Kristin’s offered to review some popular books on divorce for children and teens. Parents often find it helpful to have books to share with their children — to open discussion or allow children (especially older kids) privacy and access to information at their own pace. Today she’s introducing two books aimed at younger children: Two Homes by Kady McDonald Denton and The Family Book by Todd Parr.
Two Homes is for parents to read to younger children or for very early readers. After reading the words, pre-readers may enjoy looking at the pictures on their own. Two Homes beautifully introduces the concept of a two-home family in a gentle, normalizing way. It focuses on the main issues pre-school and early school age children are most interested in: the concrete routines of daily life.
Alex has two homes and he shares with the readers his experiences of the similarities and differences. He emphasizes the normal every-day events that happen with mommy in one home and daddy in his other home. The book subtly ties together the idea that even though some things may be different at each home, the important relationships — the love and care of both mommy and daddy — stay the same. The book ends with a sweet proclamation: “I love daddy/And I love mommy/No matter where I am.”
The Family Book is not specifically focused on divorce but is oh-so relevant because of the skillful illustration of different types of families! The Family Book describes how each unique family provides children the love and care they need.
Children in divorce often feel that divorce makes their family “less”… especially for young children who are focused on distinguishing sameness and differentness from their peers. Young children often compare themselves to others for their understanding of normal. The Family Book uses humor and lightness to lovingly/supportively address adoption, divorce, step-families, big or small families, families with two mothers or two fathers, or one-parent families to name a few. The Family Book is a wonderful adjunct to other more specific divorce-focused books — underscoring the fundamental idea that all families should be honored, and children (as well as parents) have the right to feel proud of their family…the family that loves and sustains them.