Buy ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ For Your Children, To Raise A More Tolerant Generation
25 years ago, a mother frustrated that her family was not represented in any children’s books that she could read to her 18-month-old daughter approached a poet friend about writing one: “Heather Has Two Mommies” was born.
The mother is Amy Jacobson and her writer/poet friend is Leslea Newman. Newman wrote the now famous story about a little girl with two mothers in a couple weeks. It was 1989, and they couldn’t find a mainstream publisher willing to take on the project, so they used a smaller publishing house. Black and white illustrations were all they could afford.
Now, 25 years later, Newman is a successful author of over 65 books for adults and children – the now famous title was her first children’s project. She told CNN:
“It was challenged and burned … and read in the Congressional Record,” she said. “It just blew my mind.”
“That’s not what I set out to do. I set out to write a book because a lesbian mom stopped me on the street and said ‘I need a book for families like ours.’ “
It’s being re-released on March 24. Newman told CNN she hopes this time around “there are no protests or denouncements by members of Congress or local school boards banning the book in protest.” I wish she could be guaranteed that — but we all know even though it’s been 25 years and there have been some strides made for equality — we still have a long way to go.
The good news, for every ignorant protest or hate-filled boycott, there will be someone like me writing a story congratulating Newman for having the open mind and heart to take on a project sorely needed by families 25 years ago. We still need more diversity in children’s books – but Newman helped to pave a path to acceptance and allowed children who have families that look like Heater’s to feel included.
I’m so excited to buy this book on it’s rerelease for my own children. We should all be stocking our kids’ libraries with stories that show different family dynamics, to raise a more tolerant generation.