ABC, Adoption & Me

A Multi-cultural Picture Book for Adoptive Families

Children - General
36 Pages
Reviewed on 10/05/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

ABC, Adoption & Me - a Multi-cultural Picture Book for Adoptive Families is a must-have for families who have adopted a child or are considering adopting. Gayle H. Swift and Casey Anne Swift have crafted a sweet and fun book that shows that it's okay to have a family that isn't "traditional." It raises important questions that need to be addressed by adopted families and showcases that love and acceptance are huge parts of what brings families together.

As someone considering adoption very carefully, ABC Adoption and Me seems like a great read for an adoptive family. Adopted kids can be very sensitive to their situation, even if they were adopted from birth. There is a lot of potential stress there that can be avoided if you just talk to your kids about the issues.

The illustrations by Paul Griffin were very nice. Though they seemed like they were done digitally, I still really liked his artistic choices. The colors were bright and beautiful and matched the text perfectly. I especially loved how different nationalities were represented and shown so that many kinds of families could relate.

Gayle H. Swift and Casey Anne Swift clearly have done their homework with this book. I especially appreciated the "How to Use ABC, Adoption & Me" section which clearly notes how adopted children may be feeling and why the book is important. I'd say it's a definite must-read for adopted families and regular families alike as it has a sweet storyline and great meaning to it.

Susan Ogden

As a director of a domestic adoption program,and an adoptive parent, I know how important it is to begin reading books to children who have joined families through adoption as soon as they come home. There is no better way for a warm and loving message to be delivered than a book read to a child in the arms of their parent. ABC Adoption and Me is an invaluable resource because it summarizes the joy and challenges of adoption from a child's perspective without idealizing as often seen in children's books. Adopted children often tell us that they wish they might have expressed some sadness about being adopted as well as happiness in their adoptive home. This book gives them permission to be real about it. We hope to get this book into the hands of all our adoptive parents!
Susan Ogden, Adoptions Together

Bette L. Crosby

"ABC Adoption and Me" may look like a children's book, but it is so much more. It is a MUST READ for all adoptive families, because it not only talks about the elements of adoption in a way a child can understand, it also instructs adoptive parents on how to use the book. The issues this book addresses are very real to adopted children and when they are not addressed, they can lead to questions, confused feelings and resentment in later years.

The story is presented in short, easy to understand passages and the illustrations have a fun look that children will relate to. It is more than a pleasant read for adoptive families, it is a way to open the door to conversations that will be remembered long after the book is gone.

Kudos to the Mother/Daughter authors for opening up the issues of adoption in such an understanding way.

Carrie Goldman

ABC, Adoption & Me is written in the simple style of an ABC definition book, but the concepts contain a depth than is not often found in a children’s adoption book. All three of my girls – ranging in age from 4 to 11, remained engaged and interested as we read each page.

The drawings are cartoon-style, which appealed to my oldest, who adores graphic novels. There was one image in which I found the expression of a character hard to decipher, and we used it as a chance to talk about what he might be feeling. Gayle H. Swift wrote this book with her daughter, Casey Anne Swift, and it is clear that the voice of an adoptee is dominant in this book, not the voice of an adoptive parent.

I invited Gayle H. Swift to share her own words with you in response to three questions of mine. Her thoughtful and detailed answers do not surprise me, because it was clear to me that much thought went into each succinct line of the book. I highly recommend this book and hope that you check it out!

Thank you to Gayle and Casey for this important addition to children's adoption books! I have seen each of my children pick this book up from the bookshelf and reread it multiple times, no doubt gleaning new information each time.

This Kid REviews Books

First of all (for those who don’t know) I am adopted and so I like it when I see an adoption book done really well. I really like that the book shows the huge diversity in adoptive families. It also covers all kinds of questions, issues and happy things too. Being adopted myself, some of the issues I could relate to (like “R is for real. My birth parents and my adoptive parents are all real.” I personally don’t like it when someone asks who my “real” parents are. Last time I got grounded my parents really felt real to me. ;) ) while others I haven’t had experience with, but I am sure other kids/families have. The book also gives respect to birth parents which is a nice addition. The book is written in a way that makes it easy for kids to understand. I think it is a great book for families to read together.
*NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Therapists & Parent

here are so many adoption books on the market (and so many variables that make each adoption unique) that it can be difficult to find the ones that are most appropriate for your family. You cannot necessarily control or predict when kids will process things, so I think it is important to have a few key books on the shelves to either communicate a specific message, normalize, or open the door for conversation. ABC, Adoption & Me is intended to be used to open up conversations with your child. It is not specific to any single type of adoption. In fact, ABC, Adoption & Me specifically opens up the idea of different types of adoption which can benefit a child that has been adopted by helping him or her see there are many different ways for families together.

ABC, Adoption & Me is an ABC book where each letter represents a different word, highlighted in a sentence or two from a child's perspective. I very much love Q "People may ask me about my adoption. I can decide if I want to answer them or not, but there are so many things that could start so many different conversations depending on where your child is at that moment.

Because of the ABC set up, it is a good book to introduce initially between the ages of 3-6. Once it is introduced though, it may be a book that children come back to for several years. My son considers himself "a reader" now, but he was very still and quiet the first time I read him this book, illustrating how powerful it can be.

Overall it is a very normalizing book. I like how the illustrations are very ethnically diverse, showing a variety of types of families of all different racial combinations. Because of the diversity and how it is written, it makes it easy for parents to avoid getting hung up on terms they might not use regularly and just present the book as a conversation starter or way of further exploring adoption in general. I don't personally use the terms "homecoming" or "forever family", but reading ABC, Adoption & Me would be a great time to introduce the terms to my son, help him understand why others might use them, and reinforce for him that we value both of his families as having forever significance.

Gregory Flagler

Here is a book that I believe is a wonderfully simple way to break down a very complex subject.


1. Love the intro page on how to use the book; easy to follow for parents.

2. The ABC system used to break down each points is brilliant...I especially like the "F" expanded letter pages (NOTE: I wish the fellow "J" talks about applied to all folks in that position:). Also liked "P" as well.

3. The artwork had a comforting "old school" (sigh...revealing my age) simplicity to it where a young child would pay attention to it and be able to relate to what was being explained to them.

I think what won me over was how your illustrations cover the gamut of the different type of adoptees that are out there, allowing the book to appeal to a very wide audience.

Well struck and well done!

Jody Cantrell Dyer, autho

I read ABC, Adoption & Me to my toddler (adopted in 2010) last night. We loved it! The adoptive mother and adoptee daughter writing duo uses a normal, comfortable, safe topic (the alphabet) as a springboard for age-appropriate discussions of complex, intimate, emotional topics innate in adoption. The lively illustrations engaged my child. The colorful characters on each page frame and enhance the content. I honestly believe that this book, though written for children, will give great comfort to my husband, who was adopted in 1963. With every letter of the alphabet, ABC, Adoption, & Me spells out a narrative of love, understanding, and, most of all, respect, for members of the adoption community. Every adoptive parent, birth parent, adoptee, and social worker should own this book!

Illuminated Publishing

I recently received this book and am totally impressed with the content, the illustrations, and the message of it. It is a wonderful resource for families who have chosen or who are choosing to adopt a child. It is a wonderful reference and teaching tool for therapists and social workers to use in their practices as well. Kudos to the authors and illustrator of this treasure!