Michael Willhoite’s Daddy’s Roommate was published in 1990 by Alyson Wonderland, the children’s literature imprint of Alyson Books, and was one of its top grossing children’s books of all time.
The simply told story is narrated by a young boy about a year after his parents’ divorce. His father has moved in with a man named Frank. Colorful illustrations show Frank, the boy’s father, and the boy in typical family scenes. Additionally, several images paired with brief descriptive text show Frank and the boy’s father engaged in everyday household activities from cleaning and eating to sleeping, all of which they do together. Continue reading
Saturday is Patty Day (1993), written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Annette Hegel, is one of the earliest children’s picture books to deal with lesbian parenting and divorce. Newman does a wonderful job creating a teachable text that accounts for the challenges of seperation. I particularly appreciate her sensitive focus on the feelings of Frankie, the young child whose parents are divorcing. At every turn, the story rings true, and even 25+ years after it was originally published, Saturday is Patty Day is a good book to support parents, lesbian or not, in helping their children process divorce. Continue reading
Written by Jane Severance and illustrated by Tea Schook, When Megan Went Away (1979), is the first book about lesbian moms published in the US. It was published by Lollipop Power, Inc., a small feminist press deeply invested in producing children’s picture books that challenged gender stereotypes as well as the absence of lesbian and gay representation in children’s culture. Continue reading
Linda Urban’s Road Trip with Max and His Mom (2018) is a clever follow up to Weekends with Max and His Dad (2016). In both books a young Max adjusts to his parent’s recent divorce. Urban’s second installment pivots around a road trip to Pennsylvania that nine-year-old Max and his Mom take to celebrate his Great Great Aunt Victory’s 100th birthday. Continue reading
Before Heather there was Emily, and instead of two mommies she had Lots of Mommies. Published by Lollipop Power, Inc. in 1983, Lots of Mommies is boldly written by Jane Severance, author of When Megan Went Away (1979). Severance’s work is a critical part of LGBTQ history that provides a look into lesbian family formations decades before Modern Family delivered sanitized images of same-sex parents to a mainstream audience. Continue reading