Book Review & Giveaway: “Mommy, Mama, and Me” and “Daddy, Papa, and Me”


Please note: while comments on this post continue to be welcome, the giveaway is now over.

Leslea Newman published Heather Has Two Mommies in 1989, at a time when there were hardly any books showing family diversity. The book raised hackles and inspired attacks on Leslea by social conservatives and the religious right; Heather has been on the banned book list every year since its publication.

Heather sent the message to kids who were different (because they had two moms, step parents, adopted siblings, or a single parent) that their lives were just as normal as kids in traditional families. “The most important thing about a family,” Leslea told us in Heather, “is that all the people in it love each other.”

Leslea has never stopped writing (she has written 60 books to date), and her latest books, Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me, are a testament to her commitment to helping kids in gay and lesbian families feel just like regular kids. These sweet, simple board books depict a day-in-the-life of a well-loved child, a child like any other, who loves juice and snuggles and playtime and getting tucked in at night by their loving parents.

Through these books, kids with two moms or two dads can see their lives reflected. Kids who are different in any number of ways can see that their differences are not only okay, but something to be celebrated. These books aren’t only for two-mom or two-dad families. They are for all of us, so that we can see—and teach our children to see—that there are lots of ways to be a family. And that means that these books belong in your preschool, in the collection of books you give at baby showers, in your neighborhood library, in your doctor’s office waiting room. Because everyone should be reading these books.

Leslea has generously offered two sets of each book to two of my readers. That means if you win this giveaway, you’ll get both books for your own enjoyment, your preschool, your local library, or your friends or family. Not only that, but they’re autographed by Leslea, which only increases the awesomeness. Please comment below for a chance to win a set of these adorable books (and either leave your email address or friend me on facebook so I can find you if you win).




  1. Miranda says

    Ooooh! How exciting! I was so happy to have found your blog as I have found NO other parents in ‘real life’ who even seem to notice gender stereotyping let alone challenge it. And now you have giveaways!

    I have been wanting to read Heather has two mommies to my girls for a while, but these two books sound great. And I am sure they would be popular at my younger two’s preschool or the local library. It is hard as a hetero family to make sure they don’t assume that ‘mum and dad’ is the only way to be – although we have friends who do not fit that mould, their own experience is so central and when backed up almost exclusively by media (including books) it is hard to break that assumption down. But stories are always popular and influential, in our family at least.

    • shoffman says

      Welcome Miranda! Please see the Resources page of my website if you are looking to connect with other parents who are noticing, challenging, and living with gender stereotypes every day!

  2. Mariana Avelãs says

    “Heather sent the message to kids who were different (because they had two moms, step parents, adopted siblings, or a single parent) that their lives were just as normal as kids in traditional families.”
    little did i know that this message would become so central in my life when i first read heather; i’m now a single mom, and i’ve realized i have to struggle with the world so that they don’t force my daughter to believe she has to be unhappy.
    but even if this wasn’t my family story, i’d still be up there explaining the obvious: celebrating diversity is important for all os us as a society, regardless of where out own diversity lies.

  3. Cristin Brew says

    I am delighted to hear about these 2 books! Reminds me of a quote about the importance of seeing ourselves reflected in the stories we read:
    “When someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing.” —Adrienne Rich

  4. Sarah says

    Wow, those look great! I’m now doing some work with an organization that has ties to a dad’s support group, so that’s where one of them would go, to pass around. I’m so glad she’s still writing, what a great contribution she’s made!

  5. Gretchen says

    As a priest who ministers to children, youth and families, I would love to have these books in my office.

    Thank you for your work and writing!

    • shoffman says

      Gretchen, I love, love, love to hear about religious leaders supporting the LGBT community and educating kids to be loving and accepting!

  6. Carolyn Finken-Dove says

    I’d like to add them to my “grandma collection” for future children of my daughter and her partner.

  7. Carolyn Finken-Dove says

    I’d like to add them to my “grandma collection” for future children of my daughter and her partner, and also share them with children at the early childhood center where I am a achool nurse. We have children there with two mommies and I’d like them to start their school experience with a feeling of acceptance of their families.

  8. Kat Holtz says

    I enjoy your blog so much! I would love to win these books to add to my collection of educational resources for trainings I do on BGLT topics.

  9. Angelic says

    My kids have family and friends with varying households (gay, poly, transgender, single parent, divorced families, blended families, couples with no kids, husband & wife with kids, single adults) but I’d love for them to have that diversity reflected in their literature as well!

  10. Christina says

    Well, I would love to have these books, being a pregnant momma to two twin girls due very soon, raising them with my wife.
    BUT, I’m so inspired by the teachers, educators and religious leaders who want to incorporate these ideas of love and acceptance that I take it back! I could never take them from those folks! It gives me hope that one day my girls won’t be teased as harshly as they might have been just a few years ago…

    Love the blog!! Thanks for writing so honestly.

    • shoffman says

      Christina, there’s no scarcity here! Let’s get these books into all our homes AND public spaces and schools!

  11. Paul says

    I think that I’ve finally gotten through to my 3 year old hyper-gender conforming, princess daughter, that princes marry princes, and princesses marry princesses. It would be wonderful to have this book to reinforce it!

  12. Kelly Byrom says

    I just found your blog from the salon article and I am so happy I did. My oldest son who is 4, loooooves dresses and pink and has no problem being who he is. You are now officially in my google reader…looking forward to more posts! Awesome to see these books. It’s important that all ppl show their kids that every family is a family.

  13. Leslie says

    I’d love these for my almost-5yo granddaughter, who my spouse and I are raising – maybe we’ll read it as “Nana, Abuela and me!” :) Then when she’s just a bit older, I’ll send them to live at her pre-school.

  14. Deandres Morriar says

    Hi my name is Dee and my partner’s name is Leslie. We are a same sex couple and the proud moms of a twelve year old boy and we have a little girl on the way. We would love to add these two books to our family library.

    • shoffman says

      Welcome Leslie! I hope that you bring these wonderful books into your home. Stay tuned for my book list, coming soon, which will have many other ideas for your library. Welcome to your baby girl!

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