Who is picking me up? A children’s book about family structures
What does a real family look like? Is it the structure that makes the family? Are a mother and her donor-conceived child a family? Signe Fjord, a single mother by choice, was frustrated to experience that the answers to these questions didn’t come easy to everybody and she decided to do something about it. In this interview, Signe Fjord tells about the idea and background of her children’s book ‘Who is picking me up’.
How did the idea for the book ‘Who is picking me up’ arise?
In my book ‘Mommy and the love child’ I made a page where many types of families are represented. I experienced that this was a page that best explained to me and my daughter’s family. It made it very clear that there are many different family structures and ways to be a family – and that all families are real families! Therefore, I wanted to further develop the concept and share my point of view.
The idea itself actually arose when I heard my friend’s stepdaughter talk about how she believed that her dad, stepmom and new baby sister was a real family. She didn’t include herself in their family. I thought to myself, it simply can’t be true that a divorced child at 10 years old believes her family is not a real family. I wanted to do something about that.
Why do you think there is a need for this kind of book?
There is a need for a book like ‘Who is picking me up?’ because many families are not traditional nuclear families and many families feel like they are wrong in some way. In the book, I have included many different family structures so that all of them can learn about each other. I believe that acceptance comes through knowledge.
The purpose of this book is to make every reader feel equal, and part of a real family, no matter what his or her family structure is. All the families in the book are actually authentic families that I have met. They have shared their story and allowed me to include them in the book.
What is the plot in ‘Who is picking me up’ about?
The book is about the computer Rufus who keeps an eye on who picks up each child from the kindergarten. Its software is outdated, and because of that, Rufus always asks whether mom or dad picks up the children. Eventually, it breaks down and needs to get new software to keep up with how contemporary families look like. So, the children update Rufus about modern family constellations, and he becomes much more tolerant and understanding of the many different family structures that exist.
The following family structures are represented in the book:
- Nuclear family
- Divorced 7-7
- Co-parents or platonic parents
- Divorced family with new partners and new sibling
- Single-parent adopter
- One parent has passed away
- Solo mum
- Dad has left
Who will benefit from reading the book?
It is written for children in kindergarten, age 3-6, but I believe that children and adults of all ages can benefit from reading it. The book will start good conversations in all families.
A 70-year-old woman read the book and told me that it made her feel peace deep in her soul. She was conceived out of wedlock. The book gave her strength and consolidation. That, I didn’t anticipate at all when writing the book. Too many people feel that there is something wrong with them and the way their family is structured. It has surprised me how much joy the book brings among adults.
All families are real families and that message is very important for me to share with the world!
The book is a duo-project with my illustrator Sune Watts. He is a single dad. His beautiful illustrations play a huge role in the success. I owe him thanks for co-creating this important book with me. We decided to self-publish because we wanted 100% creative freedom. I also want to thank our translators. So far the book is available in 7 languages.
Purchase the book
The book is in English, Danish, Norwegian and German, and you can purchase it for EUR 11,94.
Different family structures on Cryos’ blog
On our blog, you can read about personal fertility journeys from people who are a part of the different family structures that Signe Fjord writes about in her book.