The Story of my Open Adoption by Leah Campbell; illustrated by Claire LaForte

The Story of My Open Adoption: A Storybook for Children Adopted at ...This rhyming picture book tells the story of an open adoption.  As is often the case in children’s books, the characters are animal, not human.  Many feel that this provides a distance that is helpful to young children.

In the story, Sammy is going to meet his first family.  He has a good experience while there and knows that there are many who love him.

This book does many things very well.  I like that Sammy’s visit was a good one.  I also think that the author did a good job of letting Sammy know that his parents were there for any questions that he might have.  Further, the author nicely allows for a variety of feelings and notes that feelings can change from day to day.

A few quibbles…I might not have started the story by saying that Sammy was different.  While Sammy is a squirrel in the story and his parents are rabbits, I felt the way this was presented  could leave children feeling that Sammy was loved DESPITE being different.  I don’t think that this is the message that she meant to convey but an edit might have helped.

Also, the author did not in any real way show Sammy’s preparation for this meeting with his first family.  An extra page on his parents letting him know where they were going would have added to the book.

Nonetheless, this book could well become  part of a family’s adoption library.

Many thanks to the publisher, Callisto, for this title in exchange for an honest review.


What and how? She Represents 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics . . . and the World by Caitlin Donohue

This book should be required reading for young people, perhaps girls in particular, as the need is there to engage the next generation in the political process.  This title includes 44 profiles of women, mostly from the U.S., with a few from around the world.  Some of these women’s views are aligned with mine, while others are not.  Perhaps this is good as the book can be used as a basis for discussion.

Some of the Americans included are Stacey Abrams,  Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Susan Collins and Betsy DeVos.  Also, for example, internationally, there is an entry on Jacinda Ardern from New Zealand.

For each woman there are sections on topics including years in political office, positions held, a life story, a what’s on her agenda section and more.  Each woman’s entry is presented with a lot of detail.

I like this title and feel that it should be part of school and home libraries.  Readers will know more about those who represent them after spending time with this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Pub Date

#SheRepresents #NetGalley

Recently published: A Scandal in Bohemia by Doyle

This publisher does an excellent job of adapting classics for younger readers. In this instance, the choice is one of the most well known of the Sherlock Holmes canon. Readers will become engaged in the story which is enhanced with cartoon like illustrations. Hopefully, young readers appetite for more stories of Holmes and Watson will follow.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review. Of note is that the adapter explains the meaning of some of the words that may be unfamiliar to the young, modern reader.

Now out: The Easy Puerto Rican Cookbook by Tony Rican

The Easy Puerto Rican Cookbook: 100 Classic Recipes Made SimpleCallisto publishing has been issuing many wonderful cookbooks that are filled with recipes that seem very doable. In my opinion nothing could be better for the current moment. Since we are all eating at home more, it is nice to add a bit of variety. This time, the 100 recipes are for foods from Puerto Rico. As can be seen from the cover, the dishes look delicious. Just a few of the things that can be made are Puerto Rican style crab cakes, meat stuffed sweet plantains, tres leches cake (my favorite) and garlic rice with shrimp. Two things that I especially liked in this book are the section for recipes that take 30 minutes or less and the section of recipes that use five ingredients or less.
Many thanks to Callisto and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Recently published: Bark Park (Bark Park Book 1) by Brandi Dougherty

This title is an illustrated chapter book for beginning readers. The cartoon-like illustrations give each of the dogs a personality and will help to keep young readers turning the pages.
There are three short stories here. Each attempts to have a bit of suspense. For example, there is a mystery concerning a ball in the first story. In the second one, a dog has a cone on. Why? Can they take it off? And in the third chapter, there is a visit to the pet groomer.
At the end of the book, there are entries that talk about aspects of each story. For example, the third one describes what a pet groomer does.
It is always good to encourage young readers. They will feel grown up to be reading “chapters.” Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#BarkParkBarkParkBook1 #NetGalley