"On a summer night in China, a baby girl was born. She was perfect." So begins the story of one baby's journey from her birth parents in China, who dream of a better life for their daughter, to her adoptive parents on the other side of the world, who dream of the life they can give her. A turtle, a peacock, a monkey, a panda, and some fish shepherd the baby as she floats in a basket on a moonlit, winding river into the loving arms of her new parents. Perfect for bedtime reading, Karen Henry Clark's poetic text, reminiscent of a lullaby, and Patrice Barton's textured and gentle-hued illustrations capture the great love between parents and children.
The story behind the story.
By the time I was four years old, I knew I wanted three things--a husband, a daughter, and a published book. Surprisingly, I fell in love with the husband on a blind date, but I had no idea the other two would come along hand-in-hand many ears later when the nanny handed our baby to us on a summer day in China. I smiled brightly until I read the orphanage report: "Baby found forsaking on steps of leather factory." I wanted to cry. I realized this tiny girl would always live with a mystery about her early life. She would carry unreachable memories locked forever in her mind, her bones, her heart.
So I began to dream of a history for her, something beyond the confines of that basket balanced on a step. Then one night in our yard, she looked up at the night sky and said her first English word: "moon." Her joy made me believe they had been dear friends from the very beginning of her life. What else could she have seen in China that still inspired her? I looked in her room at her favorite things. Who's to say a turtle, peacock, monkey, panda, and fish weren't part of her life over there? That basket on a step in China became the basket carrying her down a river from claw to paw to wing.
I began to write. What began as an answer for her ended up fulfilling my last dream when SWEET MOON BABY: AN ADOPTION TALE was published. Once it was in print, it turned out to be an answer for many other children. After I read my book at a school, I received my best review of all when an adopted Chinese kindergarten girl whispered to my husband, "I'm the REAL Sweet Moon Baby." I suddenly understood how well the tale worked. It held powerful possibilities for children other than mine. Many of the truest things in our lives begin with our imaginations.
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