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May 2018


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Recommended by Melinda at the Kendale Lakes Branch

A Mother for Choco
By Keiko Kasza

A Baby Bird Sleeping on a Furry Animal Body

Choco is a little bird who lives all alone, until one day he decides to go looking for a mother of his very own. Choco asks lots of animals if they could be his mommy, but each time he’s told they can’t possibly be his mommy because they don’t look alike. It’s not until Mrs. Bear asks what a mommy does that lonely Choco begins to have hope.

Keiko Kasza writes and illustrates this moving tale about Choco’s journey to find a mother. Heartfelt illustrations depict the little bird’s realization that what’s important is not what a mom looks like, but what she does. The expressions of the characters, particularly their eyes, help convey the emotional depth of the story, from the sadness in the animals rejecting Choco to his despair and ultimate happiness when he finds his mother and new family.

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Wolfie the Bunny
By Ame Dyckman

Wolf in a Rabbit Costume

The Bunny Family find a basket on their doorstep containing a baby wolf. Mama and Papa immediately claim him as their own, but daughter Dot worries that he will harm them. As Wolfie grows, she keeps telling her family that “He’s going to eat us all up!” Wolfie overhears Dot and tries to make her see that he loves her, but she thinks her little brother is just being annoying. Then, a trip to the Carrot Co‑Op and a run‑in with a hungry bear show Dot that family comes in all sizes, and that Wolfie is a great little brother.

Ame Dyckman’s story carries the refrain “He’s going to eat us all up!” across every section, with Dot’s mistrust contrasted by Wolfie’s love for his big sister. The ending twist is a marvelous role reversal that demonstrates how it may take a while for someone new and different to a family to be accepted. Zachariah OHora uses sharp lines and soft filler colors to illustrate the story. His artist’s note tells how he chose to model the book’s setting after his young family’s starter home in Park Slope, New York, which informs the sense of comfort carried throughout his illustrations.

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Little Chick and Mommy Cat
By Marta Zafrilla, illustrated by Nora Hilb

Illustration of Chick Sitting Atop Cats Head

Little Chick has been raised by Mommy Cat since hatching from the egg. Mommy Cat has taught Little Chick how to live in the cat world and to accept that the two of them look different. Once Little Chick has learned how to be a part of the cat world, it’s off to Chick School where Little Chick answers all sorts of questions about Mommy Cat.

Marta Zafrilla tells a wonderful story about how families may not look alike but still contain love all the same. Nora Hilb brings the tale to life with colored pencil illustrations that bring both a brightness and a softness to its pages.

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We Belong Together: A Book about Adoption and Families
By Todd Parr

Illustration of Child Holding Teddy Bear

Todd Parr looks at adoption by posing a need for a child—from a house to live in to someone who will kiss away boo-boos to growing up big and strong—and answering each need with a simple, loving reply from the child’s new family. The gentle refrain of “we belong together because” and the thoughtful responses to each need show that there are many reasons to belong together and many different ways to make a family.

Parr’s illustrations are appealing and eye‑catching, with bold lines and bright, primary color choices. His open and honest text makes even the most complicated and emotional topics understandable to young readers.

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I’m Adopted!
By Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, photos by Shelley Rotner

Composition of Several Children's Portraits

This nonfiction book explains adoption with a welcome matter‑of‑fact tone. While the authors don’t claim to cover every adoption scenario, they do look at several kinds, particularly adoptions of young children. Co‑authors Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly use simple statements about why some families choose adoption, why some moms might have to give up their children, and how all families can be different and still have love to lead the way, in discussions between real-life adoptive parents and children.

Rotner photo‑illustrated the book, attempting to be as inclusive as possible by showing enough diverse families that most readers should be able to see themselves on its pages. Kelly, a clinical psychologist, adds the depth of her knowledge to the text.

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