27 Children’s Books about Adoption


November is national adoption month, a time to raise awareness about the more than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system awaiting permanent families.

Children’s books are a time-honored tool for parents and others to help adopted children process the complex questions (and sometimes difficult answers) associated with their adoption journey. The books below vary widely in how directly they address these issues and represent a number of different categories of adoption (international, domestic, etc.), so they also vary in appropriateness depending on the age of the child and the circumstances of their adoption.

For more information about National Adoption Month and adoption from the foster system, see the websites below:

The Boat in the Tree CoverThe Boat In The Tree

Wynne-Jones, Tim

I fixed the holes. But it still leaked. So I saved up my allowance and bought some gum. A lot of gum. It worked. Sort of.” The narrator’s voice is authentic and engaging in its simplicity and candor. He tells the story of his love for boats and his skepticism for the role the new member of the family, his adoptive brother Simon, plays in his life. As the narrator’s fleet grows, so does his acceptance of his new brother. This acceptance comes slowly and naturally and realistically, resolving itself, at least for a time, with the narrator’s telling Simon that there is no way he can sail with him, “Not without a life jacket.” In the realm of make-believe, anything is possible and this is nicely expanded in the illustrations. The characters’ joy, frustration, anticipation and fear are all readily accessible in the illustrations. The illustration of the wild storm and the dreaming scene are particularly engaging. The reader is in good hands here with celebrated author Tim Wynne-Jones and his illustrator, John Shelley. The warm gentle story about the bonds of friendship and family developed through shared experience will make a great family story. For those looking for a different take on the adoption story, notably of an older child, this title will be useful. Highly Recommended. Rating: *** ½ /4. Preschool-grade 3. 2007, Front Street/Boyds Mill Press (Distributed in Canada by Publishers Group Canada), 40 pp., cloth, $22.50. Ages 3 to 8.  REVIEWER: Ruth McMahon (CM Magazine). ISBN(s) : 1932425497, 9781932425499

(Additional reviews and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Ten Days And Nine Nights : An Adoption Story

Heo, Yumi

This story tells of the things that a little girl does to prepare for the arrival of her new adopted sibling. She counts down the days until her mother arrives back home with the baby. The story builds up a lot of excitement and will hold the attention of the reader. The use of the calendar to count down the days until the baby sister arrives is a good visual example. The print is large for early readers, and the pictures are bright and big. Fiction, Highly Recommended. Grades PreK-3. 2009, Schwartz & Wade Books, Unpaged., $16.99. Ages 3 to 9. REVIEWER: Christine Postert (The Lorgnette). ISBN(s) : 9780375847189, 9780375947155, 0375947159

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes CoverI Love You Like Crazy Cakes

Lewis, Rose A

Writing simply, like a love letter from parent to child, Lewis tells the true story of how she wrote to officials in China to find out if she could adopt a baby, and then went to China to bring her home. She takes a long journey there by plane, and falls in love with the tiny girl. “I was so happy that I cried the moment I took you in my arms . . . you cried, too.” She shoots a lot of pictures and kisses her “little hands and tiny feet a hundred times.” They fly home to meet all the relatives, and when the last cousin leaves, settle down to a lullaby and sweet sleep. The text ends with tears for the baby’s Chinese mother, who could not keep her; the last illustration is the Chinese character for love. An exotic but very readable type font adds spice to the gentle narrative. The illustrations are done in light-drenched colors, clear and rosy hues that match the bubbling joy of the text. Patterns in the clouds, in a rose-trimmed teacup, in the baby’s clothing and the mother’s robes, echo that dulcet rhythm. Sure to delight many families whose own children may have come to this country, and to their families, by the same means, this is also a lovely way to introduce others to the concept of foreign-born adoption. Destined to become a classic. 2000, Little Brown, $14.95. Category: Picture book. Ages 4 to 7. Starred Review.  REVIEWER: Kirkus.  ISBN(s) : 0316525383, 9780316525381

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: HoraceHorace

Keller, Holly

This is a very sweet and endearing book which gently deals with the subject of adoption. Horace, a leopard, is the adopted son of tiger parents. His mother tells him every night about how he was “chosen,” but he always falls asleep before the end of the story. Although he is happy with his parents, he longs for a family of leopards. After an eventful search for his own kind, he finally and happily realizes that he belongs with the family he has always lived with! 1994, Mulberry Paperback Book, $4.95. Ages 3 to 8.  REVIEWER: E. Fox (Parent Council)  ISBN(s) : 0688118445, 9780688118440

Cover: We See the MoonWe See The Moon

Kitze, Carrie A.

