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Summary: A young girl shares her exciting news: She will have a new baby sister! Her family is adopting a girl from Ethiopia. In this story, big sister shows us her garden and tells us her dreams about introducing her sister to her flower friends, having coffee ceremonies (like tea parties), and playing dress up. This picture book shares a young girl's ideas about being a big sister in an adoptive family.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter liked the pictures of the smiling girls, smiling flowers, and the animals. We read it once, but she did not want to read it again.
Adult Reader Reaction: The illustrations are fabulous! The story, while sweet, seems disjointed. With the exception of the coffee ceremony reference, there is nothing else specific to Ethiopia in the story. Combine that with the multicultural illustrations and soon-to-be-siblings in families of international adoption will easily see themselves.
Pros: Adoptive and multicultural families will enjoy this story. With colorful illustrations and a theme of love, siblings-to-be will energized by this story of adoption.
Cons: The author has so much allegory that it takes away from the girl's story. For example, there are no specific descriptions of flowers, but there are notes at the end asking readers to describe what kind of flower they would be.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a lovely story and it will appeal to a broad audience, not just families of adoption.
Educational Themes: The illustrations offer plenty to explore int his story. You can talk about adoption, other cultures, and family, but you can also expand the story to let kids create and describe (draw or write) their own story: how would they spend a day with their brother/sister? what would they want to teach a new sibling? where do they find magic?