________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 20 . . . .May 25, 2007

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Ryan's Mom is Tall.

Heather Jopling. Illustrated by Allyson Demoe.
Coburg, ON: Nickname Press (Box 454, 39 Queen St., K9A 1M0 or www.nicknamepress.com), 2006.
24 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-0-9780739-0-9.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Vivianne Fogarty.

*** /4

   
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Monicka's Papa is Tall.

Heather Jopling. Illustrated by Allyson Demoe.
Coburg, ON: Nickname Press (Box 454, 39 Queen St., K9A 1M0 or www.nicknamepress.com), 2006.
24 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-0-9780739-1-6.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Vivianne Fogarty.

*** /4

   

excerpt from Ryan's Mom is Tall:

Ryan's Mom does crossword puzzles.

Ryan's Mummy plays hockey.

 

excerpt from Monicka's Papa is Tall:

Monicka's Papa is skinny.

Monicka's Daddy is muscular.

 

internal artRyan's Mom is Tall and Monicka's Papa is Tall are two picture books dealing with same-sex families from Heather Jopling's independent Nickname Press. They depict the differences between the partners of these same-sex families. Both of these books in the trilogy of Jopling's new books promote family diversity and acceptance of same-sex family relationships.

     By comparing the differences between the two partners, Jopling highlights the diversity between the couple. Despite these differences, however, we learn that the one important characteristic they have in common is the love they have for their child. This common love is what binds the family while the internal artdifferences add interest and variety to the family unit.

      The text is simple, one sentence per page using repetitive text. Two different terms are used to denote each parent such as Mom, Mummy, Daddy or Papa. The differences explored include physical characteristics, hobbies and interests. Clever insertions in the pictures include: Momley Crue on Ryan's Mom's drum set, the papas and the papas on Monicka's Papa's guitar, or identical numbers on sports shirts - 66 or 33. These details will add some humour that the adult readers will understand and appreciate.

      The illustrations are done in a jigsaw puzzle format internal artusing watercolours, pencil crayon and ink. They are colourful, lively, upbeat and, at time, humourous. The faces are purposely camouflaged in the illustrations until the end when the puzzle is completed. Finally, we see the whole family as a unit, complete with faces. Interesting and varied fonts are used to match the word meanings. From a visual and tactile point of view, larger sized books with a more professional binding might be somewhat more appealing.

      The simple text and bright, colourful illustrations will be appealing for young children.

      As with Jopling's other book, internal artThe Not-So-Only Child, these two books can be added to the sparse literature in this field of same-sex families and family diversity. Along with Ken Setterington's book, Mom and Mum are Getting Married, 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.

Recommended.

Vivianne Fogarty is a teacher-librarian at Ecole Dieppe in Winnipeg, MB. She is also completing her teacher-librarian diploma through the University of Alberta.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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