Garden, Nancy (Author) and Wooding, Sharon (Illustrator). (2004). Molly’s Family. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
In this lovely picture book, a kindergarten class learns that there are lots of different kinds of families. When the children decide to draw pictures of their families, one child tells Molly that she can’t have two mothers. When she goes home upset and talks to her Mommy and Mama Lu, she learns that her Mommy gave birth to her and her Mama Lu adopted her. They tell her that there are many other children who have been adopted, and some of them have two mothers too.
The next day when Molly goes to school she takes a close look at everybody else’s pictures, and notices that some children have one parent, some children live with grandparents, some children have a mother and father, and some children have siblings. She recognizes that there are different kinds of families even in her small class.
This book has such a gentle message, even with the mild bullying at the beginning. Many children in queer families will have to deal with such erasure, and it’s important to identify it and repeat the message of love and family support. The pictures, too, are gentle and subtle, with rich color and details that children will enjoy pointing out.
Nancy Garden is an award-winning author and anti-censorship advocate. Molly’s Family was a Noteworthy Book for Children Published During 2004.