Across the Page: Children’s Books 2008

The Different Dragon, written by Jennifer Bryan, illustrated by Danamarie Hosler (Two Lives Publishing)

Jennifer Bryan’s fantastic The Different Dragon is the story of a little boy named Noah and his cat, Diva. (Apparently many two-mom families have cats. I’m also guilty).

Similar to Meesha, Noah’s family structure is just one element of his character. It is introduced nonchalantly while he gets ready for bed: “He had brushed his teeth and only needed a little bit of help from one of his mothers with flossing.” A picture hangs on the wall with the saying “Best moms in the world award” and it is later explained that “Noah was a boy who had two mothers.”

The Different Dragon begins when one of Noah’s mothers, Go-Ma, puts him to bed. The two create a bedtime story together about how Noah and Diva hop on a boat and visit the “Dragon Cove” for chocolate yogurt and goldfish. While there they come across the “meanest Dragon in all of Dragon County.”

With Noah at the helm, Go-Ma weaves a rich tale about how the dragon is tired of being fierce and mean. He wants to be “funny or sad or just regular.” After Noah gives him a bit of advice — “I am a smart boy and I know some things. I know that there are lots of different ways to be a dragon” — the two become friends.

The Different Dragon is a magical, funny and sweet story with beautiful illustrations. The two moms are just a bonus.

Some additional books to check out:

The Mommy Book, by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers): Perfect for either a two-mom or single mom family, The Mommy Book is a fun and light read that does not feature a dad.

Molly’s Family, written by Nancy Garden, illustrated by Sharon Wooding (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): Molly learns to overcome judgment at school after she’s teased for drawing a picture of her two-mom family.

Mom and Mum Are Getting Married, written by Ken Setterington, illustrated by Alice Priestley (Second Story Press): The story of a little girl whose main concern about her mothers getting married is whether she will get to be the flower girl.