What Is Your Story? (Let’s Talk About Adoption and Kinship)
Lynn Deiulis (Author); Krista Donnelly (Illustrator)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
I have to say, this is one of the most brightly colorful books I’ve read in a while, and it certainly addresses a topic that helps kids and families when it comes to learning about adoption, kinship, and teaching kids their personal backstory when it comes to the world, itself. By utilizing friendly butterflies, smiling grasshoppers, ladybugs, earthworms and more, children can explore their adoption/kinship journey with their families; while adopted parents and caregivers can answer the questions kids have about their own distinctive paths, and make them feel comfortable.
Extra fun for the kids is the fact that the book is divided into activity pages, as well. After each chapter, the butterfly offers up word searches and drawing pages your child(ren) can utilize to better understand their beginnings, as well as create drawings of their families and the activities they love to do with them. And there’s no specific “way” to read the book; each chapter allows you to focus on a particular subject.
The author discusses why this book was created and for whom. Basically, however, it is for everyone. From parents, caregivers, and other adults who are involved in the adoption process, they are better able to have an open, pleasant discussion. Birth parents who wish to give their kids information on adoption and kinship—those who wish to talk about the ‘family tree’—will also find this a great way to teach their child(ren) who all the family members were and their particular stories. In addition, professionals who are preparing for kids to be placed and are in the adoption system will find that this is a great way to help get them ready for their new home.
The author and illustrator team came together to create these colorful, knowledgeable pages and did a great job; they utilized everything from the story of an egg to a waiting leaf that stands for a foster family. They teach about your gifts and your traditions, from the old family to the new, and then help you answer questions asked with the help of your favorite bug buddies from the natural world. I find this a fantastic way to bring about comfort in both adults and children so that no one has to feel overwhelmed, and they get to be entertained at the same time. This book helps to manage feelings and even encourages families to reach out to their own communities.
“What is Your Story?” certainly does show that each of us, unlike the millions of stars in the sky, are unique, and why we’re each a special “star” in our own family group. A great message that’s presented well!