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Summary: A little girl wants to know more about her "real family" when she realizes that she doesn't look like her mother. At first glance it appears that the book is narrowly targeted to adoptive parents and adopted children; I believe it can help parents of all children.
Type of Reading: independent reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 2.5
Age of Child: guest review
Young Reader Reaction: none offered by this reviewer
Adult Reader Reaction: I remember telling my younger brother that he was adopted. (He wasn’t and I knew it.) He didn’t seem to be damaged by my harangues and I wonder if that was because my mother instinctively knew how to answer his questions, much as the mother in this book does. Still, she might have been better prepared with a book like this to read to us at night. If she had, I would have better understood what a “real” parent consisted of, certainly, and been less likely to use the word “adopted” to scare the heebeejeebees out of my kid brother.
Pros: Sometimes we forget what it is that makes us a “real” parent. This book is a reminder--for a child as well as a mother. If it is read to a child at a young enough age, the child--even one who is quite different in appearance from her mama--may never find it necessary to ask that fateful question.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. Any child will love it, and parents will be reassured, too.
Educational Themes: This book is an opportunity to teach children about acceptance at an early age. Our culture is as diverse as ever. We have many cross-adoptive family situations where “differences” are as evident as they are in the illustrations in this book.
Notes: Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote this review. Carolyn is an award-winning author whose first novel This is the Place is about acceptance.