The Story I'll Tell
In Ling’s latest picture book, a mother anticipates a time when her adopted child will ask how they found each other. But instead of giving a straightforward explanation of the adoption process, Mom playfully tells a series of loving tall tales. Lanan’s fanciful watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations match and enhance the tone of these stories. They feature the mother’s enchanting journeys and her child’s various, increasingly more magical arrivals: floating in on a hot-air balloon, being carried in the satchel of a medieval-era horseman, or nestled in a basket that’s floating to shore on a wave. Each double-page spread features at least one warm, glowing light, and these sweet stories and warm lights aptly convey the love that mothers and fathers, birth or adopted, have for their children. Though there are plenty of picture books for new children, adoption stories are somewhat less common than birth stories, and this is a particularly well-done example of an adoption fairy tale that is sure to be a comforting resource to parents and children alike. And when the narrator comes to the “true” account of how this mother adopted her son—she traveled on a plane and gathered him “in a silk blanket and flew on wings through the sky”—it seems just as magical as the other stories.