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Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies: 04/18/22

Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies

Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies by Pija Lindenbaum and Gabrielle Charbonnet (translator) is a Swedish book about a girl being embarrassed the day her seven daddies have to pick her up from after school playgroup. She's embarrassed because they're small and many where all her other friends (as far as she knows) have one normal sized daddy).

Most of the book, though, is the introduction of Else-Marie and her family. She has her mother and her daddies. The daddies all work the same job and commute together. Mom also works outside the house but usually has a flexible enough schedule to pick up her daughter from the after school playgroup (what locally here would be called YEP).

We're shown a typical family routine. It's all recognizable stuff: getting ready in the morning, going to school and work, chores, eating together, bedtime routine. All that's different is that there are seven Smurf sized daddies who look and dress identically. No explanation is ever given to why they are this way or how they and Else-Marie's mother met. That info isn't relevant as no kid really knows their parents' backstory.

The embarrassment comes though with having them pick up Else-Marie. She's afraid her friends will tease them or treat them like dolls. It's more her size than their number that she's worried about.

At it's most basic, it's a modern retelling of Snow White. But it can also be read as a tale of child raised in a polyamorous family. The size of the daddies is a stylistic distraction from the larger story.

I decided to track down a copy of the book in translation after seeing some posts about it on Fuse8Kate's Instagram.

Five stars

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