We See The Moon is an exotic picturebook written and drawn especially for adopted children and their families by Carrie A. Kitze. Intended to help open a dialogue about family connections, and the importance of keeping loved ones in one’s heart, the distinctive and unusual color illustrations add a truly universal world theme to this absorbing picturebook which is enthusiastically recommended for personal, school, and community library collections. The Picturebook Shelf. EMK Press, $16.95. ages 4+.  REVIEWER: Midwest Book Review (Children’s Bookwatch). ISBN(s) : 0972624406, 9780972624404

Cover: The White Swan ExpressThe White Swan Express : A Story About Adoption

Okimoto, Jean Davies

On one side of the world, it’s a special day for a couple in Miami, a couple near Seattle, another in Toronto, and a woman in Minnetonka, Minnesota. They are leaving for China, to meet the little girls who will become their daughters. On the other side of the world, four little girls in an orphanage in Guangzhou, China, don’t know it, but their special day is coming soon. Fine storytelling is at the heart of this singular book that follows the journey of the parents-to-be to China, and the lives of the little girls whom they can’t wait to meet. The authors have worked in myriad details about the preparations and journey of the adults that children will find fascinating. At the same time, they create a sense of each of the four little girls as unique individuals as the story moves back and forth from the adults traveling east to the children they will meet. The emotions are always genuine in this heartfelt story in which the telling never strays to sweetness. The title of the book comes from the White Swan Hotel, where many adoptive parents stay when they are in China. The adoptive parents in this story include a middle-aged man and woman, a lesbian couple, a young Japanese Canadian man and woman, and a single woman. Highly Commended, 2003 Charlotte Zolotow Award. CCBC categories: Picture Books For Older Children; Understanding Oneself And Others; Picture Books For Younger Children. 2002, Clarion, 32 pages, $16.00. Ages 4-7.  REVIEWER: Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. ISBN(s) : 0618164537, 9780618164530

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: AllisonAllison

Say, Allen

When Allison gets a new red kimono for her birthday, she looks just like her doll, Mei-Mei–and hardly at all like her parents. This is because she’s adopted, a fact that hits Allison like a ton of bricks and leaves her angry and destructive. She finds peace, however, with the adoption of a stray cat, whose embrace by the family reassures her. Say doesn’t shrink from the seriousness of Allison’s anger, and the depiction of her recognition of difference is convincing. Nonetheless, this is a complicated subject and the book’s quick leap to a solution gives it an air of contrivance and may leave young listeners behind. The watercolor illustrations underemphasize the adults, making Allison, with her penetrating dark stare and realistically stubborn expression, more immediate. There aren’t that many youthful adoption books that acknowledge the process doesn’t have to be all roses; this may be rather set up, but some young listeners might appreciate the acknowledgment of discomfort. Ad–Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. 1997, Lorraine/Houghton, 32p, $17.00. Ages 5-8 yrs. REVIEWER: Deborah Stevenson (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books). ISBN(s) : 039585895X, 9780395858950

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Every Year on Your BirthdayEvery Year On Your Birthday

Lewis, Rose A.

