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Motherbridge of Love Hardcover – September 1, 2007

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book shares its name with a London-based organization dedicated to promoting greater understanding of Chinese life and culture among adoptive families in the West. The text, credited to an anonymous adoptive mother, takes the form of a series of heartfelt, parallel musings about two women "who never knew each other" but who are central to a sprightly Chinese girl. "The first one gave you life; the second taught you to live it.... One found a home for you that she could not provide, the other prayed for a child; her hope was not denied." Masse (Goodnight, Sweet Pig) echoes this dreamy lyricism with gently surreal illustrations rendered in a texture like shot silk. Her treatment of the birth mother merits particular interest: on some spreads, she portrays the woman relatively realistically, carrying water in her village or gazing down at her pregnant belly. But in other spreads, the mother is transformed into a benevolent spirit; readers will notice her Asian features in the moon that shines down on the adoptive mother and child, and even in the mountain that the pair traverse during a hike or in a dramatic sky. It's a risky artistic choice, but Masse pulls it off in an understated way that offers comfort and encouragement to parents and children. A portion of the proceeds benefits Mother Bridge of Love. Ages 4-10. (Sept.) --Publisher's Weekly, Sept. 10, 2007

"Got a girlfriend who just adopted a kid? You're going to want to get them this book, although the illustration is so gorgeous, you could give it to anyone. The text was submitted anonymously to the charity Mother Bridge of Love, which seeks to connect kids adopted from China with their homeland...it does explain quite lyrically how two mothers can each have a part in making one whole child" --Time Magazine

"I read the book with my adopted daughter and awaited her response. It was wonderful. When I asked her what she liked in the book she immediately said the two mothers were two trees with a shared heart" --Maura Sills, founder, The Karuna Institute

About the Author

This poem was anonymously submitted to the UK based charity Mother Bridge of Love, founded by Xinran, the acclaimed Chinese author, broadcaster and journalist. In 2004, Xinran made it her aim to reach out to Chinese children all over the world who have been adopted, creating a bridge of understanding between Chinese and the West and between adoptive culture and birth culture.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books; Library Binding edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846860474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846860478
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Stanek on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We brought our two adopted daughters back to Jiande orphanage as preteens in 2006 and addressed the birthmom question not for the first time ... we had relied on the "Choco" book and other fables available in the mid-90s when we first had these discussions of the "tummy Mom" and the "real Mom." Too bad this book had not been available then. However, it is such a graphically beautiful book and has such a simple message that I thought I would add it to our China book shelf. The girls tend to act disinterested in those books now--unlike when they had been younger--but a book like this is easy to flip through in a few minutes and can easily re-ignite that on-going conversation our family has been having about how it feels to be adopted.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Elliott on September 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was in tears by the second page. And the illustrations are Beautiful!!
This is a must for any adoptive parent. My just turned four year old is just discovering that everyone was once a baby and people are born. She asked me last week if she came in the mailbox...LOL. This is beatiful book to start that conversation for the questions I know are coming.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By readingmom13 on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
We are currently in the process of adopting our daughter from China and during our long wait, we are collecting resources, learning about Chinese culture and thinking and talking about how we are going to share with our daughter the story of how she became a part of our family.

When I discovered Motherbridge of Love, I was drawn at first to the beautiful vibrant art depicting a little Chinese girl, and her Chinese birth mother and Caucasian adoptive mother. It will be so nice to have images that help her understand where she came from. The soothing blues and greens, livened up with bright red now and then are captivating and the fact that sometimes the Chinese birth mother is depicted in nature, watching over the little girl is a particularly beautiful touch.

Like another reviewer when I read the text, I couldn't help but get teary. It is a beautiful poem that has been circulated in various adoption communities for years, in many versions, and this version is superb. It acknowledges that our daughter will have questions about where she came from, it honors both of us, her birth mother and adoptive mother, by exploring the things that we contribute to the person she is becoming and ends on a positive note reassuring her that she is a part of both cultures.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough - I've read it to my five-year-old son, who is very excited to meet his little sister, more times that we can count and I'm sure this is going to be a family favorite for many years to come!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Denise on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Motherbridge of Love is a masterfully illustrated and touchingly eloquent tribute to both birth and adoptive mothers. This beautifully illustrated version of a fairly well-known poem truly illustrates how the love of two women for one child come together to make the child who she is...the result of both of their love...expressed in very different ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fu Mom on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations as well as the sentiment are beautiful in this book! We find new details in the pictures each time we read it. The way this story is presented does a great job of making the idea of having two "real" mothers more concrete for our 6-year old daughter. I could almost see the lightbulbs popping up above her head! We have dozens of adoption related titles; this one makes my top 5 and is easily in my daughter's top 10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Henderson on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a beautiful book! I have an adopted son but he can still relate with the little girl in the book. It's a nice way to talk about his birthmother in a way that is comfortable for both of us. And at 4 he is learning about babies and mommies and family. You'll love this book!
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By Kelly J Raudenbush on February 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Grab your tissues and sit down to read Motherbridge of Love. Written to benefit well known author and women and children's advocate Xinran's charity The Mothers' Bridge of Love, the text of this book is a poem that was written and given anonymously for this purpose. With amazing illustrations, the poem tells the story of a little girl and the two mothers who have been a part of that story. From the first page, I was hooked--"Once there were two women who never knew each other. One you do not know. The other you call Mother." Specific to China (with the poem translated into Chinese in the front), it would be appropriate to read with any girls who were adopted and wonder about the birth mothers they likely will never know. This book would be a really nice Mother's Day gift for a waiting mommy, a nice Gotcha Day tradition to read with your daughter, a good way to open a door to talk about birth mothers or if your daughter is Chinese or American or both, or simply a good read if you just want a little reminder of who you are and your calling as a mother...or you simply need a little cry.

If you want to read more reviews of adoption themed kids books, visit the 2/22/12 post on my blog www(dot)myoverthinking(dot)com
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our family adopted transracially and we love this book! Although our child is not Asian like the little girl in the book, the text and images are helpful to both us (as parents) and our child as it opens discussions about birthmother -- it's positive and upbeat. It does not discuss birthfather at all, though. It does emphasize that the child is "a daughter of" both cultures (former and new).

We even framed one two-page spread to hang in her room: "The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it." Bare Foot Books has removed the book from their online store, and I've only been able to find used copies here! I highly recommend this book for any adoptee or adoptive family!
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