A heartwarming adoption story from a new big sister’s perspective.
The lyrical text opens with Caroline, a child of color with light brown skin and straight, dark hair, wakening on the titular “most unusual day” and feeling out-of-sorts. A photo on her bedside table (also seen on the title page) shows her with three adults—her parents and her grandmother, a multiracial family. Her mother has similar hair but lighter skin than Caroline’s, while her father and grandmother resemble each other with darker brown skin and curly, black hair. Caroline’s grandmother is staying with her while her parents are away, but it’s not immediately clear why this is so. The sensitive text and expressive, gestural art make plain, however, that Caroline is distracted and uneasy as she awaits their return. The reason for Caroline’s fretfulness is revealed when her parents pick her up from school with “a bundle from far, far away.” This bundle is Caroline’s new sister, who looks a lot like her, and the words “from far, far away” suggest she’s a transnational adoptee. While the text doesn’t definitively identify Caroline as an adoptee, her resemblance to her sister and not their parents may prompt this interpretation. As so very many adoption stories feature white parents with children of color, this acknowledgment that adoptive families come in as many variations as the general population is most welcome.
An unusually good adoption book. (Picture book. 3-6)