Ten Picture Books About Adoption

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A friend of mine is making a book – a very important book. It is the story of her adopted daughter’s life. The little girl is only three and just beginning to ask questions about her babyhood, but as my friend opens this conversation, she asked me to recommend some good picture books about adoption.

Here are my ten favorites…

Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale by Karen Henry Clark (The illustrations by Patrice Barton are incredibly sweet, and I love the story about a Chinese baby’s journey to her adoptive parents. But…be prepared for a child asking why the baby is travelling alone – in a basket. Cute, but explanation of visual metaphor may be required!)

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (This is the book to reach for when a child wants to hear again – and again – about their arrival, but the baby’s arrival is announced by telephone. A straightforward and warm story.)

Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families by Robie Harris (Wherever you live, wherever you go, there are all kinds of families.”  A book that reassures children that “family” is a very big and inclusive word.)

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza (The story of a very cute yellow bird looking for his mother. Like most small yellow birds, Choco thinks his mother has to look like him, but when he meets a very cuddly bear, he learns an important lesson about family. I selected the front cover of this book because I love Choco’s striped feet!)

Horace by Holly Keller (Horace, a leopard, has spots. His parents are tigers – they have stripes. Horace decides to go out and look for a family that looks like him.)

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis (Illustrated by Jane Dyer, a lovely story about a woman who travels to China to meet her new daughter.)

The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin (A fairy tale based on the Chinese legend that a red thread connects people who are destined to be together.)

Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon (I don’t understand why this book is out of print, but it’s worth checking out from the library. Based on a true story, McMahon’s book is partly told from the point of view of the adopted toddler’s new brother.)

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption by Todd Parr (Parr writes the most cheerful books in the world – his books about families are supportive and accessible to very young children.)

My Mei Mei by Ed Young (Through the voice of Antonia, his oldest daughter, Young tells his family’s story of adopting Antonia’s little sister, her “mei mei.”)


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