September 2023 had two interesting books come out. Of course, it had more than that, so I should say that 2023 had a lot of books come out and September 2023 had two of those that I read in 2024. They were found as I was cleaning up my online reader copies, which is going to take me well into 2024 to even dent, while I find new 2024s and will need to balance the two. However, I am glad I took the time to read Our Wish for You: A Story About Open Adoption by Dano Moreno and illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke, and Other Words for Nonno by Dave Cameron and Yong Ling Kang as the illustrator.
Now, Our Wish for You is not really “my type of book” in the usual way. I do not know exactly who I would recommend this too as it is a very specific subject. Yet, I know that it is important to know about it and it will fit someone’s particular needs and adoption situation. The publisher’s description says, “In a celebration of open adoption, both a baby’s birth mother and his adoptive parents share the same universal wishes for the child” and that’s all you really need to know about the story. The tone is aimed towards a young listener by the voice of one of the fathers who is adopting. Maybe not completely considered “poetry,” it is poetic and lyrical. As are the illustrations. They are soft, colorful and minimalist allowing focus on the story itself. They are simple, but have good detail. They are nice, cozy, comfortable.
However, Other Words for Nonno was more to my tastes. I did not LOVE it, but I appreciated the word plays and the sentiment. I strongly LIKED it. The grandfather of the story first of all has a different than usual name for a grandfather. And second, he will say things like “nectar drinker” for a hummingbird, or yes he “sees the seaplane.” The words are the focus of the relationship the grandchild and grandfather has. And it is a loving one. But then there is the somber note when Nonno starts to lose his words. The beloved grandfather has the beginnings of dementia and the story takes the turn into how the grandchild finds a way to show him other ways of saying things and other ways of using words. They may no longer talk the same way, but they can communicate. And the art does accent all of this with good colors and details.
Both are not light reading, and might look “fluffy” but are not. They work for when you need them and not casual readings, but as an adult I was glad I had found them.