Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Our Mothers' House, by Patricia Polacco (ages 5 - 9)

During the holidays I love spending time with my family, coming together for big meals and relaxing with my family at home.  One of my favorite books from this year is all about a family's love: In Our Mother's House, by Patricia Polacco.  It is a touching book that radiates a family's love for one another, as it tells the story of two mothers raising their children.  It also celebrates differences, without being heavy handed.
In Our Mothers' House
by Patricia Polacco
NY: Philomel Books, 2009
ages 5 - 9
Marmee and Meema and their three children fill their lives with the of joy of new puppies, holiday meals and homemade Halloween costumes.  They cook together, laugh together, dance together.  Their lives are like any other family in their town.  And while one of their neighbors doesn't accept them because they are different, Marmee and Meema handle it with gentleness and grace, focusing instead on the support they feel from the rest of their neighborhood.

Patricia Polacco has created a portrait of a loving family here, celebrating their differences while showing the love that all of the family members feel for each other.  This certainly can help children see that families with two moms, two dads or adopted children are families full of love; but this book also simply reminds children of the love and safety they feel within their own home.  As the narrator says,
There wasn't a day in my life that I didn't feel deeply loved and wanted by Meema and Marmee.  Our mothers were willing to do anything for us.  We knew that.
She continues to tell a story about how they volunteered to host the school's mother-daughter tea that year, complete with tea sandwiches and long dresses with big picture hats!  This is a story you'll laugh about with your children and come together feeling the love and happiness of your family.  It is perfect for holidays as we enjoy our time together.

For other reviews, see:
Kids Lit, by Tasha Saecker at the Menasha Public Library: "A joyous look at a family with two mothers and children of all different colors, this book is filled with laughter and love.  Children who live in all sorts of families will find themselves at home here."
Amy Ford in Adoptive Families: "Families of every kind will value this uplifting story about love and tolerance."

The review copy came from my local public library. You can find these at your local library by searching WorldCat. If you make a purchase by clicking through to Amazon, Great Kid Books receives a small percentage, which will be used to buy more books to review.

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