A beautiful book about family and love. Patricia Polacco books are a gift to everyone and she is such a treasure!
Patricia Polacco is known for looking to real life for inspiration for her books , which is where this story came out of . Here is a story of a wonderfully , unique family living together and wonderfully told. The mother's show such love and devotion to their 3 , everyone different children. And the story has one very unapproving , disagreeing neighbor of the lifestyle wonderfully and masterfully woven into the storyline .
A lesbian couple's oldest daughter tells the story of her childhood, from her and her siblings' adoption, to favorite family activities and rituals, to the end of her two moms' lives and her brother's family deciding to move into their house. "Meema" and "Marmee," the moms, are both white and have close-cropped hair, while their children are African, Asian, and white, all adopted from different countries. Just a sweet, simple telling of what it was like to be part of this happy family--no major drama. At one neighborhood block party, a woman who was invited but chose not to bring her family (and who has made several appearances throughout the book "glaring" at the narrator's family) approaches Meema and Marmee, says "I don't appreciate what you are," and stalks off. "What's the matter with her, Momma?" their youngest asks and Meema answers, "She is full of fear, sweetie. She's afraid of what she cannot understand: she doesn't understand *us*." Marmee whispers, "There seems to be no love in her heart, either"--and the other neighbors at the block party agree, hug the two moms, and go on with the party.
I get taken in by Polacco's illustrations: I want to dislike them and generally wince at them (in all of her books, not just this one)--because they have a kind of 1970s-sketch look to them that makes me worry that they won't appeal to kids (or a lot of adults, myself included). But in the end, they are just so warm and loving that they *do* appeal to me, and I wouldn't want them to be any different than they are.
A fine book, with--as is usual with Polacco--more text than the average picture book, so better for one-on-one (or two) reading then in a storytime-type setting.
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