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Jin Woo

By Eve Bunting; illustrated by Chris Soentpiet Clarion Books; $16.



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The reluctant older sibling is a staple of children's literature, but it's hard to find a book that works for an adoptive or blended family. Eve Bunting's Jin Woo joins a small number of titles-such as Lucy's Feet, William Is My Brother, and Katie-Bo-aimed at families with both birth and adopted children.

David's white American parents eagerly await a new baby's arrival from Korea, but David, their birth son, hopes it won't really happen. When the baby's photo comes in the mail, the family celebrates at a Korean restaurant. Even the waiters are happy. But not David. Things do not improve when baby Jin Woo's plane comes in. David cracks a smile when he holds his little brother for the first time, but he has trouble adjusting to the amount of attention his parents shower on the newcomer. A letter that his mom "helped" Jin Woo write reassures David that there's plenty of love to go around, and he begins to embrace his new role as big brother.

Children in blended families, with younger Asian siblings, will love seeing themselves reflected in Chris Soentpiet's luminous watercolors. Soentpiet, himself an adoptee from Korea, gives every Korean face in the book a dazzling, toothy smile.

--Amy Klatzkin, the editor of A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China. 

ęCopyright 2002 Adoptive Families magazine.  Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 

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