Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib. Lee & Low Publishers.
The Plot: Arun's family adopts a baby girl from India.
The Good: The story is framed by the Hindu holiday Rakhi, a holiday that is about brothers and sisters. Arun wishes he had a sister so that he could celebrate Rakhi. A few months later, he finds out the family is going to adopt a little girl from India, the country where Arun's father was born. The story ends with the baby, Asha, (now about one years old) arriving just in time for Rakhi. It's a holiday I was unfamiliar with; but it's a perfect holiday to celebrate children becoming siblings, and it's also one that will be easily understood by children hearing the story.
I love that this story was framed by this holiday; and I love that the pictures and text show a family that celebrates a diverse heritage. Rakhi is celebrated; during October, there is a jack-o'-lantern on a table. The pictures, as well as the text, show a biracial family. (Truth be told, I didn't pick that up until my second reading, when I noticed that Dad's country of origin was mentioned but not Mom. The Lee & Low website confirmed this. I like that it's not a "hit you over the head with it" part of the story.)
This is a great story about adoption, particularly international adoption, and the long wait many families face in waiting for their adoptive child. "When you adopt a baby from one country and bring her to another, there are many governmental forms to fill out and laws to follow," Dad says. "It takes time." (I am so good. I am not making any snarky comments about international adoptions and certain celebrities.) While the actual process takes a long time, Bringing Asha Home shows a family taking the steps to welcome the baby into their hearts long before the child is brought into their home: a room is prepared, Arun makes her presents of paper airplanes, and a birthday party is held.
Question: Part of Rakhi involves sisters giving colorful bracelets to their brothers. If I used Bringing Asha Home as a storytime book at the library, would it be inappropriate to combine it with making friendship bracelets? Does anyone know?
The long awaited updated Guides from the Federal Trade Commission are almost here! Per the FTC website, FTC Publishes Final Guides Governin...
Celebrate! Connections Among Cultures by Jan Reynolds. About: (because it sounds odd to say the Plot for nonfiction books.) A look at cultu...