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Let’s Explore Family Constellations
Quick shortlist of some (but nowhere near all!) types of good and lovely families:
- My New Mom and Me (ages 3-7)
recent adoption, single mother, single child
- My Maddy (ages 4-8)
nonbinary single parent, single child
- The Phantom Unicorn (ages 7-9)
2-parent interracial polyma and/or lesbian moms with a bio dad
- Swift Fox All Along (ages 4-7)
separated multi-ethnic family
- Milo Imagines The World (ages3-8)
older sibling as primary caretaker, incarcerated parent
More resources to dig deeper:
- Love is Love is Love – Family Constellations in Kids Books
- Single Parenting in a Post-Apocalyptic Hellscape with Revolutionary Humans
- Caregivers with Disabilities
- The Reality of Being Adopted: Validating Stories For Adopted Kids
- Shared Custody & Blended Family Constellations in Kids Books
- Kids Books Featuring Multiracial Families
- Single Parent Family Constellations
- Adoption Family Constellations in Kids Books
- Foster Family Constellations in Kids Books
Let’s Explore Family Constellations: Polya Families
Since we’ve already got an extensive collection of resources on diverse family constellations, let’s focus on the most under-represented constellation in kids books – polyamorous or non-traditional blended families with multiple parents.
Every kid has the right to be proud of their family constellation, and that includes kids with polyam parents and grandparents. There really aren’t many mainstream books out there, so we have to settle for books that allude to plural parenting, without explicitly validating a kid’s reality.
So until we get great mainstream polyamorous family constellations, you can get started normalizing and reflecting your polyam family with:
- Love, Z (ages 2-6)
Suuuuper ambiguous, but this little robot has a large family, all with ambiguous roles.
- Raf and the Robots (ages 4-7)
While the author set out with the intention to normalize polya families, this story is more about patience than family, while subtly normalizing a three-parent family. It’s still vague though, and the author intentionally left things ambiguous if a reader wanted to see the third parent as a live-in aunt, surrogate, co-parenting ex, etc.
- Super Power Baby Shower (ages 4-7)
Clunky, hard to follow, but once you get a handle on what’s going on, this is an explicitly polyam family.
- Six Dinner Sid (ages 3-7)
about open relationships & honesty
- I’m Glad That You’re Happy (ages 4-7)
to discuss the concept of compersion
- Else-Marie and her Seven Little Daddies (ages 5-9)
this is popular in some circles, although it leans a little too far into ‘Haha, wouldn’t this be BIZARRE to have so many dads!‘ enough that I’m not sure if it’s helping or hurting.
- A Color Named Love (ages 3-6)
I was super excited about this, but honestly it was disappointing. The writing is so flowery and vague, it reads like the young protagonist is slowly losing their grip with reality as they become increasingly haunted by rainbow ghosts. My kids are well-aware that polyam families are a normal thing, but we all had *no idea* what was going on. Why is everyone glowing? Why does the text rhyme, but not really? WHO IS THIS WRITTEN FOR?!
- Ask me about Polyamory! (for teens & adults, it’s not problematic, it’s just too bland for kids)
Sometimes we retcon kids books about jealousy (friendship) on the fly to fit into the polyam family mold, but I’m not wild about this. Narrowing down on one tiny detail / stereotypical view of what monogamous folks fear about polyamory and using that as the singular entry point to polyam families still centers a nuclear-family perspective on what is natural and normal.