Welcome to the monthly children’s book review feature with a focus on diverse books here at Bird Meets Worm! My team of reviewers—Cara Chow, Denise Holmes, Joan Charles, Sharon Calle—and I are so excited to be championing books celebrating everything from gender diversity, people of color, the LGBTQ community to ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, people with disabilities and developmental challenges to controversial topics, unique family situations and anything and everything I did not include. It is to say we take a rightfully board view of diversity! We aim to shine a light on books that bring both familiar experiences to those who do not often see themselves represented in books and new experiences to those looking to expand their worldview. Here at Bird Meets Worm we believe in the power of story to build empathy and thus a better world for you and me and everyone. Look for a new review on the second Wednesday of every month.
By Allen Say • Illustrated by Allen Say
Picture Book (ages 4-7) • 32 pages
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company • 1997
Allison’s story begins when she becomes aware that she is ethnically different than her parents and subsequently learns that she was adopted. Allison compares herself to her classmates, who look like their parents. She wonders why her biological parents gave her away and questions who she really is and where she belongs. She even takes out her frustrations on her parents. It isn’t until she adopts a stray cat that she learns that what really makes a family is the bonds of love and commitment, regardless of blood ties.
Allison is simply, subtly, and succinctly told through Say’s dialogue and watercolor illustrations. This is the kind of book that can be read and enjoyed over and over by both adults and children, separately and together.
Buy this book:
Barnes & Noble
Reviewed by: Cara Chow