Heather Has Two Mommies
Originally self-published in 1989, Heather Has Two Mommies became the first title in Alyson's newly formed Alyson Wonderland imprint in 1990. The simple and straightforward story of a little girl named Heather and her two lesbian mothers was created by Newman and illustrator Diana Souza because children's books that reflected a nontraditional family did not exist, but a firestorm of controversy soon ensued. Attacked by the religious right, lambasted by Jesse Helms from the floor of the U.S Senate, and stolen from library shelves, it was an uphill battle for Heather. Thanks to the overwhelming support of booksellers, librarians, parents, and children, however, Heather Has Two Mommies has sold over 35,000 copies, launched a minor industry in providing books for the children of gay and lesbian parents and, as attested to by a recent New Yorker cartoon, become part of the cultural lexicon. In response to teacher and librarian concerns, the often controversial artificial insemination section has been removed for the tenth anniversary edition, making Heather more accessible to younger children, while maintaining the central message of love and acceptance that has endeared the book to countless readers. After all, as Molly, Heather's beloved teacher points out, "The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other".