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ABC, Adoption & Me – Children’s Book Review

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From the Cover of ABC, Adoption & Me by Gayle H. Swift with Casey A. Swift:

“Finally, a book about adoption that celebrates the miracle of family and addresses the difficult issues as well. With charming, exuberant illustrations and a diverse representation of families, ABC, Adoption & Me will warm hearts, deepen understanding of what it means to be an adoptive family and provide teaching moments that bring families closer, connected in truth, compassion, and joy.”

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

We feel based on the way the content is set up and presented that pre-school to early elementary school aged children are going to do the best with this book. This book appears to be written for an adoptive family audience although foster families will find the book some what useful as well.

When we set the illustrations next to other books such as The Adventures of Beekle or The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself, we felt that the pictures in this book were simply adequate.

The written content was created by an adoptive mother and her adopted adult daughter. The book did a great job of holding the attention of our elementary aged son. It also brought up many excellent feelings or issues that children who have experienced adoption are going to think about at some point. We would dare to say that it would be worth going through a letter a day with a middle school aged child to merely give a topic of discussion to work through with your kiddo.

Overall, this book did great for engaging children and presenting adoption related concepts. The book could not be issued all five hoots merely due to the fact that the illustrations didn’t measure up next to other books in our perfect score category. However, the written content and concepts presented in this work make it a book that your adoptive family needs to investigate and use as a tool for bringing about healthy conversation.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. This book is uses the alphabet to make a story about adoption. Can you make fun name that describes you? Use the first letter of your name to pick a describing word for you.
    (i.e. Silly Sam, Daring Debbie, Calm Cody)
  2. Letter E in the book stands for Excited. Ask your parent(s) to tell you about the day you were adopted. What happened? How did they feel? Did your family celebrate?
  3. Letter Q in the book stands for Questions. What are good ways to tell people you do NOT want to talk about your adoption?
  4. Letter T in the book stands for Truth. Do you FEEL like your parents tell you the truth about your adoption? Why or Why not?
  5. Letter N in the book stands for Naughty or Nice. Do your parent(s) love you when you do not do the right thing? How do you know? Can you do anything to make your parent(s) stop loving you?

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Austin, Lost in America – Foster Care and Adoption Book Review

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From the Cover of Austin, Lost in America: A Geography Adventure by Jef Czekaj:

“Austin grew up in a pet store, but he dreams of finding a real home….So one night he takes off with his trusty map and backpack to go in search of it.

In Ohio, he is almost bitten… by a policeman.
In Florida, he is invited for dinner… to be the main course.
And in Oregon, he finds the world’s smallest park.

Will he ever find the place where he truly belongs?

Follow Austin across America on a madcap journey in which he travels to each of the fifty states. Packed with fascinating facts and doggy tidbits that seem almost too crazy to be true… this book makes learning geography a blast.

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

Dalton has recently taken a liking to geography, maps, and learning more about places around the world, so he was super excited to read this book. Austin visits each of the fifty states looking for a home and learns a neat fact about each. Kids who are learning their states, where they are on the map, and what their capitals are can enjoy this fun story and become more familiar with the states.

Austin, Lost in America is educational but also contains a great story that deals with wanting to belong somewhere and the desire for family. Additionally, it has a lot of fun intertwined. The illustrations are colorful and add humor to the storyline. This book is quite long—about 30 pages with a lot of text and detail on each page. So you may find yourself wanting to read it in multiple sittings or skip to the end of the story to find out what happens as it’s not really a book that can be read in one sitting with a young child or one who has a short attention span. If you have any bedtime avoiders, they may ask for it as their bedtime story to put off the inevitable.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. How did Austin feel in the beginning of the book and why?
  2. What was the funniest fact you learned from this book?
  3. Which state would you want to live in? Why?
  4. Why does Austin decide to stay in the last state he visits? What does he feel was missing all along?

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The Day We Met You-Adoption Book Review

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From the Cover of The Day We Met You by Phoebe Koehler:

The sun shone bright the day we met you. So begins a mother and father’s loving description of the joyful, excited preparations for bringing home their adopted baby. Phoebe Koehlers simple, affectionate words and soft, rich pastels combine to create the perfect read-aloud for adoptive parents to explain the adoption experience to even the youngest children. Afterword by Lois Ruskai Melina, author of Raising Adopted Children.

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption gave this book 4 out of 5 Hoots based on it’s usefulness to foster and adoptive families. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here.]

What Our Family Thought:

This is an excellent book for families who have adopted a child as an infant to read to their babies and toddlers as they grow. The book contains simple crayon-type illustrations and little text, so you can easily change what you say on each page to fit your family’s specific situation and even add on to your descriptions as the child gets older.

Almost as important as the book itself to an adoptive parent is the afterword written by Lois Ruskai Melina, author of Making Sense of Adoption and Raising Adoption Children and who edits and publishes Adopted Child newsletter. She gives great advice about talking to your children about their adoption as they grow. We recommend reading this important section as the adults before reading the book to your child.

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It’s Your Turn:

As this book is for infants and toddlers, we don’t have discussion questions. However, we encourage you to read the afterword to yourselves before reading the book to your child and follow the wise advice there for how to talk to your child about adoption. Personalize the story as you see fit and give the affection (varying depending on the type of affection your child can accept and tolerate) and affirmation your child needs to know they are special.

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