ALLY'S BIG BOOK OF FRIENDS by Chloe Banks

ALLY'S BIG BOOK OF FRIENDS

Adoption Stories
Age Range: 3 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An overview of many adoption scenarios.

The cover art depicts a diverse (several stereotypically so) array of cartoonish children holding hands around a globe. In style it differs greatly from the photographs included on most pages, and this isn’t the only way this well-meaning title falls short. A major misstep is having the eponymous Ally, a white girl who isn’t an adoptee, as narrator, as her lack of immediate connection to adoption undermines her commentary. Ally’s parents are expecting a baby, and this part of her life is juxtaposed with her pregnant babysitter’s decision to place her baby for adoption with Ally’s next-door neighbors. Ally then describes friends and relatives who are adoptees, some of whom are people of color, unlike the others mentioned above, all of whom appear to be white. To the book’s credit, various adoption scenarios are included (stepparent, transracial, international, and kinship), and foster care is mentioned, too. But none of these scenarios is well-developed, lending a disjointed feeling to the book as Ally glosses over others’ stories. Nods to such famous adoptees as Steve Jobs (oddly referred to in the present tense even though he is deceased), gymnast Simone Biles, presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford (the latter not depicted in a photo), and singer Faith Hill are included, as are references to Superman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and depictions of Jesus and Moses, both depicted as white men. Following Ally's narrative is a two-page note directed at caregivers on how to talk about adoption with children.

Well-meaning but misses the mark. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9794430-8-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: WordSlinger Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2017




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