A beautifully illustrated story, written with a light and humorous touch, that celebrates nontraditional families and captures exactly what lies at the heart of family life — love.
‘Elvi, which one is your mum?’
‘They’re both my mum.’
‘But which one’s your real mum?’
When Nicholas wants to know which of Elvi’s two mums is her real mum, she gives him lots of clues. Her real mum is a circus performer, and a pirate, and she even teaches spiders the art of web.
But Nicholas still can’t work it out! Luckily, Elvi knows just how to explain it to her friend. . .
‘Elvi (a child of colour with light brown skin and straight, brown hair) has two mums (one of whom has darker skin and hair and one, lighter than Elvi). When Nicholas (who has light brown skin and curly hair) comes over to their house, he asks, ‘Elvi, which one is your real mum?’ Elvi’s initial, confident retort is: ‘They’re both my real mum.’ Elvi patiently offers similar responses as Nicholas persists, then starts to have a little fun … Ideally, readers who need this message will grasp it sooner than Nicholas does, though perhaps the book’s impact will have more power for those who read it as validation of their own experiences enduring microaggressions.’
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‘This imaginative picture book affirmation of family centres brown-skinned Elvi, who has two mothers. When Elvi’s friend Nicholas asks which of her parents is the ‘real’ one … Elvi cleverly reframes the subject, defining her mother in ways every child can understand… Hatched and stippled textures in ink and marker … offer the illustrations a snug, soft feel.’
‘The limited colour palette is striking for its yellows, which are gender neutral and contrast with the imagined scenes in blues … Square panels and sequential scenes give a comics feel to the illustrations and correspond with the playful tone of Elvi’s responses to Nicholas' questions. This Australian import may encourage kids with same-sex parents and could serve as a prompt for a creative writing exercise.’
‘[A]n empowering approach that shows a child who confidently has her own solution … [T]here’s still a time and a place for books that deal smartly with some of the questions that children in LGBTQ families may encounter. Who’s Your Real Mum? is one of them.’
‘A gorgeous story with an understanding and tender heart. There’s a lot of humour within, a nurturing of curiosity and absurdity but overall; it’s a story about family, and love – always love.’
‘[N]ot enough children’s books out there that represent these families … [A] great way to show children different kinds of families.’
Youth Services Book Review
‘This is a question I imagine many children with same sex parents receive. It must get old. Real old. The illustrations of this picture book show how much Elvi feels loved and supported in her family, and how, as Nicholas continues to just not get it, she resorts to her powerful imagination … [W]e highly recommend it!’
‘Elvi’s imagination guides her answer to a curious question about what is real. Love is bigger than any answer she can give and her age appropriate answer is pedagogically perfect and developmentally spot on.’
Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Librarian Review, Neill Public Library
‘All mums will love this! ... [A]n endearing and fun book for all young readers and grown-ups who care for them.’
Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA
‘Who’s Your Real Mum? is a beautifully illustrated and entertaining picture book story by the team of author/storyteller Bernadette Green and artist/illustrator Anna Zobel that celebrates nontraditional families and captures exactly what lies at the heart of family life — love.’
Midwest Book Review