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The Mulberry Bird: An Adoption Story

 

 

 

The Mulberry Bird: An Adoption Story
by Anne Braff Brodzinsky

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-Relinquishment is the hardest part of adoption to talk about and is often glossed over in children's books. Brodzinsky has chosen to tell the story using birds to represent the people involved. A young mother bird feeds and protects her baby, noticing that other mothers have mates to help them. Her baby's father has flown away. Then a storm breaks her nest, and the baby falls to the ground. She goes to the wise owl for help, and he says the only way to solve her problem is to find a family to love and care for her child. She refuses at first, but then relents, and the owl carries the baby to the chosen shorebird couple. The young mother sees that her child is safe and loved, and sadly flies away forever. The baby hears from its adoptive parents the story of its first mother's love and care. This revision of the 1986 story is longer, newly illustrated in watercolors, and reflects changes in adoption practice. Language has been made more inclusive: the baby's need for "a mother and father" becomes its need for "a family." More of the youngster's feelings are included: anger and confusion as well as happiness and sadness. A caveat: a paragraph on the verso of the title page warns that the story is a fantasy and "... is not intended to represent the lives of real birds in any consistent way." Less realistic, more fanciful illustrations would have conveyed this message more noticeably. Still, the book is sure to prompt discussion.

 

5 out of 5 stars Heart warming and clever, September 5, 2003

  Reviewer: Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald from USA

This is a gentle way to introduce the young adoptee to the love of the human birthmother, and there is no need for the child fully to conceptualize yet the concepts of birth and adoption. Brodzinsky very cleverly introduces the fact to very young children that there was no father bird to help, that he had flown away long before the mother built her nest and laid her pale blue egg. The images of the mother bird and her struggles will instill love in the children for the little mother bird and at the same time love for the birthmother is sown and admiration for how hard she tried to protect her baby through all the storms, but failed to do so. The adoptive parents of the little bird are also shown to be loving and understanding of the baby's occasional grief. A charming story.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars Wonderful Adoption story, October 22, 2001

  Reviewer: Haven Bailey from Guyton, GA United States

We just recently adopted a sibling group of three boys ages 5,4,2. They are so young and had a hard time understanding why they were put up for adoption. This book has helped them to understand that their birth mom did this out of love. What a wonderful story to share with any adopted child!!!!! My oldest son wants me to read this book to him EVERYDAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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