The Story I'll Tell

By Publishers Weekly

Titles like I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (2000) have given adoptive parents ways to tell their children how they reached their new families. Ling (My Sister, Alicia May) imagines what she would say if she could convey the excitement of her child’s adoption through fantasy: “I might tell how you came from a land far away in a hot-air balloon.” Lanan (Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth) paints the arriving baby nestled in the basket of a red balloon that floats over a bed of tiger lilies as the new parents look up from their garden, startled. The mother imagines a series of stories—that her child has been delivered on horseback, by a winged angel, and more: “ ‘Not true!’ you’ll say when I tell these tales. And I’ll smile, because it will be hard to fool the brightest child in the world.” Laced with Chinese-flavored splendor throughout, Lanan’s spreads match Ling’s romance with pools of moonlight, banks of clouds, and ghosts of zodiac figures. It’s an unabashed love letter, one that many families will treasure.