CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT CELEBRATE ADOPTION
These children’s books that honor adoption are enjoyable regardless of your adoption status. These picture books on adoption explore the complicated and deep feelings that accompany the day a family receives a new member, in addition to showing how much love goes into the adoption process. The list of books on families of all kinds goes hand in hand. While compiling this list, I observed that even though the adoptees weren’t white, most of the titles depict the parents as such. I want to see more novels with parents that are people of color. (Publishers, are you paying attention?)
A Most Unusual Day by Sydra Mallery. This is not just a very insightful narrative about a child waiting for a new sister, but it’s also especially nice to see a family of color represented. Nothing seemed to be going particularly well for Caroline as she spent the day at school, and she discovers her parents are with her new baby sister when she joins them after school. Because it is unknown if Caroline is also adopted, the novel is more adaptable to other kinds of family structures. Highly recommended!
The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin. “An unseen, unbreakable crimson thread unites everyone who is meant to be together,” according to Chinese religion. The work by Lin is founded on this conviction. A little Chinese girl requests a favorite tale from her white parents. The king and queen in the tale seek to have a child, and they look for explanations for why they are childless, and a street vendor tells them a crimson thread links them. Following the thread, the royal couple travels a long way before finding the kid who is intended to be theirs.
The Day of Your Arrival by Dolores Brown. The adoptive parents of a little girl provide the narration for this picture book. They talk about the ambiguity of waiting, as well as the preparations and hope for her ultimate arrival. They anticipated meeting their new kid and the excitement of finally getting to know her as a person. The images are gorgeous, the language is straightforward and soothing to read, and I like how big the book is.
How Nivi Got Her Names by Laura Deal. Readers are welcomed to learn about Inuit naming customs and adoption and are given an introduction to the basic Inuktitut language throughout this novel. Inuit child Nivi queries her mother about the origins of her five names. Her mother explains the origins, significance, and notable figures of Nivi’s names. I like how the narrative highlights how crucial it is for adoptees to stay in touch with their biological roots. Additional information on Inuit adoption customs is provided in the author’s remark.
Over the Moon by Karen Katz. As the adoptive mother of a kid from Central America, Katz wrote this book. Katz talks about the excitement of holding their kid and the biological mother’s involvement in helping the infant develop “like a flower.” This book is particularly helpful for parents who have adopted children from abroad since it accompanies them on their trip to a foreign country to meet their new family members. Overall, this book, like all of our adoption picture books, has a happy vibe!
Wolfie by Ame Dyckman. I like this book because it adds a sense of comedy to the adoption process. Despite the daughter rabbit’s dire fears that the wolf would “Eat them all up!” the parents of a bunny family that discovers a wolf pup on their doorstep swoon over their new adoption. Of course, I won’t reveal the twist, but my kid thought it was funny.
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza is an excellent book to talk to your kids about adoption. Choco is trying to find a mother. When Choco meets Mrs. Bear’s other children, it becomes apparent that the differences are great. Mrs. Bear looks significantly different from what Choco would anticipate his mom to look like.
In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco. I’ve said previously that if you turn to Polacco’s large body of work, you can always bet on finding a book to meet your requirements. A young black girl tells the tale while describing her wonderful family life. She was adopted into a multicultural household and had two mothers. They have warm, devoted families and beloved customs. Unfortunately, a neighbor approaches the family and expresses her disapproval of them directly. Use this book to discuss with your children how people are often fearful of things they do not understand—a valuable lesson one of the moms in the story teaches her child—and to encourage them to consider how we may end prejudice and close hearts.