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Happy Adoption Day! Hardcover – September 1, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by a friend's tradition, noted children's singer/songwriter McCutcheon created this original song for those who might like to mark a special anniversary in their family's life?adoption day. His thoughtful lyrics (the score is included, of course) emphasize the joy and wonder of the event?"Out of a world so tattered and torn,/ You came to our house on that wonderful morn/ And all of a sudden this family was born"?and there's a rousing chorus just right for a festive party. In a move sure to accommodate many adoptive families, Paschkis (So Sleepy/Wide Awake) pictures the parents as white and the baby as Asian. Her gouache illustrations have a strong hint of traditional Scandinavian folk art, updated by bold color combinations, and they lend themselves particularly well to the multiethnic cast of friends and family with which she peoples each page. For a pleasingly themed read-aloud or gift, pair this volume with Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell's equally merry Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born (reviewed below). Ages 2-6.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-McCutcheon's song, written from the point of view of adoptive parents, is joyous and reassuring-"Whatever you learn, whoever you know,/You've still got a home in our hearts." Paschkis's folklike gouache paintings are attractive and well designed to incorporate the text. However, they illustrate more than the annual celebration. They show scenes of the (Caucasian) adoptive parents making preparations for the baby's arrival, the adoptive parents in an airplane, the (Asian) baby in its new cradle, and the growth of the child. In every scene, everyone is smiling. The song mentions mixed-race and single-parent families: "No matter the skin, we are all of us kin." But another line in that verse sends a confusing message: "No matter how you came to be." That line, from the parents' point of view, is a message of acceptance, but a child may understand it as "It shouldn't matter to you how you came to be." The book reinforces the second interpretation by not picturing the baby before its appearance in the adoptive home, as though it had no history of its own. The relinquishment that precedes adoption does matter to the adoptee but is often hard for adoptive parents to talk about. This book does not help them to do so.
Nancy Schimmel, formerly at San Mateo County Library
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers; 1 edition (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316554553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316554558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,030,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We received this book (and the companion CD - Family Garden) as a gift for our daughters adoption day. In our family (three kids and counting - by adoption) we celebrate adoption days in much the same way as birthdays with cake, presents songs etc. That is where this book comes in. It is absolutely perfect. On each childs adoption day, they blow out the candles on the cake and we open this book, put in the CD and all sing together. The kids absolutely love it and you can see in their eyes whether it is their day or not, that there is a deep and loving meaning to the whole process which makes this so much more than just a book and a song. As I said to my sister who gave it to us, it is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Wishing you many happy adoption days.
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By A Customer on March 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We received this book as a Christmas gift shortly after our 2nd child arrived from Korea. I read it to my daughter at nap time and found myself dissolving into tears. Here was OUR story. This is a delightful book for any adoptive family, especially those with children from Asia. The song is marvellous; we sing it regularly and of course on thoses "adoption day" celebrations.
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Format: Hardcover
Adoption day is a kind of birthday.
Some families (like ours) may choose after a while to celebrate only a child's actual birthday.
Nevertheless, this book is a helpful way to celebrate a child's acceptance into his or her adoptive family, especially for kids adopted at older ages or internationally.
There is nothing wrong with stating that the world is troubled. After all, it is.
But the overall message of this beautifully illustrated volume is one of acceptance and love. It is a keepsake that most adoptive families will cherish.
Hurrah, John McCutcheon! Alyssa A. Lappen
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Format: Paperback
Books about adoption are very important to me. My wife and I have adopted two girls from China so we want to read them stories that show adoption as something beautiful. Happy Adoption Day has great color, lots of smiles, and even comes with a song that you can play on the piano or some other instrument. Unfortunately I didn't like some of McCutcheon's lyrics. I don't like how he repeatedly says, For out of a world so tattered and torn, You came to our house on that wonderful morn...". The entire world is messed up, and I don't like this "we saved you" mentality. Elsewhere John writes, "Some parents come different, some come the same...". If you come from a conservative mindset, I can see how you might want to explain this in a different manner.
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Format: Paperback
Still brings a tear every time I read it or make dh sing it. We have a four year old bio son, 20 month old triplets who we adopted (we have had them from seconds after their birth), and I am pregnant with boy number five. Because two of our five are bio, we don't call November 18 "Adoption Day," but "Family Day." Still, I cannot read this lovely song, or point to the vibrant pictures without my voice shaking. My kids are all young, so I have no way of knowing how they will like it when they are old enough to have questions. It just seems to express beautifully and simply much of what I feel as an adoptive mom. It is certainly not a comprehensive thought-provoking manual for addressing the deeper adoption issues I hope to discuss with my kids as they mature. This is merely a celebration and a love song, and for now that is quite enough for me.
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Format: Paperback
As an adoptive Mom, I get so tired of kids books that talk about being saddened or depressed by adoption. Yes, kids may need to talk through those issues at times, but I wanted a book that would introduce adoption to my infant daughter in a positive way. "Happy Adoption Day" does that beautifully, with joyful rollicking text and an explosion of colorful illustrations. This books is such a favorite of my (now 2 year old) daughter that I had to put it up on a top shelf and bring it down only by request because it was about to disintegrate! Read a more complete review and learn more about my adoption story at my blog [...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. This is our second purchase of the book. We bought one for us and liked it so much, we now buy it as a gift.
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Format: Paperback
As an adoption social worker, I like finding good adoption kids' books. This one celebrates adoption, which is great. It reminds me of a teenager I tutored years ago whose parents celebrated both his birthday and his "Gotcha" day. People used to keep adoptions secret -- that we now acknowledge and celebrate it is wonderful, and this book adds to that celebration. My one (quite large) reservation is that the book paints a really negative picture of the child's life before adoption; the chorus of the song repeats throughout the book, and refers to the child's previous life as "a world so tattered and torn." Another reviewer of this book mentioned that the entire world is "tattered and torn." I agree. I can see how this song could lead a child to view the adoptive parents as "saviors" and may create a sense of shame or indebtedness as the child reflects on their past life. This book might be OK for kids who were adopted after experiencing abuse or neglect in another place, but parents would still need to be careful to ensure that a child understands that whatever "tatteredness" was in the child's past life, it's not the child's fault.
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