cover image Two Is Enough

Two Is Enough

Janna Matthies, illus. by Tuesday Mourning. Running Press, $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7624-5561-4

“Sure as one plus one will always be two,/ Two is enough when it’s me plus you!” writes Matthies (The Goodbye Cancer Garden) in this tribute to single parents and their singleton offspring. The book follows four parent-child dyads, diverse in ethnicity and age, through the seasons. Mourning (Princess Peepers Picks a Pet) renders her characters in full, bright colors, with calm, loving expressions, adding just enough detail to give a sense of time and place. Other than one scene in which a mother comforts her tearful child, the vignettes are devoted to everyday pleasures: a spread reading, “Two is enough for a thistledown wish,/ For passing the ball and playing Go Fish!” shows a close-up of a mother-daughter pair blowing on dandelions on a windy day, while a father and son enjoy a game of cards on a checkered picnic blanket. Matthies never explicitly compares these families to others, nor does she talk about the choices or circumstances that created the pairings. She keeps her message simple and clear: Head counts don’t matter. All you need is love. Ages 3–up. Author's agent: Kendra Marcus, Bookstop Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Nov.)