Category Archives: Children’s books

A sticky hypothetical … and some reviews!

I could tell you all about my jaunt to the circus with Miss Maeve last weekend. I could, but then I’d have to tell you how we:

1) broke the dry-underwear streak that had reached a record five days

2) and then again just an hour later

3) and that ill-prepared me grabbed two pair of extra underwear before we left but somehow didn’t figure on needing a change of clothes …

4) which I’m chalking up to me being both A) scatterbrained and B) awfully darn assured in my daughter’s ability to do her business in the appropriate places (I so prefer this one) — none of these being, by the way: 1) my lap, 2) my friend’s arms while down on the circus floor or 3) standing near enough to my leg that I also get wet.

5) Now, if I were talking about the circus I would then also have to tell you that I worked up a sweat in the tight little seats while trying to shimmy off the wet clothes (we were in a box, so it wasn’t like it was in front of all 10,000 strangers/circus-goers, although I’m not sure that by that point I would have cared) and then sliding off her oh-too-cute plaid ballet flats I had excitedly tossed into my T*rget cart a couple weeks ago only to now find them, well, to put it nicely — superbly sea-worthy. (Isn’t that what boat-lovin’ people say about their crafts?) They were so liquid-tight I could have dropped a couple goldfish in there for a backstroke competition.

Gross.

Anyway, I could tell you about all of that: the night that left me sticky, my purse crusty from the ice cream with sprinkles that fell from its precarious perch on the seatback right into my bag, and my hands perfumey from my friends’ oily air freshener in her car that had exploded in the console bucket thingie where she also had stored our circus tickets, which then resulted in writing on the tickets smearing off onto our hands and us wondering aloud if we would even be allowed into the joint to begin with — since it totally looked like we had printed them up in our own Perfume-Laden Basement of Circus-Ticket Thievery. (Doesn’t everyone have one of those?) 

Yes, yes, I could share all of this wonderfulness with you but … I won’t.

Instead I’ll just tease you with the promise of two reviews in the very near future. (One tonight, and one first thing Monday.) And even better, an additional promise: neither review has anything at all to do with pottying or underwear-wearing. (Although methinks I’ve got a post rumbling ’round my wee brain about children’s underwear and the flagrant advertising found therein. Or thereon. Whatever it is, I. Don’t. Like. It.)

But, my friends, I’ve digressed. Back to mamagigi’s forthcoming reviews (isn’t it awkward when people refer to themselves in the third person? mamagigi doesn’t know, she’s just venturing a guess.)

The first review might be interesting for hungry folks in the audience (and their snack-hungry children, of course) and the other is for those who love children’s books and who are also sentimental, soft-hearted for inspirational words and all mushy inside.

And, well, if you’re at all like me, you fit both bills. Hungry, sentimental and all sorts of mushy (no comments from the exercising-folk in the peanut gallery).  Yes indeedy, dear readers, I am a prize. Ain’t my husband lucky?

Incidentally, I also have three (!!) other reviews coming — one of which has giveaways (that totally rocks, donchyathink?) — so start a-stretchin’ your finger-typin’ muscles and get ready to enter here to win! And I’ll even give ya a hint: it involves one of my favorite feel-good-while-frolicking-in-sunflower-full-fields songs. Bet you think you know what it is, right? (I know. I should make my hints more abstract. Rest assured, mamagigi will work on that.)

And with all of that excitement, excessive mushiness, and frenzied stickiness amid tigers, ponies and men in leotards, I bid thee adieu.

For now. 

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Children's books, For fun, Maeve, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized

Book lovers unite!

Ooh, ooh, ooh! Thought I’d share two cool recent book-related website finds.

The first is for all you children’s book author wannabes (my name is soooo on that list!). Biguniverse.com is a fun new site that not only sells children’s books, you can read them online first for free — so if you’re looking to buy, but it’s not a book you’re familiar with, you can not only judge the book by its cover, you can actually read it, front to back, and decide if it’s for you. So far there are several hundred books available for purchase there, all of which can be read completely first.

My favorite part about the site, and here’s where the author-aspiration part comes in, is its “Create” tab — click it and get down to business writing your own children’s book. Choose your fonts, illustrations, text, title, cover, pages, all of it. It’s just a cool (totally time-consuming, be-prepared-to-get-sucked-into-it) exercise to see it come to life right before your eyes. You know, to help you keep the dream alive. If nothing else, it’s something to do with all that extra time on your hands. Ha.

