Of the many children’s books that have come through my mailbox over the past couple of months, here are four that made the cut:

“I’m Adopted”
by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

With gorgeous photographs and simple, sensitive text, this book is a great way to talk to your child about adoption. The authors acknowledge at the back of the book that not all arrangements are described within (e.g. open adoption, adoption during adolescence) but the information that is there is valuable, and the photos alone are worth it. It sparked many questions for my girls, and I plan to use it in class when we reach the appropriate Family Life unit.

“The Boy From The Dragon Palace”
retold by Margaret Read MacDonald, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

The only thing I didn’t love about this book was the frequent use of the phrase “snot-nosed boy”. Other than that, this funny and cautionary Japanese folktale about the dangers of always wanting more (and forgetting to be thankful for what you have) is retold with humour and wisdom. Another one to rotate between my girls’ collection and my classroom (my students loved it, for the moral as well as the “snot-nosed boy” part!)

“The Wizard of Oz: A Scanimation Book”
by Rufus Butler Seder

This hardcover gem combines ten classic quotations from the movie with the beauty of scanimation: as you tilt the page, the images appear to move. A must for any little Wizard of Oz fan.

“Pirate Boy”
by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry

Less about an actual pirate boy than about how each question a child asks can easily lead to another, this is one title the parents can relate to as well. (Our school librarian compared the flow of the story to the “if…then” pattern in the classic Runaway Bunny.) Plus, it’s Eve Bunting. How can you go wrong with the author of over a hundred books, including “Fly Away Home” and “The Wall”?

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