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LIVING WITH MOM AND LIVING WITH DAD by Melanie Walsh

LIVING WITH MOM AND LIVING WITH DAD

By Melanie Walsh (Author) , Melanie Walsh (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5869-4
Publisher: Candlewick

Her parents may be divorced, but this little girl’s family is anything but broken.

Sometimes she lives with her mom, and sometimes with her dad, and clever lift-the-flap design juxtaposes how things are in one home versus the other. On her birthday, the girl’s mother makes a cake, and the flap lifts to show her dad taking her bowling. Another spread reads, “Sometimes my dad takes me camping on the weekend…” and the flap lifts to reveal that sometimes her mom takes her “to see the animals at the farm.” Other pages show joint activities—both parents attend a school play, and both are included in a photo album that the girl can look at if she misses one of them. This last point firmly situates the family’s co-parenting arrangement on the side of the child, as does the fact that she freely brings favorite toys between homes. Despite this laudable content and its charming, simple, acrylic illustrations, the book lacks careful pacing. It begins and ends on the endpapers, resulting in a cramped feeling, and culminates in a rushed ending with pictures of friends and family who also love the little girl.

Even with this misgiving, this is a necessary and accessible treatment of a common family constellation. Recommended for children of divorce and for others seeking to understand diverse family structures. (Picture book. 2-6)