Papa, Daddy & Riley
Author: Seamus Kirst
Illustrator: Devon Holzwarth
Ages: 4 to 8 years old, Grades PK to 3
A young girl posits that she should not have to choose between her two Fathers. She shouldn’t have to do so.
Riley is about to experience her first day of school; and, like most children her age, her parents walked her up to the door of the classroom. On the way in, Riley noticed all sorts of different families that were making the same journey. Unlike most of those families, however, Riley had to deal with specific questions upon entering the classroom. A little girl asked her:
You have two [Dads]?
But which one is your dad dad?
And where is your mom?
Riley answered the questions readily, with “”[t]hey are both my Dads.” Internally, however, she pondered the questions for the rest of day; noting the similarities she shared with each of her Fathers.
When her Dads arrived to pick her up at the end of the school day, she was distraught, as she felt she had been made to choose between them.
But I love having you both.
The book presents a dilemma frequently faced by children of same sex parents. And, in placing Riley squarely in the middle of a “one or the other” situation where she believes she is forced to choose, it ratchets up the anxiety level to a point that some children actually experience. In the end, with the help of her parents, she realizes that she does not have to choose: they are both her Fathers.
In the classroom, teachers will find it a wonderful tool for not only presenting different types of families, but also teaching children appropriate ways to raise familial issues. In the home, parents and caretakers, regardless of orientation, will have the opportunity to raise potential issues before they are brought out in unfamiliar circumstances.
Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.
My thanks to Magination Press for providing a complimentary Review Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.
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