Every Year on Your Birthday
Little, Brown and Company (2007)
Reviewed by Olivia Alejandre (age 4) for Reader Views (1/08)
Mom’s review / summary:
A must for all families who adopted from China, and probably for other adopted kids, too. This book beautifully presents the wonders of adoption and respect of the culture and background of the child’s birthplace. The clothes, the artwork, and the story all seem to be in tune with Chinese culture.
For other families, it’s a wonderful way to explain the joys of adoption. We want to make sure our daughter has a respect for various backgrounds and family structures, so this helped us talk about an important topic with a cute story. But, since she can’t directly relate to it (with friends or family), it’s not a book that she wants to read over and over again. I can imagine, though, that a family who has adopted would love reading this on a regular basis.
She did ask about the six girls in the orphanage and why there weren’t any boys, so I had a tough time explaining that without saying anything that a four-year-old couldn’t handle. It’s a good discussion to have with an older child, but I’m not comfortable going into all the reasons with someone of Olivia’s age.
Some quotes from Olivia’s discussion with Mommy about the book, “Every Year on Your Birthday”
“That’s the pretend moon on the water.”
[Mom]: “I was waiting for you to come out of my tummy.”
“And, you hoped that I was a girl. And, I was a girl.”
“When babies have just been born, they look very small. Every part of their body looks very small.”
“The baby and bear are the same size. And, the baby is way bigger than the bear.”
“The face on the girl is pretty, and so is the dress, and the white shoes.”
“Those babies look the same age.”
“Some puppies are small and some puppies are really big, like that white dog that lives near Grandpa’s house.”
“That’s the prettiest boat. I thought it was a big floatie but it was a boat.”
“Look, she’s way bigger now.”
[Mom]: “What do you think about adopting babies?”
“Nice. If someone adopts a baby, that daddy and mommy have to find another baby so they can have their own baby.”