Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale by Karen Henry Clark

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Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale by Karen Henry Clark and illustrated by Patrice Barton (Knopf, November 2010) tells a magical version of an adoption of a baby girl from China. In China, the family knows they cannot provide for their newborn. They say wistfully, “She should have pretty things. She should learn to read.” They send the baby on a journey down a river, where the animals protect the child from the elements and keep the baby safe.

Meanwhile, in America, a couple longs for a baby of their own, preparing a home and getting the “pretty things” and the books they hope the child to come would love. In wistful language and with absolutely stunning soft illustrations, Sweet Moon Baby brings the two stories together.

I loved the sense of magic given to the entire process, I loved the parallel thoughts of the parents, and I think this may be a good introduction to the concept of adoption for the parent and child alike, whether or not an adoption has happened in one’s own family.

Because I have the wonderful honor of being a Round 1 Judge for the Fiction Picture Books, I get to read about 200 books (so far, at least) published in the last year that have been nominated. To help me keep track of my thoughts on the books I’ve read and in order to share the love of books with each of you, I’m going to try to post on a few of the fun books each week.

This week, since my own baby girl will be born sometime near the end of February, I thought it might be fun to look at some books somehow related to babies and birthdays.

What baby picture books have you enjoyed?

Reviewed on October 14, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Monkey is a girl? How exciting! Congratulations.
    My nieces are turning two in December so I think the two birthday books you mentioned are perfect for them.

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