Starred Review* The cover, featuring a birthday cake and and an Asian girl wearing a party hat, invites the reader inside. A mother’s voice begins, “Every year on your birthday, I think about the day you were born. I wasn’t there, but I was thinking about you as I waited at home to be your new mother.” Mom recalls their special celebrations, and a cake motif records each snapshot moment. On her second birthday the girl becomes an American citizen; on her third, they fly a kite; on her fourth, she’s given a puppy; and on her fifth, she and her mother have a picnic and watch the Dragon Boat Festival. Delicately expressive watercolors capture the girl’s excitement and happiness. Beautifully designed with framed scenes and boxed sequences of her growth, this loving portrait of a single mother and an adopted child gently accentuates the importance of incorporating the child’s culture into her new life. On the last page the Chinese character for “family” is painted; it is a synonym for “home.” In the same way that Amy Erlich’s Zeek’s Silver Moon (1972) broke ground depicting an unconventional family that reflected the times, this topical story, based on the author’s personal experience, will be welcomed by families of all kinds adopting an Asian child. Preschool-Kindergarten.  REVIEWER: Julie Cummins (Booklist). ISBN(s) : 9780316525527, 0316525529

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Beginnings Beginnings : How Families Come To Be

Kroll, Virginia L

There’s a very nice feeling to this book, which introduces six children who want to know “how they began.” Reuben’s mother tells him, “Daddy and I were full of love. After we were married for a while, I became pregnant, and I was full of you!” When Reuben was born, his parents sputtered and sparkled “like fireworks.” Katherine Grace came from Korea after her parents made a “hundred phone calls, answered a million questions and filled out a zillion papers.” Now, Katherine Grace is getting a sibling from South America. Mark comes to live with Uncle Joe after his mother dies. Olivia was adopted by a single mother but still keeps in contact with her birth parents; Habib was also adopted, and his name means beloved. Nicole, a dark-eyed, dark-haired, disabled girl joins three blond, blue-eyed brothers. Each vignette features a conversation between children and parents that has a realistic feel. The acrylic-and-pastel artwork has a sturdy look, but it’s also full of life, with a keen eye for details–a stuffed animal, a house with Kwanza candles in the window. The multicultural families represented here show that love has no borders. Category: For the Young. 1994, Albert Whitman, $13.95. Ages 4-8. REVIEWER: Ilene Cooper (Booklist). ISBN(s) : 0807506028, 9780807506028

(Additional reviews available on CLCD.)

Cover: Zachary's New Home Zachary’s New Home : A Story For Foster And Adopted Children

Blomquist, Geraldine M.

Zachary is a small kitten who is removed from his home for a reason that is not made clear. However, once removed, he is dealt with kindly by foster parents, a social worker, and a judge. Zachary is not instantly happy once he is adopted, and his difficulties in adjustment are sympathetically understood by his new parents. This book is well written. The illustrations would be much improved if they were in color. The use of a cute animal as an object of displacement makes sense, and the book might meet the needs of a child in foster placement or in a nonfamily residential setting. […] Recommended, Grades PreK-2. 1990, Magination Press, 32pp., $16.95; $5.95 (paper). Ages 4 to 8.  REVIEWER: Maxine Penn (Science Books and Films).  ISBN(s) : 0945354282, 0945354274, 9780945354284, 9780945354277

Cover: Finding the Right SpotFinding The Right Spot : When Kids Can’t Live With Their Parents

Levy, Janice

Only her mother is allowed to call her Cowgirl and together they dream of the day when they will live on a ranch with horses. But the little girl in Finding the Right Spot is not living with her mother, who drinks too much and can’t keep a job. She lives with a foster parent whom she calls Aunt Dane. Aunt Dane is the best of foster parents, not trying to replace a mother but letting her foster child feel loved, letting her know it’s okay to cry, encouraging her to enjoy today. The little girl waits eagerly for her mother to come celebrate her birthday and when she doesn’t, she shares her love with a new puppy instead. The animated illustrations are touching and true. The story is told simply and honestly, offering foster children a chance to identify with someone like themselves and perhaps help them open up about their thoughts and worries. As a classroom read-aloud this poignant story can generate understanding and empathy for different sorts of families and family situations. It is also perfect reading for any adults who are caring for children who are not their own. At the end, a two-page “Note to Caregivers” discusses the range of emotions such children feel–repeated disappointment, loss, uncertainty, perennial hope, complicated loyalties. The caregiver in turn can listen to the child and offer empathy, time to adjust and reassurance. 2004, Magination Press, $14.95. Ages 6 up.  REVIEWER: Karen Leggett (Children’s Literature).  ISBN(s) : 1591470730, 1591470749, 9781591470731, 9781591470748

