Heather Has Two Mommies
|LC Class||PZ7.N47988 He 2000|
Heather Has Two Mommies is a children's book written by Lesléa Newman with illustrations by Diana Souza , first published in 1989. Arriving ten years after Jane Severance's When Megan Went Away, the first picture book with lesbian characters, Heather was the first lesbian picture book to garner widespread acclaim, so much so that it is sometimes erroneously referred to as the first lesbian picture book.
The story is about a child, Heather, raised by lesbian women: her biological mother, Jane, who gave birth to her after artificial insemination, and her biological mother's same-sex partner, Kate. At Heather's playgroup, her family situation is discussed simply and positively, as are those of other children in other family units.
Lesléa Newman related:
|“||The idea for Heather came about one day when I was walking down Main Street in Northampton, Mass., a town known for its liberalism, tolerance of difference, and large lesbian population. On this particular day I ran into a woman who, along with her female partner, had recently welcomed a child into their home. "We have no books to read our daughter that show our type of family," the woman said. "Somebody should write one."||”|
The American Library Association ranked it the 11th most frequently challenged book in the United States in the 1990s; a similar phenomenon can be seen in the Sugartime! episode of the American television series Postcards from Buster. In the 1980s, comparable political controversy erupted in the United Kingdom over the book Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin. Comedian Bill Hicks famously included the book in one of his stand-up routines.
The book and the controversy over it were parodied in the 2006 Dav Pilkey book Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People. In it, the parallel-universe Miss Singerbrains (the school librarian) invites the two main characters, George and Harold, to read the book Mommy Has Two Heathers.
- Homosexuality in children's literature
- Daddy's Roommate - portrays a gay couple in a similar positive light. It became point of discussion in the 2008 US Presidential Election.
- The Rainbow Cubby House - similar book in Australia.
- Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin - similar book that caused controversy in the United Kingdom.
- "Bart Has Two Mommies" - an episode of The Simpsons parodying the controversy.
- Book Review: Heather has Two Mommies
- Crisp, Thomas (2010). "Setting the record 'straight': An interview with Jane Severance". Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 35 (1): 87–96. doi:10.1353/chq.0.1950.
- Peel, Katie R. (2015). "An interview with Lesléa Newman: A punchy new Heather, Dolly Parton, and Orange is the New Black". Journal of Lesbian Studies. 19 (4): 470–483. doi:10.1080/10894160.2015.1057076.
- Annotated Bibliography of Children's Books With Gay and Lesbian Characters Resources for Early Childhood Educators and Parents Archived March 14, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes" Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell. New York Times' September 14, 2008
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