PreS-K-A parent and child share in the telling of the mother's work with an agency to find "a child to adopt, to love, and take care of forever"; her trip across the sea to meet the birth mother, who "wanted the best for you, but she couldn't take care of you"; and bringing her daughter home. Although there is no father, there is a grandfather to bond with and an African-American best friend. Life is good and everyone is happy, especially the little girl, who clearly adores her mother. The story is somewhat didactic and the smiling characters of different ethnicities and ages are too obvious and ever present. Still, it is well told and has charm. The illustrations are especially engaging with brightly colored, patchwork scenes framed in various muted tones. Every inch of space is alive with cheerful colors depicting birds, flowers, cozy rooms, and smiling faces. The book is best for sharing one-on-one or for use with small groups in a themed lesson.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A little girl tells the story of her adoption as her mom has told it to her. It is obviously told often, as the little girl recounts it like a well-loved bedtime story, "Before you were born, I lived alone in this house." She continues, telling her mom's part and her own. Her mother had work and friends, but she longed for a child. The adoption agency sent her "across the ocean and over the mountains" to find her little girl. The child's birth mother couldn't keep her baby but wanted her child to have a family to love and to care for her. The child narrator says she sometimes wishes "we had a dad in our family" but rejoices in her grandpa and in her friend Nicky's dad. Using a profusion of pattern and exuberant color reminiscent of Eastern European textiles or pottery, each full page of illustration faces a page of text. Small headpieces that echo the opposite image adorn each text page. An interesting companion to I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (2000), which is narrated by the mom about a child adopted from China and better told in Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born (1996). Practical, if not special. (Picture book. 4-9)