Cover: A Mother for Choco A Mother For Choco

Kasza, Keiko
Choco, a little bird who lives alone, longs for a mother and sets off to find one. He approaches one animal after another, asking, “Are you my mother?” Sound familiar? So far it’s like Palmer’s Are You My Mother? (1966), but here comes the twist. Choco breaks down and sobs because “he couldn’t find a mother who looked just like him.” However, a motherly bear hears him crying, decides to adopt him, and takes him home to meet his new siblings: Hippy (the hippopotamus), Ally (the alligator), and Piggy (yep). They don’t look alike, but they’re a happy family. While the watercolor artwork is somewhat unpolished, it has a bright charm and friendly appeal. This is a message book, but the message is one that many adoptive parents will want to share with their children. Category: For the Young. 1992, Putnam, $14.95. Ages 2-6.  REVIEWER: Carolyn Phelan (Booklist).  ISBN(s) : 0399218416, 9780399218415

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Yafi's FamilyYafi’s Family: An Ethiopian Boy’s Journey Of Love, Loss, And Adoption

Pettitt, Linda
Yafi’s Family: An Ethiopian Boy’s Journey of Love, Loss, and Adoption is a children’s picture book about the early life story of a six -year-old Ethiopian boy who was adopted by a Midwestern family. Filled with tender, vivid illustrations of the many different places and people who filled Yafi’s beginning years, “Yafi’s Family” projects a powerful message of acceptance that infuses its heart and core. A foreword by Melissa Faye Greene contains the following quotation: “The message we relay to the children who are ours by adoption needs to be: You came from somewhere. You came from good people. You came from this spot on the globe. This is your birth-country. It is a country filled with people who look like you. Do you remember living there? Maybe you were too little to remember. But it’s right there, your country, and it can be part of your life .” This is the burden of Yafi’s Family,” to deliver a message of acceptance and love, the value of wholeness in discovering one’s beginning life story. “Yafis’ Family” is also unique as a first mainstream children’s picture book for African/Ethiopian adoption. Reviewer’s Choice. Amharic Kids Press, $17.95.  REVIEWER: Midwest Book Review (Children’s Bookwatch). ISBN(s) : 0979748143, 9780979748141

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: A Koala for Katie A Koala For Katie : An Adoption Story

London, Jonathan

This disquieting story aims straight at the preoccupations likely to visit adopted children. Katie, who thinks “a lot” about babies, wants to know if she grew in her “real mommy’s” belly. “Of course . . . ” her mother says. “But I’m your real mommy, too.” Later the youngster asks, “Why didn’t my first mommy want me?” The adoptive mother assures the girl that her birth mother loved her: “She wanted you to have a better life than she could give you”–a concept that few children Katie’s age will be able to grasp. After a visit to the zoo, Katie “adopts” a toy koala from the gift shop and, in an excursion to Katie’s imaginary world, the book shows her caring for the koala and protecting it from danger. Jabar’s intimate, circular compositions reflect the warmth and love that abound in Katie’s family while her light touch with her watercolors gives the book mainstream appeal. […] An insightful note to parents, by a social worker with the Northwest Adoption Exchange, precedes the story. Ages 3-6.  REVIEWER: Publisher’s Weekly.  ISBN(s): 0807542091, 9780807542095

(Additional reviews and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: A Tale of Two DaddiesA Tale Of Two Daddies

Oelschlager, Vanita

In an affectionate story of adoption in a gay family, a small girl answers a friend’s questions about what it is like to have two fathers. The boy asks: “Which dad would build your home in a tree? And which dad helps when you skin your knee?” And the girl answers: “Poppa’s the one who builds in a tree. / Daddy’s the one who fixes my knee.” The simple, immediate rhymes are illustrated with digitally touched linoleum prints in bright colors and thick black lines that show the friends at play, as well as cozy scenarios of the girl in her nurturing home; in one particularly warm scene, Poppa serves a plate of eggs and bacon that looks like a smiley face. Strangely, the adults’ faces are never shown, just distant views of their legs and arms: one daddy is formally dressed, the other is in jeans and sneakers. The story’s message is clear in her answer to the question, “Who is your dad when you’re sad and need some love?” Both, of course. Preschool-Grade 2.  REVIEWER: Hazel Rochman (Booklist).  ISBN(s) : 0981971458, 9780981971452

(Additional reviews and award info available on CLCD.)

