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Conversation Starters

A good storybook can be a great way to start an adoption discussion with a child. We asked our Reader Panel to tell us their favorite books for talking with their preschoolers.



A good storybook can be a great way to start an adoption discussion with a child. We asked our Reader Panel to tell us their favorite books for talking with their preschoolers.

>> In A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasza (Putnam Juvenile), a little bird searches for his mother, and eventually finds a family that is not what the reader might expect! Preschoolers can understand it, but kids will still love it in elementary school. The book has sparked wonderful discussions about what it means to be a family in our household. We own three copies—one for each child.
Barb Testa Butz

>> My daughter’s favorite book about adoption right now is Todd Parr’s It’s Okay to Be Different (Megan Tingley). She asks to read it daily. The book is great because it addresses lots of “differences” through bright, colorful illustrations. We give it to lots of our adoptive friends as a gift.
Robyn Ratcliffe

>> Over the Moon, by Karen Katz (Henry Holt and Company) is about a couple adopting from Guatemala, and it does a beautiful job of explaining why the birthmother could not raise the baby, and how she came to be in her forever family. My three-year-old daughter immediately connected to this story—she actually thinks it is her story! The pictures are very colorful and lively.
Terrill Mervis

>> I love reading Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis (HarperTrophy), to my son. I explain that the story is exactly what happened on the night he was born, only there was no airport for us. When I say that, we both laugh, and it breaks the ice to start talking about adoption. He even took his book into school, for his teacher to read to the class.
Nancy Metsch

>> Joanna Cole’s How I Was Adopted (HarperTrophy) has recently become one of my daughter’s favorites, since it covers being born as well as adoption. For kids expecting a new sibling, Cole’s I’m a Big Sister/Brother Now books (HarperCollins) are great, regardless of whether the baby is joining the family through adoption or birth.
Vaishali Flask

>> The book that gets my three-year-old son talking about adoption isn’t even an adoption book. It’s Contemplating Your Bellybutton, by Jun Nanao (Kane/Miller Book Publishers). It helped him understand the difference between, as he says, his “body mother, birthmother, belly button mother” and his “everyday mommy that you live with forever.”
Martha Crawford

>> Our favorite adoption book is I Don’t Have Your Eyes, by Carrie Kitze (EMK Press). I adopted my three kids from foster care, and this book represents them all. It doesn’t talk about birthparents or country of origin or age of adoption or how you got to your forever family, but it speaks to the heart of all families—that we’re created through love.
Vickie Highfill

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