by Abbey Williams
Overall I very much liked this alphabet book. The illustrations are whimsical, engaging and lovely. Many forms of family are acknowledged so that all children will both feel welcome and can learn about family types that are not their own. I also thought that the questions throughout were excellent as they invite discussion between the child and adult who are sharing the book.
However, as a social worker, I have some comments on the way the A in this book talks about adoption. On the first page, children are described as “given” to their adoptive parents. I think that there could have been a better word choice here. In addition, the book states that adoptive parents are “special” because they chose to become the child’s parents. This is language that may make children feel that they have to be “worthy” of having been brought into the family which is not fair to them. The following page states that the child was “made” for the adoptive parents. This simply is not true and is perhaps not intentionally, but nonetheless, dismissive of the birth family. Also, I note that often adoptive parents become parents after facing challenges in becoming biological parents. This book’s language does not account for this desire to be parents which is not only about “doing good” for a child. Apologies for these comments if they are bothersome but I feel that they are important. All of this will undoubtedly pass over the head of the young child for whom this book is written but it might have been better to have language that is more reflective of this way of becoming a family.
In all other respects, I very much liked this title. In a simple way, it shows, at times, rather than telling. For example, I loved that the wedding W showed same-sex marriage without the need to elaborate on it but simply as a wedding. The book is designed to be non-judgmental and inclusive in such a good way.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
This title will be published on 22 Feb 2022.