Cover: A Tale of Two Mommies A Tale Of Two Mommies

Oelschlager, Vanita

Three multicultural children spend a day at the beach, building sand castles, eating ice-cream, and swimming all while quizzing one member of the group about his life with two mommies. Two-page spreads alternate between questions and answers. The rhyming questions come two at a time, asking which mother assumes responsibility for all manner of parental tasks: “Who empties your pockets at the end of the day? Who teaches you the polite thing to say?” The similarly rhyming responses follow, and the answers are appropriately mixed; some situations involve one mom (either Mommy or Momma), some both (for all important things, like bandaging a scraped knee), and some neither (snakes, it seems, are enjoyed solely by our young protagonist). The story is not without purpose, but Blanc’s playful computer-drawn illustrations add warmth and substance, tempering the weight of the message with a joyful spirit. An endnote states that all net profits will be donated to charitable organizations. Preschool-Kindergarten.  REVIEWER: Thom Barthelmess (Booklist).  ISBN(s) : 9780982636664, 0982636660

Cover: Did My First Mother Love MeDid My First Mother Love Me? : A Story For An Adopted Child

Miller, Kathryn Ann

Morgan knows her adoptive parents love her, but she wonders whether her first mother did too. A letter from her birth mother reassures Morgan that placing her for adoption was an act of love. Simple language and pencil illustrations provide a platform for discussing with adopted children their origins. It is also useful for explaining the concept to children who may have friends or relatives who are adopted. An appendix in the back is geared towards parents, with hints on approaches to explaining adoption to children. 1994, Morning Glory Press, $12.95 and $5.95. Ages 3 to 8.  REVIEWER: Dr. Judy Rowen (Children’s Literature).  ISBN(s) : 0930934857, 0930934849, 9780930934859, 9780930934842

Cover: DouniaDounia

Karvoskaia, Natacha

As our tale begins, Dounia is on an airplane heading for a new place to meet her new mother and father. Everything is so overwhelming, Dounia holds in her questions as well as her emotions. When her new family show her their new house on Daffodil Street, she doesn’t dare ask what a daffodil is. But Dounia is excited about her new life and as she goes to sleep for the first time in her new bed, we realize that her questions and emotions have also found a new home. Two-page, earth-toned paintings draw us beautifully into Dounia’s world. 1995, Kane/Miller Books, $13.95. Ages 2 to 6.  REVIEWER: Dia L. Michels (Children’s Literature).  ISBN(s): 0916291588, 9780916291587

Cover: Over the MoonOver The Moon : An Adoption Tale

Katz, Karen

A happy, colorful book about a man and woman dreaming of their soon-to-be-born adopted baby, receiving the news of her birth, and flying to the “faraway place” where they meet their child. Based on Katz’s experience adopting a Central American infant and bright with mixed-media illustrations suggestive of folk art, this is a book for adults to use with children who were adopted in similar circumstances. The message is reassuring: “Forever and always we will be your mommy and daddy. Forever and always you will be our child.” The birth mother is gently described as another lady in whose tummy “you grew like a flower,” but who “wasn’t able to take care of you, so Mommy and Daddy came to adopt you and bring you home.” The baby has dark hair like the mother’s and dark eyes like both parents’ but with duskier skin than either. As in Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell’s Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born (1996), both text and pictures are suffused with anticipation and joyful welcome at the baby’s arrival. 1997, Henry Holt, $15.95. Starred Review.  REVIEWER: Kirkus.  ISBN(s) : 0805050132, 9780805050134