***

The other site — and I know I’m late to the party on this one having only recently found it — is bookcrossing.com. I love the thinking behind it: recycling books you no longer want and “setting them free” to travel the world and land into the hands of people you’ve never met. And, best of all, you can even track your former book’s travels!

Imagine, the site says, leaving a book on a park bench, in a coffee shop or in a hotel while on vacation for someone else to find. I can’t help but think I’d keep wondering if and when someone found it and whether the surprise made their day! There’s something mysterious and romantic about the idea. Yes. I know. I’m strange that way.

OK, so imagine being the person who stops to rest on the bench and sees a book sitting all by its lonesome. You look around but don’t see anyone that looks like they belong to it. So you flip over the cover. A bookplate explains it’s been set free and is yours for the reading. An unexpected gift. (And we can all agree that books and reading are a gift, right?) Bring it home, log onto the site and mark the book “captured.” When you’re done, set it free and check in later on the site to see when it’s found a new home.

The site boasts that 651,923 people in more than 130 countries have “shared their passion for books with the world.” In fact, the term “bookcrossing: n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise,” was added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.

Yeah, I’m definitely late to this party. If you are too, don’t fret. We’ll go together. Click your state, find your town or the closest one with a book that’s been set free and not yet captured, and your adventure awaits.

Cool, eh?

(My problem is actually letting go of the books in the first place.  Just ask all my stuffed bookcases, the boxes of books in the attic that I can’t part with, and my husband, who’s carried them up and down and around over the years with me pointing where I want them.  Rrrrright.)

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Filed under Books, Children's books, For fun

Book Review: Daring Book for Girls

daringgirlsbookcover.jpg

This review is part of my participation in MotherTalk.
This, and all future reviews, will be archived on the Reviews tab above.

When I was in college, I managed a small independent children’s bookstore. From storytime under the big in-store elm tree to choosing from the myriad books, puzzles and realistic animal and bug puppets, children entering our shop were encouraged to discover the wonder and adventure in reading.

One afternoon, like most, a mother and young child sat in a cozy corner reading from a small stack of books. As I went about my work, I took delight in the ebb and flow of their voices and his determined page-turning. That is, until it came to a screeching halt when the little boy — about three years old — began to shriek in protest: “No mommy! That’s a girl book! I’m not reading that!”

It was then I realized just how young children are when they learn the unfortunate pinks and blues, dolls and trucks mindset in “traditional” gender roles. I promised myself any daughter of mine would also have a truck and handle a fishing pole, and any son would have a doll and help bake a cookie or two in the kitchen. (Ya know, alongside daddy’s apron strings. Me not being a fan of the kitchen and all.)

I also was careful in future dealings with customers not to become mired in that narrow gender-role mindset; I’d show all children all different kinds of books, sharing all sorts of adventures with all sorts of readers.

Given this, one can imagine I’m not wont to pull from the shelves a book seemingly written for one gender or another. No thank you. I don’t need a bookcover or author telling me I’m an acceptable reader simply because I’ve got breasts.

Ah. But there’s now an exception to this rule of mine.

When the recently released The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz landed on my doorstep, thanks to MotherTalk and publisher Harper Collins, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of being simultaneously intrigued and cautious.

But wait. Mamagigi’s getting ahead of herself. First, another personal story. (Yes, it relates. I promise. Yeesh.)

One spring, as a child, my parents bought a large, playground-grade swingset from my elementary school for our own backyard. Seems the school was planning an upgrade and held an auction to make room for new play equipment.

Now, this swingset was special. It was like no other in my little slice of suburbia. It was red. Cherry red. And big. Very big. It seemed to be crafted soley for the purpose of swinging higher than all the other shamed denizens of Swingset-land. This awe-inspiring swingset sat ready, its long A-frame legs and strong chains tempting us — and all the neighborhood kids — to hop on and give it a spin. You know, if you dared.

To put it simply, my sister and I were thrilled.

But alas. It wasn’t meant to be.

Just days after its arrival into our very own backyard, a tornado blew through my Midwestern town and twisted the beloved new plaything into a big, depressing, cherry-red pretzel.

We moped for days, wallowing in our misery and the unbelievable unfairness of it all. Suddenly, the once-promising summer shined less bright, and each day lingered longer than the one before it. This is what happens, don’tchyaknow, when one’s innocent childhood daydreams are squashed and all that remains is disappointment, frustration and — gasp! — boredom.

This continued at a painful pace until, well, until the day our mother had heard enough.

