Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Ten Days and Nine Nights: An Adoption Story

Ten Days and Nine Nights: An Adoption Story

Fall 2009 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
ISBN: 978-0-375-84718-9
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Yumi Heo's distinctively and deceptively simple illustrations tell the story of a young girl's wait for her newly adopted sibling. Beginning on May 1st (of no particular year) she crosses off each day on the calendar with a big red "X" and announces the daily countdown: "I have nine days and eight nights." Heo's collage, pencil and oil illustrations are as light and airy as watercolors and her pastel palette lends a sunny, upbeat tone to the proceedings. The tale begins and ends at the airport where the planes look like jolly winged insects poised for flight. In between, the story moves back and forth from preparations at home ("Grandpa redecorates my room. I have seven days and six nights.") to Korea where mom signs papers, meets the new baby, and settles into her seat for the long ride home. Finally the big day arrives. "At last! I have no days and no nights." The final pages show the new siblings with identical pink dresses and matching smiles. Young children may need some help with the simultaneous time sequences, but the point of view is so firmly and perfectly child-centered that the story rings 100% true. A fine addition to the oeuvre of stories about adoption for very young audiences.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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