Rebecca’s Journey Home

Age Range: 4 to 9

On the eve of adopting a baby girl from Vietnam, a Jewish family reflects on their happy preparations for her arrival and their eagerness for her to become an addition to their family, as well as a blessed part of the Jewish people. In a realistic, childlike manner, brothers Jacob and Gabriel raise the points that their new sister will be Vietnamese, Jewish and American all at the same time, opening the door for further discussion. Debut author Sugarman skillfully weaves the Steins’ observation of their religion into a contemporary tale that contains details about how an international adoption might work and the baby’s conversion to Judaism. (She writes from personal experience; her daughter was adopted from Vietnam.) The joyous tone of how adoption helps a family grow in love and in faith gives this title its appeal. Shapiro’s gently stylized watercolors, sometimes suggesting the work of Giselle Potter, bring warmth and heart to the proceedings. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.