Without explanation or invitation, she simply marched into the backyard and began to climb a big old tree that had been uprooted during the tornado and landed in our backyard. A tree that for us, had only been further reminder of the Tornado That Ruined Our Life.

While our parents’ gift of super-sized, ready-made swingset fun was just a short-lived reality, that afternoon mom presented us with a much greater gift: a jumpstart of our imaginations. She was daring us to embrace an unexpected opportunity that had landed — quite literally — in our own backyard.

The Daring Book for Girls reminds me of that day. It beckons young girls to extract the iPod earbuds from their ears, close their cell phones and embrace creativity and the important role it deserves in one’s childhood.

From its unique Tiffany blue hue and silvery glitter stylings to its heftiness as a hardcover chock-full of information, stories and tips meant to empower today’s young girls, Daring offers so much more than tired and shallow tips about blotting lipstick, walking gracefully in heels and batting eyelashes at bad boys. And this non-traditional take on activities for girls is a treat, indeed.

Its vintage feel doesn’t hurt either, with marbleized inside covers and old-fashioned fonts, parents of potential young readers can’t help but feel transported to the simpler time of their own childhood. Or the childhood they wish they’d had.

Although one could argue this packaging forces the fond feelings of yesteryear, the fact is if the book’s contents didn’t live up to its packaging, moms like me would simply place it right back onto the shelf and walk away.

But that’s not a problem for Daring — it delivers.

Readers can flip to any page and learn something they didn’t know. Or, just as delightful, relish in recollections of past adventures. There’s no need to carve out hours for reading this book, either. Each page or two offers a new activity, a new tidbit of cultural information or just-for-the-fun-of-it facts. From sports (something I admit the tweeny me would have skipped right over had this book existed then) and history (our daughters should learn about all sorts of daring women that came before them, yes?) to crafts (like making your very own sit-upon — oh, how I wish I still had mine, with its now-dated greenish-brown and ivory gingham checks and long ivory plastic waiststrings) to clever tricks and tips meant to entertain, there’s little room here for boredom.

Gather your daughter. Tell her to gather her friends. Heck, gather your friends. There are good times to be had and memories to be made.

This book will have a place in my daughter’s collection. And although she’s too young now to take full advantage, I’m not. It’s also a useful tool for me, in my role as her mom, to help keep her days full of learning, adventure and creative play — the simple charms of childhood.

So for me, its purpose is two-fold: In addition to being a guidepost for my own mother-daughter adventures to come, it’s a sweet reminder of my own years as a child when the most important thing I had to worry about was what crayons to use on the sign for my lemonade stand.

That day following the tornado, when I dusted off my imagination — thanks to a not-so-subtle dare by my own creative mother — is one of several memories I hold dear. Like dancing with her in warm summer rain showers.

Or later, sitting with friends, knotting shoelaces onto sticks and dangling them above murky rain puddles. Just us girls, fishing poles in hand, chatting it up and waiting for rainfish to bite.

This book is a must-have — for us and our daring daughters.

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Filed under Children's books, For fun, Friends, Gifts, Growing up, Parenting, Reviews

For the List Lover in You (Kids’ Books ’07)

Publisher’s Weekly has released its Best Children’s Books of 2007 and School Library Journal has released its Favorite 63 books from the many it reviewed this year — and just in time.

With cold weather (we had snow showers yesterday with the biggest-I-kid-you-not snowflakes I’ve ever seen), some holiday home time over the next few days, a stockpile of aged wood in the backyard and my always-willing-to-please fireplace, I’m one happy book-list lover.

It’s always interesting to see the newest authors and illustrators, and things I may have missed during the year. So, with wool socks on and a big ol’ cup of steaming tea in hand, you know where to find me.

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Filed under Children's books, NaBloPoMo

Smell the fresh ink?

My latest column is up over at AFTH, and as usual, the link to it remains nestled in my sidebar. But in the interest of saving you a click or two, here’s what I had to say in :

Changing Leaves, Changing Minds

Some use the start of the new year as reason for reflection, as motivation for listing lofty resolutions dependent on powerful will. Me? I do this long before Dick Clark begins his countdown.

Maybe it’s the childhood ritual of beginning school, fresh-faced and ready for a new start, or maybe it’s because November brings with it both efforts to give thanks and raise adoption awareness. Either way, as the crisp autumn air nips at my toes, I’m contemplating what I — both an adoptive mother and wife to an adoptee — can do better.

