The breakthrough children’s book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” about a little girl with lesbian parents, has gotten a redo. Heather’s mommies are now married.
Initially published 25 years ago, the book was a flashpoint for conversations around same-sex relationships and parenting. Conservatives protested it, sometimes claiming that the illustrated book for 3- to 7-year-olds shouldn’t be allowed in the children’s book section of libraries.
It was the first book by author Leslea Newman, who composed it after meeting a lesbian parent who was looking for reading material that reflected the life of her family.
“After I wrote the book I sent it to many, many publishers,” Newman said. “Small presses, large presses. Children’s book presses told me to try lesbian presses. Lesbian presses told me to try children’s book presses. Nobody was really interested.”
To get the book in print, Newman did a 1989 version of self-publishing and Kickstarter, raising the money, finding an illustrator, putting the book out and getting it in stores. Later, Candlewick Press picked it up, and it’s Candlewick that’s putting out the new version.
The new edition has new illustrations and some small editorial changes. There isn’t any discussion of same-sex marriage, though: Heather’s two mommies are wearing rings.
“I don’t specifically say that they’re married but they are,” Newman told the AP. “I don’t know where I could have smoothly inserted that into the text. That’s not what the story is about. The story is really about Heather.”