Thank you to VanitaBooks, LLC for the opportunity to review this title.
In Vanita Oelschlager’s Made In China, a little girl is concerned when her big sister tells her that she was “made in China” like the broom she was using to clean up. The little girl investigates some other things in her room, and finds they are stamped with “made in China” as well. She goes to her father to find out what this all means. Is she really just like a broom or a toy? Her father explains that she was made in China, but that she was made there especially for their family to love. He assures her that she is special and loved, and far more important that a broom.
I read this with my 3 year old, and he enjoyed it but had trouble understanding all the concepts. Adoption is a big thing to explain to a little child, but I did the best I could. My son focused more on the older sister teasing the younger. He thought that “wasn’t very nice,” and that the big sister should “pologize” to the little sister. I wish he would remember that when he picks on his little brother!
I wanted to read this book first and foremost because it reminded me of one of my favorite former students, who was adopted from China. She was a special little girl who stole my heart from the moment I met her. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching several adopted students over the years, and discussing adoption with my classes is always challenging. I’m always looking for resources to help explain the topic of adoption. I think Made in China does a great job of reminding adopted children that they are loved and special. It also reminds children that we should not treat children who are adopted differently, or make fun of them because their family situation is different.
International adoption is just one of the many beautiful ways that families are made. If you have adopted internationally, or know someone who has, I recommend picking up a copy of Made in China. Oelschlager handles this topic in a way that is very tender and thoughtful. This book lets adopted children know that they are special, and they are loved. It reminds adopted children that their families would not be complete without them! I can’t forget to mention Kristin Blackwood’s unique and beautiful illustrations, which were created using block printing and then converted to digital illustrations. Also, Oelschlager donates 100% of the profits from this book to Holt International and their work in China, so this book truly is a labor of love.
I was provided with a digital copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.