This year not only will I continue to respect these roles of adoption in my life personally — which includes a commitment to my daughter’s first mother that she’s needed in our lives — but I will transform everyday situations into teachable moments that matter.

When discussing our open adoption, if folks mention Maeve’s first mother “taking her back,” insisting on co-parenting and existing only to confuse Maeve, I will, without waffling, dispel the untruths and undo the damage of Lifetime movies.

When asked about Maeve’s “real” mother “giving up” her child and whether she has “moved on,” I will explain we are both real mothers, that there’s nothing in her adoption choice resembling giving up on her daughter, and I will remind them that filling someone else’s arms with your child isn’t the same as losing a favorite stuffed toy.

I will applaud television networks and programs portraying adoption and its triad in an accurate and positive light. I will just as fervently contact those making adoption jokes or depicting birth parents as anything less than they are. When represented accurately, adoption’s mystery diminishes and our children benefit.

I’ll write municipalities I’ve long lectured in my mind, explaining that adopting a road is nothing like adopting a child. I will demonstrate not only how “sponsor” suits their needs just fine, but how their use of “adopt” makes my job of raising a healthy, well-adapted adult that much harder as I need to explain the difference between cleaning dirty roads and forever loving a child.

This Nov. 17, not only will I ensure adoption-related books are read in my daughter’s daycare and our library, I will volunteer to read them myself. And then I’ll encourage their use year-round, not just because a calendar dictates it.

I will make all these everyday moments really matter.

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Ethics, Birth parents, Children, Children's books, Community, Discussing Adoption, Latest AFTH column, Maeve, Making a difference, NaBloPoMo, Open Adoption, Parenting, Promises

(Not) Ready for takeoff

Maeve and I leave the East Coast in two days to visit my sister (her beloved Aunt Kiki) and family, including my beloved nephew Dashiell.

In Arizona.

I’m uber-excited since I’ve never been there and haven’t seen them since they moved earlier this summer.

But I’m also afraid. Very afraid. This is Maeve’s first plane ride and since Thomas is staying back at home, I’m doing this on my own. The flight is 5 hours, 45 minutes, and that’s not accounting for any thumb-twiddling on the famously belated-in-its-takeoffs-Newark-airport tarmac.

Anyone who’s learned she and I are flying this week has said something akin to, “Well, of course you’re flying at night, right? So she’ll sleep?”

Well, um … no.

When I booked the jaunt, I just wanted to be sure we arrived in enough time that we still had the better part of a day there. Didn’t even consider the fact that our morning flight will find Maeve rested and raring to go for the day. Rookie mistake, indeed.

I’m trying to think of every trick in the book (where can I get my hands on that book, anyway?) to keep Maeve entertained, but I’m worried that the number of hours on the plane, the number of feet within which we are required to remain, and the number of years in her age just don’t make for a pretty equation. Granted, I was an English major, but that’s some math I think I can figure out.

Here’s what I am doing so far, though:

  • Bringing the umbrella stroller for easy maneuvering through the huge airport, to be left right outside the plane door for the flight attendants to stow away and then retrieve when we arrive; (especially since I’m also lugging along the carseat — but checking it — so we have one in Arizona).
  • I booked, at someone’s suggestion, the aisle seat and the window seat, with the chance that someone might not purchase the middle seat. If it remains open, we’ve got some more elbow room. Yay! If a solo flyer does snatch it up, obviously we’ll shift around and let him or her (good luck to them, whoever they are!) sit where they want in our row.
  • Bringing my laptop on board with a handful of newly purchased DVDs — Laurie Berkner Band, Elmo, Animal Adventures at the San Diego Zoo — for Maevey Gravy to watch. I can hear the gasps now, I know, I know. Our strict telly-watching rules. Well, they’re bending for the half-dozen hours we’re up in the air, kind of a “After 10,000 feet altitude, all screen-time maximums are, well, ignored, for the sanity of the flying-solo mama, the baby and everyone else.” (Mind you, I’m going to wait as long as possible before cracking open the laptop and sticking a DVD inside. Really. Seriously, I am!)
  • I’ve purchased a couple new children’s books and haven’t shown them to Maeve so they’ll be new for the plane.
  • Bringing crayons and coloring book
  • Snacks (Except for drinks, since I can’t bring anything from home, although I’m told I can buy them after security checkpoints. Right. Me, Maeve, stroller, laptop, carry-on bag of tricks — shopping and paying extraordinarily high prices in the airport shops from a limited selection of more than likely high-sugar drinks is no big deal. Arg.)
  • Someone told me not to get on the plane when they call for passengers with children first since it only extends the time they’re cramped on board. But the idea of banging my way through the aisles, with a toddler, carry-on bag and laptop in tow, all while scores of people worry it’s the seat next to them that I’m coming toward, just doesn’t appeal to me.

