In my quest to find really good adoption books for children I discovered Ola Zuri. I just read her debut book Why Can't You Look Like Me?, and it's fantastic. Before I move on to her second book Where Do I Belong? I want to give you my review of her first:
It's hard to believe this is the first time author Ola Zuri and illustrator Jenn Simpson have worked together, because they got everything right with this book. Zuri's writing is free and lyrical, with sincerity gained by first hand experience. Why Can't You Look Like Me? is the story (Zuri's story) of an African American girl adopted by a Caucasian family, and her struggle to find her place within a predominately white community. Although it takes the arrival of "another young person who is brown" for the little girl to feel that she belongs, in the end Zuri's character realizes that in fact, she has always belonged - to herself. And with that knowledge she can claim a place for herself anywhere. That's a lesson every child should learn at a young age.
Zuri's delightful storytelling is offset perfectly by Simpson's whimsical illustrations. Her characters are light, expressive, and absolutely endearing. I especially like her uniquely textured trees.
This book is a gem, and I highly recommend it for ALL families and classrooms.
The Adoptive Parent
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