Just the two of us by Sarah Cathie

cover image

Illus. by Jelena Jordanovic-Lewis. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839067.
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Single-parent families, Mothers, Sons. Debut author Sarah Cathie drew inspiration for her gentle family story from a conversation with her young son. Just the two of us is an encouraging story that explores the love of a mother and child - a single-parent family.
Jasper and his mother love being together, playing in the backyard. Mum cheers him on at Saturday soccer and they enjoy holiday time, snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. The young boy observes other friend's families; Patrick is picked up after school by his dad. Jamie their neighbour has a fun father who loves to play tricks. Jasper's observations turn to questions, as his mother helps him understand there are many different kinds of families. Some have two mothers, other children are nurtured by their grandparents. Mum carefully explains about his donor who helped her to fulfil her dream of becoming a mother. He's reassured at bedtime with this exhortation 'all families are beautiful and different and in our family it's just you and me.'
Jelena Jordanovic-Lewis captures the sunny, happy feelings with bright sky blues and sunny yellows. Her characters show the loving relationship between Jasper and his mother and his friends' families. The author's descriptive story is just right for reading aloud to youngsters as they begin to look at non-traditional family dynamics. Just the two of us opens up discussion about the ways families are created.
Rhyllis Bignell