Saturday, November 3, 2018

Review - Stella Brings the Family

Stella Brings the Family
by Miriam B. Schiffer
illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Date: 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 36
Format: e-book
Source: library

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I actually found this book kind of sad. All the little kids in Stella's class have been so indoctrinated by the idea of what moms do and what dads do that their thinking has become very rigid along stereotypical gender lines. Apparently, dads can't make lunches or read bedtime stories or kiss boo-boos. It's great that Stella ends up showing her classmates that men can do all of the stereotypical "motherly" things, but she shouldn't have had to. That's not the book's fault, though; it's society's.

The illustrations are really cute, although the e-book edition I read was awful (the text for each picture was a page ahead, so until I figured that out, I was a bit lost; when are the people who convert these things going to start paying more attention?). The pictures tell the story as much as the text does. I especially liked how Howie (who has two moms) was already wondering what he was going to do for Father's Day!

This book isn't so much about acceptance as it is about coming up with a solution to a problem. If Stella doesn't have a mom to bring to the Mother's Day celebration, what will she do? She figures it out in the end, and shows her classmates that parents aren't the only people who can make a family unit.

Quotable moment:

But Stella had two dads.

Everyone else had a mother. Howie had two!

Stella would be the only one without a mother at the Mother's Day party.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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