A child reflects on the houses of his separated parents in this dos-à-dos book.
In The Mirror in Mommy’s House, a bespectacled, redheaded white child recalls living with his parents in one house. Holding a pet rabbit close, he remembers gazing into a mirror as his parents quarreled, letting his imagination roam free. Now he has two special, happy houses. The book is a visual delight—Zacarias’ seamless blend of cut-paper collage and pastels adds depth and texture to the story. Yellows and reds bathe Mommy’s house in a warm glow, and love radiates off the page. Vaguely halting text and overly prolific ellipses (“Back then, in that single house, Daddy and Mommy used to argue a lot. And it made me sad…”) are slightly distracting; this is a Spanish import. In The Mirror in Daddy’s House, some may be disappointed to read the same story, more or less. Others may enjoy flipping from side to side to identify differences and similarities in the text and illustrations. (They may also wonder at a continuity flaw in the child’s clothing, noticeable at the center of the book.) Although Daddy’s gray-blues clearly distinguish it from Mommy’s orangey-yellows, they also imbue Daddy’s side with inadvertent sadness. Ultimately, the message that both parents love and share him, while not new, is still worthwhile. The book is also available in Spanish: El Espejo En La Casa de Mamá / El Espejo En La Casa de Papá.
Appealing—if not groundbreaking—reassurance for children of divorce. (Picture book. 4-8)