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THE DOUBLE DABBLE SURPRISE (Cul-de-Sac Kids #1)

Author: Beverly Lewis

Illustrator: Barbara Birch

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Publisher: Bethany House Publishers,

Material: paperback

Summary: Abby and Carley are excited about their family adopting two Korean girls. They help paint the girls' room pink. They buy bears and dress them like brides. When they go to the airport to meet their new siblings, they are shocked to see two Korean boys waiting for the family. At first, Abby (the oldest sister) has a hard time accepting the boys. At the end, she wants them to stay and be her brothers, just as much as they want her to be their sister. This is a chapter story about international adoption and sibling dynamics.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, easy reader, short chapter, illustrated chapter, developing reader, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 2.9

Age of Child: Read with four-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter liked this book and was surprised the older sister did not like the boys. She thought it would be fun to have two brothers show up from another country. She liked how the younger boy changes his name right away to an American name, and even started coming up with new names for herself.

Adult Reader Reaction: This book flows easily and has a fun storyline. It was realistic and seemed to really capture the feelings children would have if they were expecting adopted siblings. I thought the story itself might be over my daughter's head. I was surprised how the author made the book applicable to younger children too.

Pros: This is a great book that shows kids how a family is made up of all different people. Since it is the first book in the series, there will be more opportunities to read about the family and "grow" with them.

Cons: Some of the events in the story seemed out of place. It was as if the author jumped over blocks of time. Something must have happened, but she didn’t leave room for them in the book.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book you can read with your younger child, particularly if you want to begin introducing chapter books. When they get older, your kids can read it for themselves. I would buy this book for a friend/family. It teaches a great lesson about families.

If You Liked This Book, Try: OVER THE MOON: AN ADOPTION TALE   WELCOME HOME, FOREVER CHILD   THE SEA CHEST

Educational Themes: There are several layers to this story. It offers an adoption story, a story about being brothers and sisters, and opportunities to talk about change. It also opens the door to talking about culture and acceptance. Because kids can relate to the girls, it is also a chance to help them see that sometimes there are good things that come out of the unexpected ... and that not getting what you wanted (or what you thought you wanted) can still turn out well.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, adoption, series

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2008

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