Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), LGBTQ, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? It’s not that she doesn’t have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn’t have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

Not everyone has a mother.

Stella was a wonderful girl. Her anxiety over how to celebrate Mother’s Day during her class party when she had two fathers made me want to give her a hug. She loved her family, but she also didn’t know how to include them in a holiday that wasn’t made for them. I liked reading the conversation she had with her dads as they tried to figure out a solution that would make sense for them.

In my experience, many kids this age talk about their family structures openly to each other and to any grownups nearby who might be listening. While I totally understand that some children and families prefer to be more private about these topics, I did find myself wondering why there were so many of them in Stella’s class and why she didn’t know more about the home lives of at least some of her classmates. If this had been explained better, I would have happily gone for a full five-star rating as I enjoyed everything else about it.

My favorite portion of the storyline happened after the Mother’s Day party began and Stella began talking to her classmates about what sorts of families they had. I can’t go into a lot of detail about this without giving away spoilers, but it was nice to see such a kind and inclusive take on the topic. In addition to the LGBT+ families this was specifically written for, this could also be meaningful for children who are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, foster parents, adoptive parents, step-parents, and so many other different types of homes. There is definitely something to be said for finding common ground and looking for the best in other people.

Stella Brings the Family was a heartwarming read.

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