I have read many, many children's books during the course of my life and career as a primary teacher and a mother. Early literacy is a passion of mine and I now volunteer in three classrooms to promote the love of reading and books. I believe I have a good sense of what appeals to children and when I read a book for the first time I read it with that filter.
That being said, I was captivated when I read Wonderful You by Lauren McLaughlin! Sometimes when you read a book that is written in rhymes it feels forced and contrived, but this story had a flow to it that read easily and naturally, complemented by the rhyming structure. The story seemed to float along with the beautiful and whimsical illustrations created by the extrodinary Meilo So. It had the feeling of a fairy tale, especially with the people floating in the sky, but the truths of the book were very clear and could not be missed. The message that both the birth parent and the adoptive parents love the child is very powerful. I also believe that the core message of the child being her own wonderful self is a positive message for all the children that hear this story.
My two favorite quotes from the book were "We already love you," and "But you are the magic in this fairy tale" because they summarize the clear message of unconditional love that is being portrayed in this book.
I read this book to my three year old granddaughter in the afternoon and then she chose it as one of her three books before bed. After reading it the second time, I asked her what her favorite part was and she said "The part where the baby found a home." I just smiled and thought "Yep, she gets it!"
Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin, illustrations by Meilo So
Ages 3-7 years (but really all ages!)
Source: Random House
Sample: "But you are the magic in this fairy tale."
Available through Amazon.