Our Baby From China, An Adoption Story is exactly that: the step-by-step story of one family’s adoption of a little Chinese girl who they named Ariela Xiangwei. Told from the perspective of the adoptive parents, the book resembles an intimate travel narrative written specifically with their adoptive daughter in mind.
Illustrated not only with photographs from the trip that the parents took in China, almost half of the book is about the famous places the D’Antonio family visits in China. It also includes a slew of more personal family photographs that seem like they would be more at home in a personal collection than in a book for children.
Granted, it is difficult to explain the political repercussions of the one-child policy in a picture book, but D’Antonio’s explanation why Chinese children were put up for adoption was somewhat disingenuous and simplistic: “She lived in China with a group of girls and boys who didn’t have mothers and fathers to love them.”
This book would appeal most strongly to adoptees from China who are looking for anything and everything written about this phenomena. In addition, some early readers may appreciate the fact that the book is non-fiction, and the photographs lend a certain authenticity that is not always present in children’s picture books. However, the narrative is not particularly compelling, and overall, it is probably most interesting to Nancy D’Antonio and her family.
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company ; Publication Date 1997
Recommendation: Recommended for research ages: Reading age +
Reviewer by Jill Moffett