Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale (Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell)

Hello, friends! Our review today is Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, a story about learning to balance digital and real life.

The unnamed narrator’s mom is a bit old-fashioned, so her family surprises her with a smartphone to bring her into the age of technology. Mom finds that she likes her new toy, especially “selfie culture” – taking photos of herself with family members and friends and sharing them with the world. At first, this is fun – it inspires mom to document and share all the fun things they do together as a family. But as time goes on, the obsession with documenting everything becomes a problem. Her life begins to revolve around her selfies and the promise of going viral – until her daughter steps up to confront her on her snap-happy ways.

Very interesting. I was a little wary of what the message would be in this one – after all, I’m a mom and blogger twice over – but I was happy to find that the central message encourages balance of digital vs. real life (rather than abstinence), which is absolutely something that every family needs to discuss in this day and age. Indeed, the story both celebrates how fun having an online presence can be, yet cleverly integrates how those “likes” can quickly become addictive and throw priorities out of whack. In this way, it’s a great way to both inspire conversations about responsible social media use with little ones while also reminding parents to set good examples of this balance themselves. The bouncy rhymes flow nicely for the most part, and the colorful, chaotic drawings perfectly express both joy and frenzy as the story unfolds. The length is good, and JJ enjoyed it. A modern cautionary tale with both wit and weight, and we liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Heather Has Two Mommies (Lesléa Newman)

Hello friends, and a happy start to Pride Month! To celebrate, our book today is the classic Heather Has Two Mommies, written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Laura Cornell in the new edition (Diana Souza illustrated the original).

Heather’s very favorite number is two. Why? Well, there are two of all her very favorite things – she has two arms and two legs, two eyes and two ears, two pets (a dog and cat), and best of all, her two mommies. She has her Mama Jane and her Mama Kate, and she loves both of them the most, more than anyone else. On Heather’s very first day of school, it comes up in conversation that she doesn’t have a daddy, and for the first time, she feels insecure – is she the only one in class with no daddy? But when the teacher suggests that the children all draw their families, Heather and the reader quickly see that each family is made up differently, with blended families, single-parent families, other LGBTQ families and more. Her teacher reminds the children that what makes a family isn’t a set of rules about who is in it; what makes a family is simply the love they share.

This groundbreaking work, cited as the first lesbian-themed picture ever widely published, has been around since 1989, and there’s a reason the story has such staying power. The themes are simple and easy to grasp for young readers, but encourage the universal truth that families of every shape and size are made family by love – no other prerequisites required. The text is cheerful and positive, and Cornell’s colorful, lively illustrations capture the frenetic energy of childhood. The length is fine for bookworms of any age, and JJ loved the art, especially the detailed environments. A classic must-read, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!