the magical friendship garden

Summary:

A young girl shares her exciting news: She will have a new baby sister! Her family is adopting a girl from Ethiopia. In this story, big sister shows us her garden and tells us her dreams about introducing her sister to her flower friends, having coffee ceremonies (like tea parties), and playing dress up.

Educational Themes:

The illustrations offer plenty to explore in this story. You can talk about adoption, other cultures, and family, but you can also expand the story to let kids create and describe (draw or write) their own story: how would they spend a day with their brother/sister? what would they want to teach a new sibling? where do they find magic?

Reading Level:
0.0
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
7 to 10
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
Read with a 7-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a lovely story and it will appeal to a broad audience, not just families of adoption.
Little Kid Reaction:

Our daughter liked the pictures of the smiling girls, smiling flowers, and the animals. We read it once, but she did not want to read it again.

Parent Reaction:

The illustrations are fabulous! The story, while sweet, seems disjointed. With the exception of the coffee ceremony reference, there is nothing else specific to Ethiopia in the story. Combine that with the multicultural illustrations and soon-to-be-siblings in families of international adoption will easily see themselves.

Pros:

Adoptive and multicultural families will enjoy this story. With colorful illustrations and a theme of love, siblings-to-be will energized by this story of adoption.

Cons:

The author has so much allegory that it takes away from the girl's story. For example, there are no specific descriptions of flowers, but there are notes at the end asking readers to describe what kind of flower they would be.

book cover

Title The Magical Friendship Garden
Author Rebekah Barlow Rounce
Publisher Xlibris © 2008
Illustrators Carla Golembe
ISBN 9781436378864
Material Hard Cover
Cost $15.99
Genres Family - Adoption, Family, Picture Book

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