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Summary: An adoptive parent describes how they felt and the personality the child shared when they first met in Russia. The story goes on to contrast those traits with the person that child has become. This is a picture book that celebrates the adoptive family.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: 4 to 8
Age of Child: started reading with 3 1/2 year-old child
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler immediately wanted a second reading, intrigued by the story … and having fun finding the small teddy bear on each page.
Adult Reader Reaction: As a trans-national adoptive family, ourselves, we were happy to find a story that celebrates not only becoming an adoptive family, but also the child's birth culture.
Pros: Although described as a story of Russian adoption, parents celebrating any international adoption will find this a nice introduction to the subject. The Russian vocabulary at the end is a nice touch.
Cons: None really. If yours isn't a family with a Slavic history, you may want to substitute the vocabulary for the culture you are celebrating.
Borrow or Buy: Buy if you are an adoptive family that wants to explain an international adoption. This is a great introductory text for this age group.
Educational Themes: Although this is seemingly a book for adoptive families, it has classroom value for celebrating family, as well as cultures and traditions.
Literary Categories: fiction - adoption, family, picture book
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2005
Other Reviews: See series of Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at bn.com (Barnes & Noble) and borders.com.
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