This is a children's book that tells the TRUE story of two boy partnered penguins who are given an abandoned egg (by the zoo keeper) and raise the chick as their own.
That in and of itself has made it a banned book in some places in this country including some school libraries here in Abilene.
But I searched it out last week after Braden (while watching a TV documentary with us) asked how someone could have two daddies (or two mommies).
This book also deals with adoption, a complicated subject for Braden to understand.
He knows that you need an egg from a mommy and a seed from a daddy to make a baby... but that was about it. This book was a great platform to jump from to talk about the fact that sometimes only mommies raise babies, sometimes just the daddies. We talked about how other couples want a baby but can't have one of their own, so they adopt a baby that another couple couldn't care for.
We talked about different kinds of couples. That some children have just one daddy or mommy, or two mommies or two daddies.... or (in my case) a mommy and a step mommy... etc etc - you get the drift.
Like the great blue nail polish debate of last summer I know that many people disagree with my approach on this subject. It is a fact that two boys or two girls can get married in this country. It is a fact that they can adopt. This will not change. Braden needs to understand that families come not only in different colors... but shapes (?) as well. I want him to be prepared to be able to meet and feel comfortable with all different kinds of people. I want him to be educated so that when he meets a friend at school who is of a different faith, race or background he doesn't feel frightened or make bigoted statements.
Life is hard and sad. In our culture where we try to shield our children from hurt. This book introduces the idea that not all things go as planned. Braden already knows this from the loss of his brother and knowing that my mother is no longer with us. In this book a family who can't have children gets a egg that would have been otherwise left abandoned to die. The couple gets an baby and that baby has a chance to live. A happy ending, and an uplifting message of unconditional love.