Sweet Moon Baby by Karen Henry Clark is a charming and imaginative tale of adoption. It weaves the fantastical story of a sweet little baby girl's journey to her waiting parents. And it does so in a lovely, captivating way that my girly-girls both instantly connected to when they read it - and read it they do! Even when LadyBug is not available to read the words to her, Li'l Empress pores over the pages and tries to re-tell the story on her own. She does a pretty good job of it, as I listen in on her narrative. While I'm certain that there are more "realistic" stories out there about the journey that both children and parents travel to be united through adoption, I'm equally certain that few are as tender and creative as this one. When I flip through the pages, reading of the rivers and roads the parents traverse to their Sweet Moon Baby, I can clearly identify with the imagery that those words evoke. There is great symbolism as I read of twisting waters and soaring hills. I would imagine, as Li'l Empress grows in the awareness of her own journey to our home, she will also come to see the metaphor this tale carries. As a lover of children's literature, the weaving of that metaphor alone would make me love this book. Books that make me and my children dig and connect beyond the surface of the words on the page are very important to me.
The beauty of the words and the depths of meaning that they carry are only one reason I love this book. As a bit of back-story, it's probably helpful to know that while I love meaningful children's lit, I don't often buy a book unless the art work in the book is just that: ART. In fact, I have a whole collection of children's books that I have purchased over the years simply because the art within the pages moved me so much. I was first introduced to this book at an adoptive parents seminar last spring. At the intermission, I wandered up and down the product tables and kept coming back to this book. Each time I opened it up, I was delighted by the pictures and the expressions on the faces of each of the characters. I bought it immediately. Truthfully, I bought it before I even read it all the way through.
This book's amazing art work almost makes me want to buy a paperback copy just to be able to take the book apart and frame its pages. Really.
Except that I don't know if I could possibly buy a book just to dismantle it. As I used to tell the boys when they were little and in "destructo" stage: "Books are our friends. You need to treat them with respect. Be gentle with their pages and covers." I know. I know. That's a little weird. Even for me.
Each page is sprinkled with lovely images that remind me of the children's books that my Grandma had stashed on the veranda for my cousins and I. They have an air of innocence and a sweetness to them that fits perfectly with the gentle rhythm of the story. The baby girl's face, in each of the different parts of her slumbering adventure radiates such peace. The settings are serene but still carry a touch of urgency. The parents are so earnest in their quest. It captures it all. And it does so with great beauty. Patrice Barton is a gifted artist, to have captured it all in the simple and stunning illustrations of this book.
I do really love this story. When the author contacted me and offered to send me a copy for my own library, I was more than happy to tell her that I already owned it. That we already loved it. When I suggested to her that instead I use her offered copy as a give-away in celebration of National Adoption Month, she graciously agreed and I'm so excited to share the beauty of this tale with one of you.
Here's how you can win
your very own signed copy of
Sweet Moon Baby by Karen Henry Clark:
- A first entry can be earned by leaving a comment here on the blog about your favorite children's adoption book. If you don't yet have a favorite adoption book, please share a favorite childhood book with us instead.
- Earn a second entry by sharing this post on your own blog. Please enter a separate comment back here and include the link to your blog post when you do so.
- Earn a third entry by sharing this post on your F@cebook account. Please enter a separate comment back here and include the link in that comment. (Click on the time stamp of your shared link and copy the url to paste here in your comment.) Please consider "liking" and then "tagging" Sweet Moon Baby's FB page when you do share, so that the author can see how folks are responding to her work. It's certainly not a requirement for this third entry but who doesn't love that kind of encouragement?
- Comments will only be accepted till midnight on Wednesday, December 7th. FYI: Comments are set to blog-owner moderation (to protect from spammers), so yours might not appear immediately upon entering.
I encourage you, even if you own this story already, to enter and try to win. This book makes a lovely gift for any of the children in your life who have been touched by adoption. A winner will be drawn by random.org and announced on Friday, December 7th.
You can read a personal, stirring
on Shawn Smucker's blog for more
about Karen's own Sweet Moon Baby.
As November's National Adoption Awareness campaign draws to a close, I would ask you to prayerfully consider how you can continue the efforts of increasing awareness by supporting adoptive families in your circle of friends and family. It might not be financially, but there are many other ways you can participate and honor the building of a family through adoption. I hope my posts throughout the month gave you a glimpse inside the life of this adoptive family. And that if you have particular questions about being an adoptive family, the process of adoption, or other conversations surrounding adoption, you know by now that I'd love to hear from you. If I don't know the answer to your questions, you can bet that I'll be digging up a resource for us both to investigate!