Cassidy Li is going to be Star of the Week in her kindergarten class, and that means she gets to bring a snack (the titular brownies) and chronicle her life story on a poster. But as she reviews snapshots depicting favorite activities, pets, friends and family, she also realizes that, as a baby adopted in China, "something is missing. I don't have any photos of my birthparents." Her solution: adding a hand-drawn portrait of them to the photographic collage. Debuting author Friedman, who is also the wife of Roth (The American Story) and the parent of a Chinese daughter, doesn't try to smooth over the bittersweet elements of Cassidy Li's story, although she often veers into giving her heroine the voice and viewpoint of an empathic adult rather than that of a six-year-old ("Dad says our family loves my birthparents very much even though we'll never know them"). Roth's affectionate domestic vignettes bolster the story's authenticity considerably, and his vivid portrayal of the confident, thoughtful Cassidy Li speaks volumes about the unconditional love in her life. Ages 5-9. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Star of the Week: A Story of Love, Adoption, and Brownies with Sprinklesby Darlene Friedman, Roger Roth
It′s Cassidy-Li′s turn to be Star of the Week at school! So she′s baking brownies and collecting photos for a poster that′s all about her. She has pictures of all the important people in her life-with one big exception. Cassidy-Li, adopted from China when she was a baby, doesn′t have a photo of her birthparents. But… See more details below
It′s Cassidy-Li′s turn to be Star of the Week at school! So she′s baking brownies and collecting photos for a poster that′s all about her. She has pictures of all the important people in her life-with one big exception. Cassidy-Li, adopted from China when she was a baby, doesn′t have a photo of her birthparents. But with a little help from her family, she comes up with the perfect way to include them!
Using their own personal story as a model, Darlene Friedman and Roger Roth celebrate the love of families everywhere through this straightforward and insightful book.
Roth's vibrant illustrations capture the personality of Cassidy-Li, the six-year-old narrator who tells her story in unaffected language that will appeal to children. Being "Star of the Week" is an exciting adventure for many youngsters, but it can cause anxiety for those who were adopted. Spunky Cassidy-Li has a memory box brimming with baby photos, but she also draws pictures and decorates her "star" poster to fill in gaps in her life. "I think about my birthparents a lot"; "Mom, Dad and I have talked about all the reasons people can't take care of their babies"; "I decide to draw a picture of my birthparents for my poster." The class applauds her presentation, and the close-ups of her doing myriad activities with friends and relatives make it clear that the child is proud of her Chinese heritage. Part of the book is formatted as labeled snapshots in an album, and through these pictures readers meet Cassidy-Li's friends and family. The story has universal appeal, making it a good choice for a read-aloud.-Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Darlene Friedman, an award-winning writer and editor, works for an international women's organization in Philadelphia. She lives with her husband, Roger; their daughter, Eden; and their dog ("The Dobo") in Springfield, Pennsylvania. This is her first book for children.
Roger Roth is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Sign Painter's Dream and Fishing for Methuselah. He has illustrated dozens of children's books, including The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History by Jennifer Armstrong and the Unsolved Mystery from History books by Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple. This is the first of what he hopes will be many collaborations with his wife, Darlene.
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