cover image Every Year on Your Birthday

Every Year on Your Birthday

Rose Lewis, , illus. by Jane Dyer. . Little, Brown, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-52552-7

In a follow-up to the account of her baby girl's adoption from China (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes ), Lewis pays tribute to her now school-age daughter by remembering each of her birthdays. The text reads almost like a diary, the entries teeming with emotional and thoughtful observations: "Every year on your birthday, I think about the day you were born, how the sun must have shone, or the moon looked so bright." Expressive watercolors evoke vivid memories, from the patriotic cake marking the girl's American citizenship (at age two), to the joy on the child's face as her kite catches the wind on her third birthday. While the author celebrates their days together (including Chinese festivals), she also points out the moments of her daughter's life before they met. Here, her voice becomes more wistful ("I think about the six Chinese girls who shared a big room with you in China. They knew you before I did"). By story's end, readers see a matured parent, secure in her love for her child. What may have been intended as a memento for her daughter to treasure when she is older, has brought a now-seasoned mother full circle on her own personal journey. Ages 3-6. (May)