Parents, you know there are times when you have to explain some tough concepts to your kids. It begins the moment your child can ask “Why?” Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly? Why can’t I stay up all night? Why can’t I be a dog? Why did God make creatures have stinky smells? (Truly, my 5 year-old just asked me that, as I was typing.)
Yes, these are just five of the thousands of questions I’ve fielded from my children. Now, I also teach kindergarten, so when you factor in all the questions I get from my students, you’d think I was an expert at answering “Why?” I am far from it.
When kids have tricky questions, I turn to others for advice, whether that be my friends, family, or the internet. When I search for “how to tell your child about ______,” I am often referred to storybooks. How brilliant! Storybook authors have made their living out of entertaining and speaking to children, so I often turn to them to explain what I cannot.
Adoption is one of those topics that are tricky for kids to understand sometimes. Why am I adopted? What does that mean? Why don’t I look like my parents? Here are some suggestions for books that help explain adoption to kids.
I just LOVE all of Todd Parr’s books. His bright and bold illustrations and kid-friendly writing style make all difficult subjects easy to understand.
- Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
I am a big fan of Jamie Lee Curtis, the actor AND author. Her books can be silly, but also touching. She empowers kids to be proud of who they are.
- Yes, I’m Adopted! by Sharlie Zinneger
I love the front cover – a boy holding a banner that says “Yes, I’m Adopted!” He has a huge smile on his face, proud of who he is. I can imagine him giving a fist pump as well.
- Horace by Holly Keller
This is a darling story about Horace, who’s a leopard adopted by tiger parents. And it is a Reading Rainbow book, so you know it is good!
- Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale by Karen Katz
This book was inspired by the author’s own adoption story. Karen Katz has written and illustrated many books for toddlers, including mommy hugs and daddy hugs. You will recognize and love her illustrations right away.
- Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story by Lori Rosove
This is another book that uses animals to tell the story. What child doesn’t like a story with animals as the main characters? In this one, Rosie is a beagle adopted by schnauzers. How cute is that?