Saturday is Pattyday

reviewed by Judith E. Beckett, R.N.

by Leslea Newman
New Victoria Publishers, 1993. (ages 3-8)

This book is about a preschooler named Frankie whose two Moms are separating. He feels scared when he hears them fighting at night when he’s supposed to be asleep. When Patty moves into her own apartment, Frankie is sad.

He goes to visit and sees that he will have a place to sleep there and that there is a shelf with his name on it in the closet. Nevertheless, he has a meltdown in the park later and is able to say he’s afraid that he might lose Patty forever because they are fighting. Patty tells him, “I will always, always, always be your mom. ” And “Only grown-ups get divorced.” Patty is tearful when Frankie has to go home and he leaves his stuffed toy behind to comfort her.

This is a book that addresses many of the fears and emotions that a child experiences when his parent’s separate. The word “divorce” is used which is inaccurate and could cause confusion.

One other point of confusion: as I read through the book, I was able to assume Frankie was a girl because the text is gender neutral. With a name like a Frankie, I was at first led to believe that the child protagonist was a male child. A minor enough point, though. Although both moms are European Americans, the illustrations by Annette Hegel include images of people of color.

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