Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 K-Gr 2—Stella is worried. Everybody else in her elementary-school class has a mom—Howie even has two! She has two dads and no one to invite to the upcoming Mother's Day party. The other kids are concerned, too. Who packs her lunch? Who reads her bedtime stories? And what about when she's hurt? When Stella lists the many family members who help her, her friends see an easy solution to the party conundrum: bring them all. Daddy and Papa agree that it's a great idea, but Stella still has misgivings. All her worries turn out to be for nothing, though—the party's a great success, and she's not alone in not having a mom there. Best of all, Father's Day is next, and she's more than set for that. Schiffer's sweet story realistically portrays a child fretting over a worry that adults may not anticipate and having it solved by a loving community and family. Clifton-Brown's bright, detailed watercolors depict a fun classroom, and Stella and friends' arts and crafts. VERDICT A welcome addition for kids from all kinds of families.—Etta Verma, Library Journal - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 05/01/2015 Every other child in Stella’s class knows who to invite to the Mother’s Day party, but all week long, Stella worries. When the other kids learn that she has no mother to bring, they ask who packs her lunch (Daddy), who reads her bedtime stories (Daddy and Papa), and who kisses her when she is hurt (“Papa or Daddy or Nonna or Aunt Gloria or Uncle Bruno or Cousin Lucy”). In the end, Stella invites them all, but she promises her teacher that on Father’s Day she will bring just her two dads. Written with simplicity and emotional clarity, the text and dialogue read aloud well. The crisp, clean artwork, a mixed-media collage featuring gouache and crayonlike elements, creates a cheerful, supportive atmosphere in Stella’s home and her multicultural classroom. One inviting spread shows the children’s art projects: hand-drawn group portraits of their families. Children will enjoy watching Stella solve her own dilemma in a logical yet creative way. With its validation of nontraditional families, this picture book offers a welcome change of pace for Mother’s Day reading. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 Stella, who lives with her two dads, has no mother to bring to the school Mother’s Day celebration, and she’s not sure whom to bring. Her classmates try to help her by asking questions (“Who packs your lunch?” “Who reads you stories?” “Who kisses you when you are hurt?”). As a result, Stella decides to invite all the people who care for her: her two dads, her grandmother, her aunt, her uncle, and her cousin (“Stella had the biggest crowd of all”). There is nothing didactic in Stella’s tale; it is simply the story of a little girl faced with a problem and who, with a little help from understanding classmates, comes up with a working solution. It’s implausible that Stella’s teacher would not be familiar with and thereby sensitive to Stella’s family structure by that point in the school year (and she also wouldn’t be blind to her student’s week-long distress), but overall the story matter-of-factly validates a variety of family structures. Clifton-Brown’s watercolor illustrations, touched with tiny ink details and colored-pencil-style textures, are laden with warmth and character; though the faces are all drawn to much the same template, Stella’s classmates are a cheerfully diverse lot, and the school day is authentically lively. Ultimately, this is a tender story about the variety of people that make children feel loved and supported, and it will resonate with many young listeners. HM - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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