Katie-Bo: An Adoption Story by Iris L. Fisher
is told in the voice of a young child as they experience the adoption process, from beginning to end.
I think this book is a good basic introduction about adoption. It would be particularly helpful for families who have biological children first, and are expanding their family through adoption. Because of the detail about the entire process, it might also be of interest to adoptees to better understand more about their adoption story.
The story begins with the fact that having a baby through adoption means mom's tummy won't grow, and explains, in a way that kids can understand, about what adoption means.
Here's a sample:
"Of course, our baby is growing in a mommy's tummy but not our mommy's tummy. Dad says that some women who love their babies very much can't always take care of them. Our Mom says that it's because the lady loves her baby so much that she goes to an adoption agency. That's a place where special people called social workers look for a happy family like ours to love and care for the baby sister."
I bristled at the "...lady loves her baby" line (because I don't believe you should sugar coat things that you don't know whether are true or not when it comes to the facts about your child's adoption) but I can forgive that small detail---I think it gives you an opportunity to discuss the many possible reasons that people choose relinquishment.
The book also details the family's experiences with the social worker, racial differences between caucasian and asians, and different cultural aspects (such as eating with chopsticks), all in simple ways that kids would understand.
I thought one of the most interesting things in the book was how it addressed some of the feelings that the other children might have, such as sensing their parent's stress and feeling threatened by the new baby that is about to come into the home. It also does a great job of getting children excited about welcoming a new sibling through adoption and embracing that the unknown of having a sibling arrive in this manner can be a bit scary for them.
The only part of the book that I didn't enjoy were the illustrations. I just didn't like the illustrative style (looks like paper cut outs) and didn't feel it was engaging for children.
It's not a book that we'll be adding to our collection, but it's worth checking out from the library.