Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WONDERFUL YOU by Lauren McLaughlin


An Adoption Story

by Lauren McLaughlin ; illustrated by Meilo So

Pub Date: April 25th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-553-51001-0
Publisher: Random House

A birth mother searches for the right parents for her unborn child in this story narrated by the adoptive mother.

“She looked north. She looked south. She traveled the world, / asking, ‘Who’ll be the parents of this beautiful girl? / I will sail by the moon and the stars till I find / a home for my girl that is loving and kind, / with a soft, cushioned bed and a teddy named Boo. // Nothing less than the best for Wonderful You.’ ” In a house by the sea, a loving couple awaits, but the birth mother must make sure they are just right. (The artwork here is slightly disturbing: the adoptive mother stretches out her arms toward the birth mother, who is riding on a crescent moon and hugging her pregnant belly; her expression looks shocked, almost as if her babe is being taken away.) After entrusting the baby to the adoptive parents, the birth mother rides a bird back home, and the tale turns to the new family and all that the future holds. The verses border on saccharine, and the rhyme scheme governs both word choice and syntax, making the text a challenge to read aloud. The artwork matches the flights of fancy with watercolor swirls and blotches, but the faces (all pale-skinned) are off-putting, not sweet or loving.

Though open adoptions have become more common, they are still not the majority; this is more a single family’s adoption story than one that speaks to all adopted children.

(Picture book. 4-7)