CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 21 . . . . June 20, 2003
Hodge. Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2003.
24 pp., cloth, $22.99.
2 / Ages 5-7.
by Gail Hamilton.
“At the airport,
Grandma, Grandpa, Sam, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were
waiting to meet Emma. Marley was waiting in the car.
up a big sign he’d painted. WELCOME HOME, EMMA, it read.
cheered and clapped when they saw Emma and Mommy and Daddy. Some
people had joyful tears in their eyes.”
baking with their grandmother, Emma and her older brother make a cookie
family. Emma notices that the cookie representing her is the only
one that has dark hair and dark eyes. She tearfully complains that
she wants to look like everyone else in her family, and so Grandma
sets out to make Emma feel better. With Emma cuddled into her lap,
Grandma brings out the photo album and tells Emma the story of how
the little girl came to be a part of their family. The photos begin
with the parents’ preparation of the baby’s nursery, their
trip to China for Emma’s adoption and the joyful welcome they
receive from family and friends when they arrive back home with the
baby. Though she has heard this story a “million” times,
Emma still likes to hear it for it reinforces her place in the family
and the love that her family feels for her.
writes with a quiet tenderness, creating the mood of the story. Although
an international adoption is featured, the main theme is that families
are configured in many different ways and love is the glue that binds
families together. Zhang’s soft, but wonderfully detailed illustrations
match the mood of the story perfectly. The furnishings are comfortable
and inviting; Grandma is depicted as the stereotypical cuddly grandmother;
and the main characters are portrayed as loving and caring individuals
through their body language and their loving gazes at Emma. From the
illustrations, readers can tell that the grandparents play a significant
role in the family. It is interesting to note that Zhang has drawn,
in the background, a folding screen with scenes from China on it,
perhaps to acknowledge Emma’s cultural roots.
Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird’s Hill School in East
St. Paul, MB.
on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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