Hello, friends! Today, we read Stella Brings The Family, written by Miriam B. Schiffer and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown, a positively lovely story about family and the many shapes and sizes it comes in.
At school, Stella’s teacher announces that the class will be having a Mother’s Day celebration, and the kids are excited. Everyone in class has a mom to bring (Howie has two!), but Stella isn’t sure who to invite, as she has two daddies. Sure, her daddies do all the things that the other kids’ mommies do: make her lunch, help with homework, and tuck her in. And when she’s sad, she’s got her daddies, plus her Nonna, her aunt and uncle, and her cousin Lucy to help her feel better. Stella decides to invite her whole family to the party, because while she may not have a mom, she has plenty of people who love and support her.
LOVED this one. What is presented as a feather-light and sweet story about non-traditional families is actually one with great depth that focuses on what defines a “family” outside of societal constructs. Stella and her fathers are considered a family unit from the start, and are never portrayed as something Stella or her classmates are ashamed of or upset by. The question is never “Who is Stella’s mommy?” or “Doesn’t Stella need a mommy?,” instead asking the broader question of “What makes a family?” It then follows this is up by showing that one can have maternal influences (even male ones!) without necessarily having a mother in their life. Furthermore, the diversity shown is wonderful: multiple cultures, a military family, and two LGBTQ families, one of them mixed-race. It’s a fantastic lesson about the many different forms family can take, wrapped up in some adorable illustrations and sweet, well-paced story. The length is good, and JJ really enjoyed this one. We loved it, and we highly recommend it! Baby Bookworm approved!