Monday, April 22, 2013

Wild About You by Judy Sierra {The Children's Bookshelf}

It's been awhile since I wrote about any adoption-themed titles here. Although I used to spotlight these quite frequently, I haven't run across any lately that we just loved. That is, until we came across the newest effort by author Judy Sierra and illustrator Marc Brown, Wild About You. And this is one, my friends, that we truly are wild about!

The story is quite similar to their earlier effort, Wild About Books, in that it is set in a zoo that's populated by some quite inventive animals. This time around, it seems that everybody's having babies -- except for the tree kangaroo and a pair of pandas, who unfortunately seem to be lacking the little additions they are longing for. The pandas in fact are so upset that they are "black, white, and . . . BLUE." (A nice bit of punny humor for you there.)

Then a rescue truck pulls into the zoo, carrying a mysterious foundling egg. Of course the zookeeper asks all the birds if they can foster the little one, but everyone has some complaint. So the tree kangaroo steps right up to pouch-sit, and once the egg hatches, she's thrilled with her unexpected surprise. She's now the mommy to an adorable little penguin! Luckily the other animals pitch in to help out, supplying fresh fish and avian role models. Similarly, the pandas find themselves parenting a little kitten, and the zoo community rallies around them as well. The most terrific part is the final spread, where the entire menagerie gathers together -- those who have keen eyes will pick out other trans-species families in addition to the pandacat and the pengaroo.

We love this title for plenty of reasons: its subtle message (you don't have to "match" in order to be a family), its upbeat tone and positive take on adoption, and of course its infectious rhyme scheme. Brown has pulled out all the stops with these illustrations, utilizing geometric shapes, dots and bold primary colors to bring a warm, cheerful feel to this warm, cheerful story. Families who read this one will be strengthened in all kinds of ways, and foster or adoptive families in particular will find the positive message very reassuring.

This is a gentle treasure, perfect for introducing the topic of adoption in a classroom or home setting. And the next time your kiddos ask about a family that doesn't look alike, just reassure them that "to bring up a baby. . . it takes a whole zoo!".

Wild About You by Judy Sierra, published by Alfred A. Knopf
Ages 3-6
Source: Library
Sample: "So the puffins delivered fresh fish every day. / The flamingos invited her over to play. / And one happy day, she hopped her first hop -- A super-sensational pengaroo bop."
Highly recommended

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Melissa @ Honey Bee Books said...

This looks like a lovely book with such a beautiful message.

Michelle Cusolito said...

Thanks for this. I just reserved it from my library.

cheap jersey said...

Thanks very much for sharing!!! My girls must love these!!!

Erica MomandKiddo said...

I agree! This is a wonderful book!

Anonymous said...

Our oldest is adopted and like you, it's been a while since we've come across any adoption books we like as well. I am very excited to get this book and spend some quality reading time :)
Rebecca "Franticmommy