K-Gr 4-Based on the author's personal experiences, this story portrays a family's long wait to travel to China to meet their new baby girl. A loving olderbrothertobe describes his anticipation and impatience as he yearns for his sister, emotions that are akin to the longing many families feel when awaiting an infant. However, the smoothly flowing text also imparts a surprising amount of information about requirements unique to international adoptions, mentioning the documents, interviews, and fingerprints necessary to "make sure that she is going to a good family" and even referring to China's one-child policy. Stoeke deftly handles a sensitive topic when Mom says, "I think it must be awfully hard for those mothers," and the boy thinks, "I think it must be hardest for the babies." When they finally meet May, he is dismayed that his new sister clings to her caretaker and cries continually despite his family's attempts to comfort her. In the satisfying ending, the child becomes intrigued by one of her new brother's turtle buttons and relaxes into a hug with him. The colorful paintings enhance the narrative and capture the various emotions of the characters. As charming as Eve Bunting's Jin Woo (Clarion, 2001) and Linda Walvoord Girard's We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo (Whitman, 1989), Waiting for May makes an excellent addition to all collections.-Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Based on her own family's experiences in the two years it takes for the adoption of their daughter to become final, Stoeke of Minerva Louise fame limns a lovely story of longing for a baby sister. Her soon-to-be older brother describes the research, the paperwork and all the many questions his family must answer before they can bring his baby sister home from China. He wants to know who takes care of her while they wait and work, and if she misses them. Since mei can mean either little sister or beautiful woman in Chinese, and the boy has a grandmother named May, that's what they call her as soon as the agency displays her picture on the Web. Finally, the boy and his parents take the long flight to China-and the first day, the exhausted baby cries all the time. Soon, fascinated by a turtle button on his shirt, May clings to her brother. The pictures are warmly detailed and in clear, bright colors and strong, graceful lines. A welcome point of view in this expanding genre. (Picture book. 4-9)