Monday, May 24, 2021

Books: Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door

In her fifth book, which is published to coincide with Gay Pride Month, Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door (Mascot Books), by award-winning author Nadine Haruni, helps kids understand that families come in all shapes, colors and sizes. But it isn’t a book just for children with same-sex parents or for kids in the LGBTQ+ community. Says Nadine Haruni, who is also an attorney, “The common thread of all the books is to not only be helpful to kids and families who can relate to these specific situations, but to help all kids recognize that no two families look the same, and encourage an environment of awareness, empathy and inclusivity.”

In the book, the tadpoles are surprised and filled with questions when they first meet their new neighbors, Jessica and her parents, Morgan and Irene. Why does Jessica have two mommas? Does not having a mommy and daddy like most kids make her feel weird? But their momma, Freeda, encourages Frannie, Frank and Jack to get to know Jessica’s two mommas. Before long, the tadpoles discover that Morgan and Irene are a lot like other mommas they know. Through spending time with Jessica and her mommas, the tadpoles realize that families can have two mommas or two daddies—because what really makes a family is love.

For toddlers, preschoolers and older kids too, the world of grown-ups is often confusing and sometimes scary. In her Freeda the Frog children’s book series, author Nadine Haruni makes coping with various life challenges easier for little ones with the help of a momma frog, Freeda, and her three little tadpoles, Frannie, Frank and Jack. The first four books deal with common issues: divorce; a parent’s remarriage and becoming part of a blended family; moving to a new city or town and starting a new school; and the loss of a pet or loved one. The Freeda the Frog series also serves as a tool to help parents, educators and school counselors open up conversations about difficult topics with children in an upbeat and non-scary way. Toward that goal, each book offers discussion questions at the end. The entire series has been leveled for schools to align with National Education Standards, and all five books have received Readers’ Favorite 5-star reviews and Gold Mom’s Choice Awards for excellence in the family-friendly picture book category.

“We are happy to award deserving books like Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door,” says Dawn Matheson, CEO, Mom’s Choice Awards. “Our panel of judges really felt this book merited a place on our list of the best in family-friendly products that parents and educators can feel confident in using.” Each book reinforces Nadine Haruni’s mission of “helping families of all species, one tadpole at a time.”