STEVEN'S BASEBALL MITT: A BOOK ABOUT BEING
Kathy Stinson. Illustraed by Robin Baird Lewis
Volume 20 Number 5
Using the simple and straightforward style of her other children's books, Kathy Stinson addresses young Steven's feelings and concerns about being adopted. The text is well supported by Robin Baird Lewis' excellent illustrations, which clearly depict Steven's feelings about his adoption and family life as well as his fantasies about his birth mother.
Emphasis throughout the story is overwhelmingly placed on Steven's search for identity through his understanding of the responsibilities of and the decision made by his mom and his birth mother. The downplaying of fatherhood by Stinson leaves an unfortunate gap in the text. Nevertheless, the story ends on a positive note about the importance of family.
For children as well as adults, the title could prove to be misleading. According to the publisher's note, the reader is supposed to see a parallel between Steven's search for his baseball mitt and his concern for a missing part of his identity. This parallel is not clearly evident and only seems to diminish the depth of feelings held by adopted children.
Sensitive books about adoption should be part of any children's collection. This book, however, could be better. If it is chosen it should be presented to more mature readers than Stinson's usual audience after careful consideration has been given to the strong emotions and actions that are depicted as happening over a short period of time with easy solutions.
Gillian Martin Noonan is a teacher - librarian in Old Perlican, NF.
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