Friday, May 11, 2007

Shaoey and Dot

Shaoey and Dot is written by Mary Beth & Steven Curtis Chapman. The book was inspired by the true story of their adoption of a girl from China. Shaoey (pronounced SHOW-ee) is a little Chinese baby discovered by Dot, a little Chinese ladybug. Together the two embark on the journey of adoption. Told through rhyming verse, the book describes the orphanage and the first experiences of these two in their different environments. Dot acts as protector and comforter for this bundle she's found. It ends with both Shaoey and Dot going on an airplane with their new family to their new home.

Steven Curtis Chapman has won four Grammy Awards, forty-seven Dove Awards and one American Music Award. He and his wife, Mary Beth, have six children, including three girls adopted from China.

The book is illustrated by Jim Chapman, Mary Beth's brother. (Her maiden name was Chapman.) He and his wife have also adopted from China. His illustrations consist of line drawings and soft watercolor. They are endearing and detailed.

What I Like: There are a ton of children's books about adoption, but very few with a Christian perspective. This is one of them. I love the tenderness of this story. My sister was adopted from Korea, so adoption is close to my heart. Furthermore, all believers are adopted by God, so it is something I feel Christians should understand and embrace. This book is a wonderful way to introduce the concept to children. I like that it is truthful without giving too many details. The circumstances leading up to adoption are not always pleasant. This book does a wonderful job keeping everything positive. Also, the book reads easily. My daughter has me read it over and over.

What I Dislike: The illustrations are too sketchy and pastel for my taste. The illustrator is obviously very talented, but the quality seems inconsistent to me. Some parts are extremely detailed and interesting, while other parts of the same illustration seem rushed or incomplete. Also, the ending of the book seemed abrupt. The authors spent a lot of time telling us about Shaoey and her home in China, but no time telling us about her new family or her new home in America. I would love to see the book expanded (or a sequel) to describe her adjustments to her new life.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Tommy Nelson, 2004; ISBN: 1400304822; Hardback; $16.99

Buy it Now at Amazon for $12.74

Special Info: This is the first Shaoey and Dot book. See our review of another in the series: A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story.

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