book to understand what a stepmom is and to help them know that I can be like an extra mommy to them. Unfortunately this book comes from a vantage point where the child is very hesitant about daddy's new girlfriend and angry about the divorce. It isn't until almost the end of the book that the child realizes having a stepmom is great.

My 2 stepkids are 2 1/2 and 4/12 so they are too young to be angry about the divorce. They also don't understand why their mother doesn't like me or want to meet me. They have accepted me into their lives. I think this book is probably better for kids who are a little older and not accepting of the new woman in daddy's life.
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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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