I’ll Hold You Forever: An Adoption Story
Author and Illustrator: Dawn Marie Hooks
Published January 2nd, 2015 by Paper Moon Publications
Goodreads Summary: A young girl walks through the countryside when she begins to wonder: Is Mommy really her real mom? Mommy turns the question into a story of the child’s adoption. Soon the child is reassured that her mom is real and will hold her forever. A touching story about the beauty of adoption and the warmth of a mother’s love is told through charming watercolor illustrations and clear, simple text that even the youngest child can understand. Notes from the author include suggestions on how to talk to children about adoption.
Kellee’s Review: I think this book has two very important purposes. First, I think it would be a wonderful book to read with a child who was adopted. It does a very good job of honoring all parts of adoption. The “Notes from the Author” section gives some great suggestions for talking to children about adoption which is a wonderful jumping off point after reading the book. Second, I think this book could be used to discuss adoption with students who are not adopted. It is so important to talk to kids about all kinds of different types of families. This book beautifully captures the power of love between a mother and her child and would be a great text for classrooms.
Author Interview: We are so happy to have Dawn Marie Hooks here to answer some of our questions about I’ll Hold You Forever:
Unleashing Readers: What was your main purpose in writing I’ll Hold You Forever?
Dawn Marie Hooks: My main purpose in writing I’ll Hold You Forever is to communicate the love surrounding adoption. I hope adoptive families will use this book to talk to their children about their adoption stories and all readers will be touched and inspired by the beauty of adoption.
UR: What inspired you to write I’ll Hold You Forever?
DMH: This story comes from my heart, the heart of a mom. It was inspired by the adoptions of my two beautiful daughters. Actually, I drew and painted some of the illustrations using our personal photographs. We adopted our girls through a private adoption agency in Redmond, WA called Antioch Adoptions. Both children were adopted at different times and through different circumstances. Every step was full of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We were extremely blessed to finally become parents to two precious girls who “fit perfectly in our family.”
UR: What other picture books do you recommend that discuss adoption?
DMH: My favorite picture books about adoption are God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren and How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole. For the very young, there is a cute board book called Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis. There are many more but these are the ones that I’ve read over and over.
I also recommend that families who adopt create their own photo books to tell the children their unique story.
UR: What do you hope readers of I’ll Hold You Forever will take away?
DMH: I love when moms they get tears in their eyes and that “ahhhh” feeling. I love when children ask lots of questions.
I hope the readers will feel the love surrounding adoption and I hope they learn a little more about the adoption process. At the end of the book, I included a few notes for adults about how to talk to children about adoption. Of course, since it’s a picture book, it’s brief. So, on my website (www.dawnmariehooks.com), I posted an information sheet about adoption as well as a discussion & activity guide on the topic of FAMILY for I’ll Hold You Forever. (I’m a former teacher, so I love writing those helpful little tools to go along with children’s books.)
Discussion Questions: The above-mentioned discussion and activity guide as well as more information about adoption can be found at http://dawnmariehooks.com/books/ill-hold-you-forever-an-adoption-story-2/
“Mommy, are you really my real mom?
I’m your mom, and I am real.”
Read This If You Loved: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, When Otis Courted Mama by Kathi Appelt, The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin, A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
**Thank you to Melanie at Paper Moon Publications for providing copies for review!**