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SWEET MOON BABY by Karen Henry Clark


An Adoption Tale

by Karen Henry Clark, illustrated by Patrice Barton

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-85709-6
Publisher: Knopf

This dreamlike tale is, above all else, a love story. A baby girl is born in China, and her parents, too poor to care for her, place her in a basket in the river and trust her to the care of the moon. The basket is helped along its journey by many creatures, while the baby tucked inside sleeps on (in many different positions, all adorable). Meanwhile, a presumably American couple dreams of a daughter, preparing for her arrival until one night they feel called to begin their own fantastical journey. They find the baby in the river and carry her home with them. Although this is an idealistic, romantic adoption tale, a bit of realism surfaces with both sets of parents described as “happy and sad at the same time.” Aside from some troublesome gender stereotypes—while the fathers worry about the girl having enough to eat and books to read, the mothers are most concerned that she have “pretty things”—this lyrical story of destiny and love, as interpreted in Barton's playful, textured illustrations, is a triumph. (Picture book. 5-8)