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Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born Board Book (Joanna Colter Books) Board book – April 17, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actress Curtis's return engagement amply confirms the promise shown in her debut picture book (When I Was Little). A sweet and sunny look at adoption, the story is framed as a much-loved and clearly much-requested family tale, and rings true from beginning to end. Combining wit ("Tell me again how you carried me like a china doll all the way home and how you glared at anyone who sneezed") with candor ("Tell me again how you couldn't grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me"), Curtis deftly addresses the logistics of adoption in a matter-of-fact manner that radiates love and reassurance. Cornell, who also illustrated Curtis's previous books, again serves up whimsical, Roz Chast-like watercolors crammed with amusing visual asides: a jar of diaper cream sports the label "Tub o' Lard"; a tiny bandage on a newborn's tummy carries the notice "future bellybutton"; a little girl and her dog, tucked cozily into bed, wear matching curlers (the girl's in her hair; the pup's on his ears). It's hard to imagine a warmer celebration of the special joys of an adopted family. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2?While Curtis's fame as an actor may get this adoption story special attention, it deserves recognition in its own right. If the title suggests a blow-by-blow description of the birth process, readers are quickly set straight; the news arrives by telephone. The narrator's adoptive parents rush to the hospital via plane, and any questions about the identity of the birth mother are brushed aside; she is simply "too young" to take care of her child. The new parents see their daughter in the nursery, howling wide-mouthed and oblivious to their pleased and loving gazes. Both participate equally in this tale; the first night home with the baby, the father tells her about baseball, holding her and a bat cradled in his arms. The humor implicit in the text is made explicit in the illustrations: watery, cartoonstyle watercolors with fine-pen accents to show outlines and facial features. This book exudes action and light; nothing here will lull children to sleep, except the warmth of feeling and comfort. It does not delve into the complexity of adoptive dynamics, but simply affirms family love, the pleasure parents feel about new babies, and how pleased children are to hear the story of their birth.?Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Series: Joanna Colter Books
  • Board book: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694012157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694012152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Conn on April 20, 2006
Format: Board book
I first read this book years before we adopted, and even then it brought me to tears. We have several adopted family members in different generations and we adopted internationally. Even though I knew this wouldn't be exactly like our story, I couldn't wait to get this book for my son. Some issues other people mentioned:

1. This story isn't like mine/ours/our child's. This book is very clearly a domestic out-of-state (or at least out of town) adoption story. My response to this is "So?" If a biological parent had a book telling a similar story, it wouldn't match everyone else in the world's birth. It's still a wonderful way to both introduce the idea of adoption as well as talk about all the different ways people can become a family. Our son's bio mother wasn't "too young to care for" him, and we are able to "have a baby", but again, that's not the point of the book.

2. It glosses over the feelings of loss an adoptee has. Maybe it does, but should EVERY single book about adopting for little kids cover this? Since the book is being written about a newborn, what should Curtis add "Even though you were too young to understand, we know that someday you will feel a sense of loss of your biological families and there is nothing wrong with that and we will be sure you stay in touch with her if she chose an open adoption?" It's a book for little kids about Mommies and Daddies being happy to have a baby.

3. I am not sure what the person who was unhappy about the "B-word" (birth? biological? I can't remember) being used would have preferred. Terminology is a matter of personal prefernce for the most part, while we all agree "Real Mom" isn't the best, birth mom, bio mom, natural mom, whatever - we'll use the words our family feels most comfortable with.
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Format: Paperback
Initially, I ordered this book for my niece who is just a little more than 2 years old. Adopted by my younger sister in Russia at 10 months, her arrival in our family has been a joyous occurrence. One of the things I love and most look forward to is giving her books, telling her stories, and maybe even writing a book *for her* some day. Meanwhile, Jamie Lee Curtis has created a joyful interlude from her own experience as an adoptive parent. This book oozes love and whimsy, and the illustrations by Laura Cornell are delightful to the eye, yet filled with amusing details which will keep them fresh through at least a million readings;) I can't wait to read this story to my niece...if I can bring myself to part with the book!
A previous reviewer (apparently an unhappy adoptee) spouted opinions full of anger and resentment, alluding to "Jamie Lee's obvious bias against birth mothers." I found that very sad. After all, this is a children's book, and IMHO, it was created as a means of expressing an adoptive parent's joy and love for this child, and told through the eyes of the child, it has a precious quality, reminding us how easy it is to teach a child to love and be loved. This book is a treasure, and while I think it's a special gift for any adopted child, it's warmth and whimsy will prove irresistible to anyone who reads it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a happy book that is beautifully, colorfully, and imaginiatively illustrated. It tells the story of what seems mostly like a domestic adoption very nicely. Some of the humor of the book is geared toward adults more than the children that it would be read to. I am a single mom of more than one child, so I will say that the book portrays the adoption of a child into a family consisting of a mom and dad and no other siblings are mentioned. However, my children enjoy this book a lot and I always appreciate any story that helps tell about different kinds of families and the way they are formed. This book does that well and I would recommend it.
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Format: Board book
Being a birthmother I am always on the lookout for books for my birthdaughter. I found this one about a year ago. I picked it up on accident. I keep it here at my house so when my birthdaughter comes over to spend time, she and I can sit down and read it together. I also did buy a copy for her amom so that they could sit down and read it. With her being 6 years old, it is really a nice conversation starter. Some of the events in the book were not applicable in our case, as there was no plane ride to bring her home, but she loves it all the same. The book is simple, easy to read and gives just enough information for the toddler set, and then as the child gets older it is a great kick off to more indepth conversation. I think it really answers the questions that toddlers have about their adoption, and give apars simple language to put it in. I enjoy reading the book with my younger daughter who is 3 and replace some of the words so it refers to my bdaughter and helps me explain to my 3 year old a little about the situation surrounding the adoption.
The only real part that is bothersome is the portrayal of the birthparents. It only mentioned the birthmother and not the bdad. And the wording about the bmom being too young is really kind of insulting and a generalization that all birthmothers are young. In my case I was only 16, but I have known bmoms up to 30 years old. Overall the book is wonderful, and I really would suggest it to anyone in the adoption triad who has young children. It is a great conversation starter.
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