By Karen Henry Clark, Patrice Barton, Illustrator
Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages
If you are looking for a unique way to tell an adoption story, you’ve found the right book. Author Karen Henry Clark has taken an approach that echoes a folk-tale in her book Sweet Moon Baby.
The story begins with a baby’s biological parents releasing her down a river in China after they realize they don’t have enough food to feed her. First they wrap her in a red and yellow blanket, the colors of the Chinese flag. After holding her up to the moon, they bid her farewell and let her go. She travels great distances to reach her new home. During the journey a turtle, peacock, monkey, panda, and fish help her find her way. Across the world a red haired man and woman are united with their new daughter. The picture montage of her early years shows a life any parents would want to provide. Patrice Barton’s illustrations are magnificent. Although Sweet Moon Baby doesn’t live in China, she is surrounded by reminders of her culture.
This is a wonderful story for anyone touched by adoption. It also introduces the idea that there are many ways families are formed. What ties us together is unconditional love.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin