Daddy's Roommate

Michael Willhoite, Author
Michael Willhoite, Author Alyson Books $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55583-178-3
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-55583-118-9
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-613-78713-0
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This picture book is an auspicious beginning to the Alyson Wonderland imprint, ``which focuses on books for and about the children of lesbian and gay parents.'' That the venture is being undertaken is in itself commendable: consciousness-raising concerning gay issues can handily begin at an early age with the help of books such as Willhoite's. His text is suitably straightforward, and the format--single lines of copy beneath full-page illustrations--easily accessible to the intended audience. The story's narrator begins with his parents' divorce, and continues, ``Now there's somebody new at Daddy's house.'' The new arrival is male; Frank and Daddy are seen pursuing their daily routine (eating, shaving, sleeping--even fighting), and on weekends the three interact easily on their various outings. ``Mommy says Frank and Daddy are gay''--this new concept is explained to the child as ``just one more kind of love.'' Willhoite's cartoony pictures work well here; the colorful characters with their contemporary wardrobes and familiar surroundings lend the tale a stabilizing air of warmth and familiarity. Ages 2-5. (Dec.)
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