Ten Days and Nine Nights

Ten Days and Nine Nights: an adoption story by Yumi Heo

A little girl waits for ten days and nine nights for her new sister to arrive.  As each day passes, she prepares for the new baby, keeping a countdown all the while.  She helps redecorate her room, practices with a doll, washes her teddy bear, and waits.  In between the little girl’s activities, readers will glimpse what is going on with her mother in Korea as she travels there to get the baby. 

Heo’s text is friendly and the countdown keeps the pace of the book brisk.  Her art is filled with sunshine yellows and deep reds, a palate that is warm and bright.  The images featuring the mother in Korea are done in deep blue tones with bright pops of color, making the two settings easily distinguishable for young readers. 

An engaging look at an older siblings waiting for an adoption to be complete, this is a universal story that all readers will relate to whether their siblings are adopted or not.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

One World, One Day

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley

When I was a kid, I loved looking through my mother’s new Unicef calendars every year.  Each page featured children who were like me, but different too.  I would pore over the captions, decide where I wanted to travel based on the smiles, clothes and colors.  This book from National Geographic has that same sense of connection but difference for me. Kerley has paired very simple text with amazing photographs, each more evocative and fascinating than the last.  This book is about our global connection, celebrating our world in its entirety and uniqueness. 

Kerley’s text is simple but powerful.  She provides just the right thread to tie the photographs together, yet she manages to allow the photos to speak for themselves too.  For children like I was, there is lots of information in the appendix about each photograph, offering captions and geographical notes.  My only quibble is that the appendix refers to page numbers and the pages are unnumbered.  Luckily there are thumbnail images to help match page to information.

So which areas spoke to me here?  Where do I want to travel based on these photos?  Many of the images of India spoke to me with their deep colors and friendly faces.  From this collection, I would have yearned to travel there.  And as an adult?  I still do.

This book reads aloud well, though children will want to know what country the photos are from and what is happening in them.  I suggest using this with smaller groups or single children so that you can discuss and enjoy it entirely.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.