Aug 19 2012
“My New Mommy:” The Right Children’s Book for a Difficult Transition
First, let me start off by saying…..I am an equal rights activist. I believe that HUMANS have inherent rights that our governments have taken away based on ideals that don’t speak for everyone.
I am an LGBT activist. Many of my good friends fall under that spectrum, some slightly outside(LGBT does not include GQ/GF, Androgynous and/or Pansexual).
I am a big believer that the body of a person does not matter, their soul and spirit do. Mind you, I understand the preference for one over the other, or the fact that many people are only attracted to one gender/sex(mutually exclusive terms). But I do not believe those people should dictate what is right or wrong for other people.
This book was brought to my attention by the author herself. A good friend and lovely transgender woman named Lilly Mossiano. She just recently started a blog over at Geek Anomaly. When her book was accepted and slated to be published/printed yesterday, she instantly sent me an electronic copy. I had seen the artwork prior, as I am good friends with both Lilly and her life partner, Sage(aka, the illustrator), but Lilly REFUSED to let ANYONE read the book until it was ready to be printed. In fact, I’m 99% sure Sage didn’t even get to see it!
The book is called My New Mommy and is written by Lilly Mossiano(here is her author page). It is illustrated by Sage Mossiano.
I opened up the e-book to the sight of familiar artwork.Then I found MY name on the dedications page! MINE! I was humbled. It took a moment to continue on.
When I finally read it, I was floored. It was simple, well illustrated(but I already knew that), and amazingly thought out.
In very plain speech, the story is narrated by 4 year old Violet. Her father has come out as transgendered, and Violet goes through the story, with step by step child-like descriptions of how her father becomes her new mommy. It starts, properly, with her using the pronouns “he/him” before she is explained the transition, and ends, very properly with her using the pronoun “she/her” to describe her new mother after the transition.
The book does not address the other parent, it strictly focuses on the transition and the relationship between the daughter and the new mommy. Personally, I wish it had addressed the other parent, especially considering so many of those parents try very hard to make it work, though there are many who just give up. However, considering the age range this is geared too, I also understand that it can be a very difficult thing to understand more than one concept at a time, and how it could have distracted from the point of the book itself.
From what I understand, however, “My New Mommy” is the first of a series, so I am hoping that will be addressed in a later book.
So often, parents don’t know how to explain transgendered women(or men) to their children. It gets a thousand times harder when it is your own child. This book is designed to help transgendered parents explain to their children what is going on.
I also see it as the perfect way to explain the situation to a child, regardless of relation. My autistic nephew met Lilly and then asked my sister questions. She answered him in much the way part of this book reads out, and he understood. I think reading this book would make it even clearer. Even though it is designed for very young children, I could easily see it being used for any child under the age of 12. After that, I think a more in depth and descriptive tale(or even a straight out talk) would be more appropriate.
I could also see this book be used in family therapy sessions, if a child is having difficulty coping with the change.
Having a father who comes out as transgendered could create a sense of loss within a child’s mind. This book helps how that, though a child is essentially “losing” a father, they are gaining another mother.
The book has it’s own twitter and facebook accounts: @MyNewMommy and as part of the My New Series on Facebook.
Currently, this book is only available direct from the manufacturer. Click the cover photo above or go to My New Mommy @ Publish America to buy a print copy that will be sent directly to your door!
EDIT(3/7/13): My New Mommy is an E-BOOK!!!
Due to PublishAmerica and Ms. Mossiano parting ways, My New Mommy has been release in e-book format through Spun Silver Productions and Smashwords. It is currently not available in print anymore. It IS, however, only $5, which is a vast improvement from the $25 PublishAmerica was charging.
Here is the new cover, which links to the purchase page:
*Disclaimer: I did receive a free electronic copy of this book to read and review. In all fairness, I know the author and illustrator personally. I may or may not get compensation for this review. Should you purchase this book, you will find my name listed in the dedications. Why? Because I am an advocate who urged my friend to follow her dream. Regardless of both of those facts, I tell you know, the above review is an honest and true one. My friend set out to make a book to help transgendered parents and the family members, friends and therapists of transgendered parents reach out to their children. I think she’s done a damn fine job.