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Ryan's Mom is Tall Paperback – 1 September 2006


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Product details

  • Publisher : Nickname Press; 1st edition (1 September 2006)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 24 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0978073908
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0978073909
  • Dimensions : 20.96 x 0.15 x 20.96 cm

Product description

Review

I'm always happy when I find new authors who have written books featuring LGBT families. I m also happy when I find strong straight allies of the LGBT community. Canadian Heather Jopling is both though in fact, ally is too weak a term. She is the author of Ryan s Mom is Tall, Monika s Papa Is Tall, and The Not-So-Only Child, three books for young children published by her own Nickname Press. She is a straight, married, mother with one daughter, but has also been a surrogate for a gay male couple. Her husband has been a sperm donor for a pair of lesbian friends. Her husband s mother is also a lesbian, though she came out after her son was grown. Jopling s experiences motivated her to write her own books celebrating different types of families. Ryan s Mom Is Tall contrasts Ryan s Mom and Mummy on facing pages. Ryan s Mom is tall; his Mummy is short. One has curly hair; one has straight hair. His Mom does crossword puzzles, but his Mummy plays hockey. The one thing they have in common, though, the book concludes, is that they both love him very much. Monika s Papa Is Tall is the parallel (though not quite identical) tale featuring a girl and her two dads. They are simple but engaging stories, and seem designed to appeal to preschoolers and beginning readers. They convey a message about diversity without focusing on lesbian and gay families difference. This seems appropriate for the age group, when telling children their families are different might cause concerns that weren t there to start. --Mombian.com, Mar 19, 2007

These Canadian-based books will be very useful to educate and expose young children to the variety of family relationships in today s society. In a true democracy, diversity and dignity are to be upheld. These two books will help parents, teachers and librarians do that with the youngest citizens of our country. --Canadian Review of Materials, May 2007

There are not a lot of lesbian/gay themed picture books that are well written, and that do not make lesbians/gay children's books "issue books."; So when there is a well written lesbian/gay book, it's a welcome addition. Ryan's Mom Is Tall is one of those books. Ryan has two moms--and they are different in many ways, but similar in that they both love him. This picture book is not so much a story as a fun comparison of differences, often opposites, between Ryan's two mothers (one is short, one is tall; one does crossword puzzles, one plays hockey), and a validation and celebration of lesbian/gay families. Jopling (Not-so-Only Child), in making the text a simple comparison of opposites (which young children often enjoy) gives the book a wide appeal, while subtly helping readers understand that a child having two moms is just another kind of family--a family full of love, like many others. The way the text is written helps normalize lesbian/gay families; there is no teaching or preaching, here, and that is a great strength. It also subtlety encourages readers to accept differences in people. Jopling's text is simple, with one short sentence per page. Each of Ryan's mothers has her own specific name--one is called "Mom", and one is called "Mommy". This differentiation will be familiar to many readers in lesbian/gay families, and will help readers who aren't in lesbian/gay families to understand that there are two different mothers. The repetition of "Ryan's mom ..." and "Ryan's mummy..." is pleasing. The ending is uplifting, satisfying, and brings reassurance as the reader sees that Ryan's mothers both love him. Demoe's watercolor, colored pencil, and ink illustrations are bright, using a lot of yellows and oranges. Texture appears through the use of colored pencil. The characters are drawn loosely in a cartoon-like style, and most of the illustrations are of Ryan's mothers, individually, as differences are compared. This is an important book and resource for all readers, not just children in lesbian/gay families. There are a growing number of lesbian/gay families, as well as many other different kinds of families; this book helps to illustrate that, and gently introduce children to the concept of same-sex families or even that families can be different than their own, all in a fun, direct way without preaching. It will also help children of lesbian/gay families to feel less alone, and to receive some validation and comfort. I think libraries, day care centers, and open-minded parents should all have a copy of this book, along with lesbian/gay families. Recommended! --Cheryl Rainfield, July 12, 2007

About the Author

Heather Jopling has performed Shakespeare as a clown, written 4 one-woman shows, several plays and a very bad romance novel. She has been a surrogate mother for a gay family and her husband has been a sperm donor for a lesbian family. She has a degree in Theatre and is the proud parent of a beautiful daughter, three cats and one dog.

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