And …. that’s all I’ve got. So, help a nervous mama, would ya? Throw me some suggestions, ideas, words of wisdom, tricks of the parenting trade. And no, please don’t suggest flying at night. I’ve heard that one 17 times already.

And if you’re scheduled on my flight, please be nice. And patient. Maeve and I are good people, really. Really, we are.

(Oh no! I just thought about the ear-popping. What if that freaks her out? How do I explain that?)

Ack.

Who knows, maybe I’m worrying for nothing. I mean, why wouldn’t a two year old want to sit still for almost six hours in a confined space with tons of strangers surrounding us?

Silly me.

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Filed under Adoption, Children, Children's books, Family, Firsts, Maeve, Parenting, Still learning

April showers bring May’s … book winner!

April has come and gone, and thus has my first prize giveaway. As promised here and then here, anyone submitting at least one recommended title of a children’s book involving adoption by month’s end would be entered into a drawing. The recipient — handselected by baby Maeve — would receive a brand-new copy of one of the recommended reads.

Well, the 21-month-old lass has unknowingly made her selection from the bowl of names — also known as “The Winner Is The First Piece of Paper She Touches Game.”

Thanks to all who submitted titles — and, as promised, I’ve added to the list too. If you recommended a book, your blog link is duly noted. There were a few recommended titles I couldn’t locate in my local library or in online searches. If you don’t see your title here and can provide further information on it, please pass it along and I’ll gladly add it to the list.

The list, thus far, is below, and you’ll see it also now has a permanent home at the top of musings:mamahood&more. It is by no means all-inclusive, nor is it static; I’ll continue to add titles as I find them. If you have or even stumble on a book you like but it’s not listed here, drop me a line so we can continue to build this resource. The last section of books are titles that some readers recommended in a list format, with no specific comments; some titles I’m aware of and own; as well as some titles I haven’t read myself but wanted to include in the interest of crafting both a comprehensive source and a jumping-off point for those interested in hunting down adoption-related titles. Of course, if you find that something listed here isn’t accurately represented or doesn’t mention an element to the story that others should know, please let me know that, too. If you discover something new here and find you love it, share that with us, too!

So, without further ado, the winner of my first-ever book giveaway is …. drum roll please ….  Heather! (Heather, please email me with your top three choices from the list below, and don’t forget to include your mailing address! It’s that simple, and presto — you’ve got another book to add to your library!)

Thanks again to all who contributed! It was nice to see some of my favorites are some of yours, too. And it’s even nicer to learn about so many I hadn’t known about. We’ll definitely be adding to our library for Maeve — and I hope this proves useful for you and yours.

And now, for The List:

Reader-Recommended Books (in no particular order):

“We See the Moon” by Carrie A. Kitze; recommended by Dawn: “Great chapter book about adoption from the perspective of the first family — specifically the little sister of the woman planning to place in an open adoption.” It’s “heart-wrenching” and “a positive view of a loving family and a loving first mom.”

“The Tummy Mummy” by Michelle Madrid-Branch; recommended by Jenna 

“A Mother For Choco” by Keiko Kasza; recommended by Susan, Amanda, and Diane, who also recommends (as do I!) New Jersey’s Tapestry Books, an independent bookshop (no big corporation here, thankyouverymuch!) that focuses on adoption.

“Pugnose Has Two Special Families” by Karis Kruzel (Mouse; open adoption) recommended by  Poor_Statue and Heather

“Twice Upon A Time: Born and Adopted” by Eleanora Patterson; recommended by Susan: “It’s nice because it deals with an older child getting adopted and also discusses foster adoption.”

“I Don’t Have Your Eyes” by Carrie Kitze; recommended by Susan: “Very good — each two-page spread focuses on how connections can be biological or not. (I don’t have your eyes … but I do have your way of looking at the world.)

“Happy Adoption Day” by John McCutcheon; recommended by Heather

“The Day We Met You” by Phoebe Koehler; recommended by mamagigi (“You Felt Like the Sun Shining Inside Us”), Heather

“How I was Adopted” by Joanna Cole; also recommended by Heather

“Little Miss Spider” by David Kirk; recommended by Susan; (Spider can’t find her mother, and Beetle Betty helps to look for her, to no avail. Spider realizes Betty is the one taking care of her all along and she’s the mom she needed.)

