Book review: Some People Have Two Mums

Two reviews today – of the same book. First up is by Jemma of Two Mums, Two Kids who shared this book with Squiblet, who is 2. Then Vicki from The Boy’s Behaviour who also shared this book but with 6 year old Mini.

I asked Squiblet if she wanted to read this book and she wrinkled her nose and said “no…horrible!” and to be honest, I can see her point.

Something about the bizarrely symmetrical grimace smile on the face of the boy on the front page is really quite sinister. I don’t want to be too harsh because on some level I feel like I should be grateful that these alternative family books exist… but then …well… this book is absolutely dreadful.

No…I tell a lie…the font is nice.

Yes, a nice easy to read font. But the picture illustrations are just so freaky and I don’t like the fact that the Mummy is the girly lesbian who gives birth and the Mama is the manly one. It’s all just a bit too heteronormal in a strangely gay guise. The story is sperm donor focused rather than adoption focused anyway. But we have another book called The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt which is about two boy kangaroos who have a baby via a surrogate and I read that one to Squiblet because it’s fun, and she likes the pictures, so I figure, why not keep her open minded?

No so with this book. My least favourite of the pictures is the one where the bizarre goblin boy is brushing his teeth while his mummies stand a metre away in an amorous embrace.

Squiblet’s literary favourites include Julia Donaldson’s fantastic rhymes, Todd Parr’s colourful and matter of fact books and Norman the Slug. This book just doesn’t cut the mustard in a book case full of well written and beautifully illustrated stories.

I just can’t find a kind word to say about it apart from the idea of it…the principle is good…oh, yes and the font…the font is really nice…and it’s convenient for travel as it’s small. But will I be reading it to Squiblet?…erm…even if I wanted to I don’t think she would let me and she’s the real critic here. But giving it such a slating is making me want to write my own…hmmm…maybe I will!

Conversely, here in The Boy’s Behaviour household, I shared this book with Mini, who is nearly 7 before I sent it onto Jemma and it went down OK.

The illustrations didn’t bother him at all, and to be honest, the title was enough to stimulate a conversation.

Mini doesn’t know anyone with same sex parents, therefore it had never occurred to him that some people do have two mums, or two dads. Although he knows that he can get married to whoever he wants male or female, and he knows that he could choose to be an adoptive parent when he’s older, he was still very firmly of the opinion that you had to have a mum and a dad.

So in terms of usefulness, this book was useful for us. But I do wonder if it’s place should be more in a school library as a learning resource rather than the bookshelves of young children….the illustrations are indeed very stylised, and don’t have the same jolly, colourful images we’re used to seeing in books aimed at younger children, yet the language and text felt very much aimed at under 7. There are other books out there that offer similar themes in a more child friendly style.

This book is available on Amazon, along with Some People Have Two Dads.

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