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Pablo's TreePablo’s Tree

Mora, Pat

It’s Pablo’s fifth birthday, and he’s eager to get to his grandfather’s house. Every year his abuelito decorates a tree in celebration of his grandson’s birthday, with the type of decoration a surprise. After Pablo and his mama arrive at Abuelito’s and find his tree (decorated with bells and windchimes this year), Pablo’s grandfather tells him again the story of the planting of Pablo’s tree, which occurred when Pablo’s mother first adopted Pablo. This is a warm and gentle story, the tree-surprise aspect gives the tale a pleasing sparkle, and the characters provide a nice complement to all the WASP-y, Norman Rockwell families in adoption books-the family is Latino, and Mom is a single parent. The cut-paper illustrations are decorative but unfussy, with abundant flowers and Pablo’s tree providing a cheerful liveliness to the compositions. A tale of love and welcome (and neat ornaments), this volume has a celebratory aspect that makes it appealing not just to adoptees but to kids generally. R–Recommended. 1994, Macmillan, [32p], $14.95. Ages 4-7 yrs.  REVIEWER: Deborah Stevenson (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books). ISBN(s) : 0027674010, 9780027674019

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Tell Me a Real Adoption StoryTell Me A Real Adoption Story

Lifton, Betty Jean

Lifton, herself an adopted child, knows how important it is for parents to understand that children need to know the truth about themselves. Telling the truth about how your child came into the world and became a part of your family provides security and strengthens the bond between parents and adopted children. The book grew out of her experience as an adoption counselor. It is the warm story of a young girl and her mother engaged in a dialogue about adoption. Mother first tells a fairy tale about a king and queen and their desire for a baby. Then when her daughter asks, she tells the real story of the young girl’s birth and how she came to be with her adoptive parents. This story within a story can serve as a springboard to help parents talk openly with their adopted children. Lifton notes that adoptive parents can change the details to fit the real situation. The watercolor illustrations by Nivola use soft colors that further reinforce the warmth of the story. 1993, Knopf, $13.00. Ages 4 to 8.  REVIEWER: Marilyn Courtot (Children’s Literature).  ISBN(s) : 0679806296, 0679906290, 9780679806295, 9780679906292

(Additional reviews available on CLCD.)

Cover: Motherbridge of LoveMotherbridge Of Love

Masse, Josaee

Starred Review* Simple, lyrical language and gorgeous art make this more than just another adoption story. The words are an anonymous poem, which is directed right to the child-listener: “Two different lives shaped to make you one. The first one gave you life; the second taught you to live it. / The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it. / One gave you a body; the other taught you games. / One gave you a talent; the other taught you aims.” The sentiment is exactly right loving, caring, and thoughtful and the stylized acrylic illustrations, in thick brush strokes and swirling shapes, evoke the lyrical tone with grace and elegance. Page composition and the juxtaposition of the two mothers (one Asian, the other with long, reddish hair) on each spread is especially effective: the evocative book jacket displays two hands forming a heart that frames a happy little girl. Motherbridge of Love is a charity founded by Xue Xinran, an acclaimed Chinese journalist and broadcaster, who acquired the poem, which was submitted by one of the charity’s adoptive mothers. Both beautiful and heartfelt, this quiet book instills self-esteem as it demonstrates how our many parts blend together into a wonderful whole. The poem is printed in Chinese in the front. Preschool-Grade 2. REVIEWER: Julie Cummins (Booklist).  ISBN(s) : 9781846860478, 1846860474

(Additional reviews available on CLCD.)

