Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Best Family in the World


Kane Miller
Susana Lopez; Illustrations by Ulises Wensell

In this age of open adoption, you would think there would be a whole slew of books on the subject to choose from. If that's the case, I certainly haven't run into very many of them. Often times, when a book deals with a sensitive subject like this, the book ends up being ... too touchy-feely or poorly illustrated. For the most part, they just aren't like regular picture books you would ordinarily choose.  This one is!

Carlota is notified by the orphanage's director that a family has chosen to adopt her. Immediately, the wheels in her head start turning and she can't help wondering what her new family will be like. Carlota is very imaginative, and her mind races from one extreme scenario to the next. What if they are a family of pastry chefs?  She could grow up surrounded by big, beautiful cakes and mounds of cookies.  What a fanciful life that would be!   

Or better yet, what if Carlota's new family were pirates?  They would wear black eye patches and dig for buried treasure, sailing off through the sunset on their pirate ship in search of adventures.  There couldn't be anything more exciting than that ... unless these newcomers are a family of tiger trainers.  Wrestling with Bengal tiger cubs would be even better than swashbuckling sailors.  Each scenario that Carlota comes up with more amazing than the last  

The Perez family arrives to adopt Carlota.  They are a warm, loving family who are eager to welcome their new daughter and sister.  No, they are not pastry chefs, but they do surprise Carlota with the occasional bakery treat. No, they are not pirates either, but they do enjoy digging for treasure in the backyard.  Carlota's family does not meet any of her imagined scenarios, but rather exceeds them in every possible way. 

This is a great book to introduce children to the concept of adoption.  Often times we take for granted large concepts like these that young kids may struggle to understand.  When you are little, it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that some children do not have families. This is an fanciful, easy way to embrace and understand adoption.

Review copy provided by Kane/Miller. 

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