cover image WE WANTED YOU


Liz Rosenberg, , illus. by Peter Catalanotto. . Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7613-1597-1

With a simple, poetic elegance befitting her tender subject matter, Rosenberg (Monster Mama) taps into the feelings of longing, love and joy that accompany the adoption of a child. Catalanotto's (Emily's Art; Dad and Me) images create an effective subplot: on the occasion of their son's graduation from high school, a couple reminisces about the boy they embraced as part of their family—even before he was born. The author creates a warm story of one family's experience, yet incorporates accessible explanations of adoption applicable to many situations ("Somewhere in the world a mother gave birth to you, a father gave life to you. We weren't your first father and mother"; "One day we got a telephone call telling us to come. For you"). Working within the emotional rhythms of this heartfelt trip down Memory Lane, Catalanotto presents a series of radiant paintings that form a kind of treasured photo album. With a combination of contemporary and timeless background details, he depicts young Enrique as an infant being rocked to sleep by his father, a beaming boy at the beach and, ultimately, as a proud young man washing his car and heading off to college. A welcome addition to the canon of picture books on the subject. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)