in our mothers’ house
written & illustrated by patricia polacco

this book is about a family of two mothers and three adopted children. their “big old brown shingle house” is the focal point for all of this family’s little stories – cooking together, dancing together, being cared for when they’re sick – making this story very much about home and belonging.

when the family organise a block party, they encounter some homophobic aggression from one of the other families on their street. they confront this gracefully, and move on. this event is a fleeting one, and isn’t allowed to define the story, or the characters.

the children grow up, leave home, marry, have children of their own, but always return to the family home that has been their safe haven all their lives.

the quirky, charming illustrations give this book real character. they’re full of energy, colour and movement.

this is an unusual picture book in that it’s quite wordy, and it covers the whole lifespan of a family. for this reason, it think it’s probably best suited to school-aged children.

i love the picture of a warm, safe, welcoming home that is developed in this tale, and the love that all of the family members feel for each other. it is a very positive take on both gay parents, and adoption.

here is a video of patricia polacco talking about the book: