I received a reader's copy of this book from the Author for review. I was not compensated for my review and the thoughs and opinions are my own.
I was extremely excited when I was asked by author Maria Ashworth to review her book Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four. Maria is a step mother raising a blended family as well so I knew with that in common this book was going to be an interesting read.
My Blended Family
I did not think about a book when my family blended together, but it would have been an incredible tool. For the most part our family blended together very easily. My oldest daughter was getting ready to go out on her own and my husband’s children who were 5 and 7 at the time are the most open and accepting children I’ve ever met. My 11 year old daughter was the one who had the hardest time. The 11 year old and 7 year old girls go along very well. They played together all the time. The biggest concern my 11 year old had was sharing me. She was very jealous of the two younger children spending time with me. It took a while for her to realize that no one was taking her place and having a new brother and sister and Bonus Dad meant a bigger, happier family then she had ever had before.
Reading the Book
Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four begins with a little girl finding out that her Mom is going to remarry, and the little girl isn’t thrilled. None of our children vocalized any upset at our marriage, but it is so common for some children to be upset with a new family dynamic. This little girl is concerned that Mom isn’t going to have time to spend with her doing the things she loves to do with her. I think this is where my daughter was coming from. It just took following through with what I said I was going to do and making sure that she got some special time with me while her bonus siblings got some special time with their Dad. It didn’t take long before we could mix it all up and spend time with any child and any parent. The little girl in this book is worried about sharing her toys and having to play with these new children. She finds that she is gaining all brothers and makes it clear they are to stay out of her room and not touch her toys. That was an issue I found with my daughter, sharing her “stuff” took a little while to get used too. Her older sister is 6 years older than she is so she didn’t have to share much before and now there were younger children who were interested in what she had and what she was doing. In the book, the little girl’s Mom tries to reassure her that it is all going to be ok. We had that same talk in our home. Reassuring her that everything was going to be ok and that we would work on any concerns that came up for any child. When the little girl in the book is bothered by a bully, her new step siblings jump in too her defense, it is then that she realizes they aren’t so bad after all and she also realizes she loves having a bigger family then she had before.
For us it didn’t take long at all, and at times we wondered how we got so lucky, but our 3 younger siblings do very well together. The girls aren’t always interested in having their little brother play with them, this could happen if they were biological siblings too. When they do play together they play together so well and it warms our hearts. Because our oldest daughter is on her own with her own children her relationship with the younger siblings is easy going, but less involved because she isn’t here as much. My 6 year old granddaughter doesnt really understand at my daughter's house that she has a blended family. She loves her step daddy and her half sister very much and her stepdad has been in her life from the time she was 2 so to her, it's just the way it's been.
This Book is Amazing
Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four has artwork that is simply adorable. My children and grandchildren loved the rhyming flow of the story. They chuckled as we read situations that they could related too, especially the sharing. They especially loved how through the book the little girl refers to the boys at Step one, Step two, Step Three and Four, but at the end of the book she refers to them by their names. This is a great example of how patience and understanding can payoff in having a bigger, loving family.
I would recommend Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four to anyone who is blending two families together. It is a very accurate portrayal of situations that happen when bringing children together with a new family dynamic and provides a positive outcome to their situation.
I’m so excited that I got to read this book to my children and grandchildren and share with them this heartwarming story about a situation they can all relate too. What a wonderful tool for blended families.
Where You Can Find Maria Ashworth and her Work
This book, Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I encourage you to check out more of Maria Ashworth’s incredible work on her website MariaAshworth.com