I was recently contacted by two different authors to see if I’d like to review their childrens’ adoption books, Sweet Moon Baby by Karen Henry Clark and Mei-Li and the Wise Laoshi by Kay Bratt. “Well sure,” I said to each, “send it on over, we love books in this house.” The dual timing wasn’t intentional, but it was interesting to read these two books at the same time, because although they both focus on adoption, the approaches are very different and therefore the books meet very different needs.
The first book is called Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale, by Karen Henry Clark. It’s beautifully written and illustrated, and is what I’d call a fairy tale book. In fact that’s how I presented it to my daughters, and they had no trouble understanding. Keep in mind that we’ve gone pretty far down the road when it comes to talking about adoption, birthparents, lifebooks, etc. So this book, which talks about birthparents who set their baby afloat in a basket praying that good things will happen to her, is obviously not presented as a true-life story and wasn’t taken that way by my kiddos. I think the gentle tale about a baby, her birthparents, and the loving animals who care for her along her journey to her adoptive parents would be a good way to ease into the subject of adoption and birthparents, if you haven’t gone there before or if you’ve been having trouble bringing it up. (The first time I said birthmom out loud, I felt nervous/sweaty/scared, so I can completely understand!) It’s also a beautiful fairy tale for those kids who are already comfortable with adoption and related concepts.
The second book, Mei-Li and the Wise Laoshi, was written by Kay Bratt. This book features a spunky heroine called Mei-Li who is being teased at school for being Chinese and for looking different than her family. (I’m simplifying, but you get the gist, and it probably will happen to your child at some point.) A wise Laoshi (teacher) comes to her in a dream and shows her how her story began and some beautiful truths about how families are formed and what truly makes a family. The book does a great job with these subjects and I’m happy that it is now in our library. My kids always seem to respond better to things that they read in print, and this book will be so helpful as they navigate the elementary school years.
Giveaway: The authors are giving away a signed and personalized hardcopy of Sweet Moon Baby and a Kindle version of Mei-Li and the Wise Laoshi to the winning Salsa reader. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite adoption book. We’re always looking to add new books to our home library and welcome your suggestions. For an extra entry, “like” the facebook page for Sweet Moon Baby or subscribe to the facebook page for author Kay Bratt and leave a separate comment saying that you did so. Winner will be drawn at random on Monday May 1. Both books are also available from Amazon and other sites.
* All book images are clickable to larger versions if you want to see something close up.