Heather has two mommies—and a new look!
Newman’s picture book about Heather and her mommies first appeared 25 years ago as the product of desktop publishing and a determination to create a story reflecting family diversity. This updated version includes new illustrations by the commercially successful Cornell, which supply humor and avoid lesbian stereotypes that dogged earlier versions. In keeping with prior, small-press revisions, the updated text omits reference to alternative insemination, and the story resists focusing on angst Heather feels over having two mommies. No one teases her or otherwise makes a big deal of her particular family’s configuration. Instead, validation is the order of the day, and when a circle-time conversation about families arises on the first day of school, Heather’s teacher has her pupils draw family pictures. Although Heather is initially worried that she might be the only child without a daddy, the artwork reveals diverse family constellations—one child has two daddies, one has a mom, a dad and a stepfather, some have siblings, one depicts a grandmother and pets. “Each family is special,” Ms. Molly affirms. “The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” When Heather’s mommies pick her up at school, they delight in seeing her picture.
Welcome back to Heather and her mommies. (Picture book. 3-6)