Who’s Your Real Mum?

Children of same-sex parents must find it wearying to be asked which parent is their ‘real’ one. In this book we meet Elvi, who is of mixed race, and has two mothers, one of whom has brown skin. Her friend Nicholas asks her which woman is her real mother. She patiently explains that both are, but Nicholas refuses to accept this and maintains that the real mother is one who carried her in her tummy. Bored with the questions, Elvi starts to have some fun with him. She tells him her real mum teaches spiders how to make webs and can pull a car with her teeth. But she also lists the things every mother does, such as tucking her into bed and holding her when scared. ‘Don’t both your mums do that?’ he asks. ‘Exactly,’ says Elvi.

This is a book for everyone. Children of same sex-parents will identify with Elvi’s attempts to answer questions about her parents, while children of traditional family units will see that not all families look like theirs. The illustrations by Anna Zobel are charming and playful with a cosy feel. This funny and touching book could help spark conversations about how all families are different but yet very similar when it comes to the important things.