“The Colors of Us” by Karen Kaz; “The Red Blanket” by Eliza Thomas; recommended by trixieintransit

Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story About Open Adoption by Laurie Lears; recommended by Dawn 

“The Three Names of Me,” by Mary Cummings; recommended by Sara: This is “one of my favorites — and one that is very respectful of first families.”

“Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis; recommended by Amanda and Susan

Families Are Different” by Nina Pellegrini; “On The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier: The latter is not an adoption book, per se, but beautifully shares what happened on the earth the day a child was born. (While you waited in darkness, tiny knees curled to chin, the Earth and her creatures with the Sun and the Moon all moved in their places, each ready to greet you the very first moment of the very first day you arrived.)
recommended by Alice-Anne; mamagigi, too — I often give this as a new baby book.

***

Additional Adoption Books For Children
(Some suggested by readers, others I knew, and even others
I culled by searches and cannot personally vouch for.
But check them out and keep in touch with your feedback!) 

“Pablo’s Tree” by Pat Mora (Granfather buys a tree when he learns his daughter is adopting, and waits to plant it until his grandson arrives. Each year, his grandson spends his birthday with grandpa, who decorates the tree each year in a special theme and re-tells the story of how he came to the family.)

 “Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story” by Carol Anotoinette Peacock (told from the adopted child’s perspective; China)

“All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It” by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata (mamagigi: Discusses for children — in a gentle way — birthparents and adoptive parents, their concerns and feelings, the process and how ultimately their paths cross, as well as acknowledging the varied thoughts, fears and feelings kids have at different ages. The book includes a Notes For Parents at the end with challenges, tips and guidelines for discussion.)

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Two male penguins raising daughter, Tango)

“Horace” by Holly Keller (Animal story: Horace is spotted, his family is striped. He sets off to find others who look more like him. In the end, he realizes family isn’t about matching.)

“Lucy’s Family Tree” by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Mexico adoption; Lucy’s homework assignment to make a family tree teaches her that all families are unique.)

“The Mulberry Bird” by Anne Braff Brodzinsky (Mother bird trying to ensure the best care for her baby. Author updated the 1986 edition 10 years later to better reflect open adoption and birthfamilies.)

“Place in My Heart” by Mary Grossnickle (Animal story; Charlie wonders if he looks like his birthparents, if they think about him. He learns there’s room in his heart for everyone he cares about.)

“Sam’s Sister” by Juliet C. Bond (When younger sibling is placed for adoption.)

“We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo” by Linda Walvoord Girard

“A Koala For Katie” by Jonathan London (After a visit to the zoo, Katie worries about the baby koala if mama koala can’t take care of it. She “adopts” a stuffed koala, like her parents adopted her, and cares for it.)

“Did My First Mother Love Me” by Kathryn Miller

“The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted” by Mary Zisk

“I Love You Like Crazy Cakes” by Rose Lewis

“Every Year on Your Birthday” by Rose Lewis (sequel to Crazy Cakes)

“Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale” by Karen Katz; (According to Susan, listed above, this book “kind of elides the first parents all together, which is hugely irritating, but we stop and talk through things as we read.”)

“Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story” by Lori Rosove (A beagle adopted by schnauzers, with questions about fitting in.)

“Let’s Talk ABout It: Adoption” by Mr. Rogers

“Mama’s Wish/Daughter’s Wish” by Debbie and Brynne Blackington; (China; both mother and daughter contribute to story)

“Giant Jack” by Birte Muller (Story of mouse who is different than his siblings; his mom explains why and how he is special)

“Oliver” by Lois Wickstrom (Animal story of alligator thinking about his birthparents; winner of ReadAmerica! collection)

“Our Twitchy” by Kes Gray (bunny family)

“Beginnings: How Families Come To Be” by Virginia Kroll (Myriad examples of ways families are created: international, foster, birth, etc.)

“Anthony’s Surprise” by Roz Grace (Bi-racial adoption)

“Is That Your Sister?” by Catherine and Sherry Bunin (Multi-racial)

“Brown Like Me” by Noelle Lamperti (African-American girl, Caucasian parents — child looking for all things brown in her life so she can celebrate her favorite color.)

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Books, Adoption Websites, Birth parents, Children, Children's books, For fun, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting, Products