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The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption

by Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki
Illustrated by Meilo So

Published by Clarion, 2002
32 pages
ISBN: 0-618-16453-7

Ages 4 - 7

On one side of the world, it's a special day for a couple in Miami, a couple near Seattle, another in Toronto, and a woman in Minnetonka, Minnesota. They are leaving for China, to meet the little girls who will become their daughters. On the other side of the world, four little girls in an orphanage in Guangzhou, China, don't know it, but their special day is coming soon. Fine storytelling is at the heart of this singular book that follows the journey of the parents-to-be to China, and the lives of the little girls whom they can't wait to meet. The authors have worked in myriad details about the preparations and journey of the adults that children will find fascinating. At the same time, they create a sense of each of the four little girls as unique individuals as the story moves back and forth from the adults traveling east to the children they will meet. The emotions are always genuine in this heartfelt story in which the telling never strays to sweetness. The title of the book comes from the White Swan Hotel, where many adoptive parents stay when they are in China. The adoptive parents in this story include a middle-aged man and woman, a lesbian couple, a young Japanese Canadian man and woman, and a single woman. Highly Commended, 2003 Charlotte Zolotow Award. CCBC Categories: Picture Books for Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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