My Sentiments Exactly!
The sentiments of this story were very sweet. Though I did wonder why the older girl mocked this adopted girl for being "made in china" - that seemed unnaturally cruel. But children are often cruel to people who are different from them. This concept of being "made in china" was turned around by her parents, who used it as a means to explain how much they loved their daughter. It was meant to show the unconditional love parents have for their children, regardless of where they come from. The illustrations were nice; there were a couple of pages I particularly liked because of the chunky graphics and color striations. I might recommend to people who like adoption stories.
Young Adult Books Central
As a mother of a precious daughter we brought home from China, I was very invested in the contents of this book. Some books dealing with the theme of adoption and belonging just don't hit the mark for me. This one was absolutely lovely. The only part of the book that I didn't care for was using the Chinese girl's sister to point out her differences instead of using someone outside the family. My biological children accept and adore their sister and would never say something to make her feel like she was less than 100% loved, so that was hard to swallow. However, the father's response was perfect, and the lesson in these beautifully illustrated pages is that love has nothing to do with where you were born or how you came to be in a family, and true love is permanent and all-encompassing.
June 16, 2012
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 than 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.
School Library Journal
“A story that veers from the traditional about adoption...addresses many themes: sibling rivalry, multiracial families, and facing taunts about ethnicity–even from a family member...Of special interest to families of Chinese adoptees, also as a springboard for discussing racial slurs and insensitivity for wider audience…Blackwood has crafted stunning illustrations.” Read the full review.
|VanitaBooks will donate all net profits from this book to Holt International’s work in China.
|How the artwork was created.