Cover: We Belong TogetherWe Belong Together : A Book About Adoption And Families

Parr, Todd

Parr, the Dr. Feelgood of children’s books and television, brings his optimistic, sunny attitude to this latest offering. Each page, suffused with brilliant colors, reassures the adoptee, in various ways, that he or she was wanted and needed. “We belong together because . . . you needed a home and I had one to share.” Single mothers and fathers, couples of all sorts and people of all colors, from yellow to purple to blue, all joyfully welcome their new children into their families. On one spread, where there are pictures of places to discover together, iconic illustrations of China and Russia, will surely be familiar to many international adoptees. Parr’s familiar style, brilliant colors, outlined with bold black lines, draws children in, and the repeated, expected text make this a perfect book for very young children and new readers. There is no back story here, no explanation of why children might be available for adoption, only the joyful welcome arms of diverse people who have something to offer the child who needs a home. 2007, Little, Brown, 32p, $15.99. Category: Picture book. Ages 2 to 5.  REVIEWER: Kirkus. ISBN(s) : 0316016683, 9780316016681

(Additional reviews available on CLCD.)

Cover: How I Was AdoptedHow I Was Adopted

Cole, Joanna

Every adopted child has a story about his or her adoption. Sam, tells her story through simple text and bright, colorful illustrations. The author includes an information section for parents to help them deal with questions or concerns. As an adoptive parent myself, I think this book would have been helpful when my daughter was a preschooler learning about her adoption story. 1999, Mulberry Paperback Book, $5.95. Ages 3 to 5.  REVIEWER: S. Latson (Parent Council).  ISBN(s) : 0688170552, 0122744509844

Cover: I Wished for YouI Wished For You : An Adoption Story

Richmond, Marianne

Charmingly written and beautifully illustrated picturebook by Marianne Richmond, I Wished For You is the lovely little story of a little bear named Barley and his mother who sit in a very nice stuffed chair and talk about how they came to be a family. The simple and engaging text follows the theme of adoption and will prove to be an especially nice way for parents to explain adoption and answer the kids of questions that young children have. […] Reviewer’s Choice. Marianne Richmond Studios, $15.95. REVIEWER: Midwest Book Review (Children’s Bookwatch). ISBN(s) : 1934082066, 9781934082065, 0146276289845

Cover: Daddy, Papa, and MeDaddy, Papa And Me

Newman, Leslaea

As the title indicates, a smiling tot describes his role within a nurturing two-dad family. In rhyming text, “Daddy helps me paint the sky. / Papa helps me bake a pie,” and so on till bedtime. Thompson provides warm, mixed-media illustrations of the happy trio against clean white backgrounds as they play and keep house together. Together with the corresponding Mommy, Mama, and Me (ISBN: 978-1-58246-263-9), it gives children with single-sex parents validation of their family structures in a healthy, positive way. Although it’s not mentioned in the text, the illustrations in each one gently point to mixed-race households as well. Toddlers with two moms or two dads don’t care about gender politics, they care about love, and this is what these two books give them. 2009, Tricycle, 20p, $7.99. Category: Ages 12 mo. to 36 mo.  REVIEWER: Kirkus.  ISBN(s) : 1582462623, 9781582462622, 0149378759841

(Additional reviews and award info available on CLCD.)

Cover: Tell Me Again about the Night I Was BornTell Me Again About The Night I Was Born

Curtis, Jamie Lee

This gorgeous book will have your child begging you to “tell me again.” In simple text and beautiful, yet humorous illustrations, Jamie Lee Curtis describes the events and feelings on the night of her adopted child’s birth. It briefly explains the circumstances of the birthmother and the process of adoption. The tone of the book celebrates the creation of a family. Parents of adopted children will want to be ready to share their own experiences because the reader will be eager to hear about “the night I was born.” 1996, HarperCollins Children’s Books, $14.95. Ages 3 to 8.  REVIEWER: S. Latson (Parent Council).  ISBN(s) : 006024528X, 0060245298, 9780060245290, 9780060245283

(Additional reviews, award info, and reading level info available on CLCD.)

Are there other children’s books you would recommend for young adoptees and adoptive families? Let us know in the Comments section below!

2 thoughts on “27 Children’s Books about Adoption”

  1. My boys like Rosie’s family: an adoption story by Lori Rosove. It’s hard to find adoption stories that have children that look like ours and have stories like ours (domestic, transracial adoption, white parents, black children). Having animals as the main characters helps the boys relate (and they LOVE dogs!). Also, the book acknowledges the pain and the questions the adoptees (might) have. This is my boys’ favorite adoption book.

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