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Colors of Russia

By Shannon ZemlickaIllustrated by Jeni Reeves Carolrhoda; $5.95



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I take a low-key approach when talking with my daughter, Natalie, about her adoption. That’s why, in our household, books often precipitate conversations. Books about adoption, different types of families, and her birth country, Russia, intermingle with the many others lining Natalie’s shelf, stuffed in the basket at the bottom of the stairs, and piled on the table next to the couch. This non-fiction book about Russia is new to my "that’s the perfect segue…" stockpile.

One night, when Natalie’s daddy wore the fur hat he brought back from Russia when kissing her goodnight, he elicited squeals and giggles. He also provided the perfect opening for introducing Colors of Russia, by Shannon Zemlicka, and illustrated by Jeni Reeves, as bedtime reading: "It is winter in Russia—time to wear an ushanka (oo-SHAHN-kuh), a furry brown hat." Yellow represents the yellow palace near St. Petersburg; red, the Communist Party’s Red Army. The "colors of" theme captured Natalie’s attention. The two or three paragraphs of text per page were the ideal length to hold it.

Reviewed by Kay Marner, a mother by birth and adoption. She works at the public library in Ames, Iowa.

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