Nathalie Foy recommended 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up so we recently borrowed it from the library. Of course a lot of the books in it are familiar classic titles but it has suggested a few treasures that are completely new to us. Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies is one of them. It cracks me up. It's like Heather Has Two Mommies but with a sense of humour.
Heather Has Two Mommies was, I believe, the first children's picture book to openly address gay and lesbian-parented families. Even though Two Mommies author Leslea Newman grew up in a Jewish community, she never saw Jewish families on television or in picture books and so felt that her family was somehow "wrong." Her book, which sparked a controversy when it first came out, was an effort to make a difference for this emerging minority of children.
Seven Little Daddies is a sort of blanket version of Two Mommies, covering all minorities precisely because its fantastical premise doesn't apply to any particular real-life one -- unless of course there is an actual polyandrous subculture involving little people in Sweden, where the author Pija Lindenbaum is from.
In the book, Else-Marie is alarmed by the fact that her seven little daddies are going to pick her up from school instead of her mother. She is worried that other people will think her family is strange -- but of course everything turns out just fine in the end.
This is my favourite illustration, which is accompanied by the text: "I sigh and lean my head against my mother's shoulder. Isn't it lucky that my daddies are so little that we can all fit in my mom's lap?"