Cover image for My family is forever
My family is forever
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2004.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 27 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 540 L Lexile
A young girl recounts how she came to be part of an adoptive family.


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Book EASY CAR 1 1

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Some families look alike, some don't. Some families are formed through birth, and some families are formed by adoption. But as the little girl in this heartwarming book makes clear, being a family isn't about who you look like or where you were born-it's about the love that binds you together. Adoptive families are sure to delight in the special story of the narrator's adoption-from her parents' excited preparations and long journey by airplane to meet her, to their life together as a family. Nancy Carlson's thoughtful, straightforward text and cheerful illustrations combine to create a reassuring look at how one little girl came into her parents' world-and made them a family forever.

Author Notes

Children's author and illustrator, Nancy Carlson was born and raised in Edina, Minnesota. Ever since kindergarten she knew that was what she wanted to do. She attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she majored in printmaking.

Nancy has written and illustrated over 40 titles. Some of her titles include the Louann Pig series, Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come, How to Lose All Your Friends, and It's Not My Fault. They address some of the challenges faced by kids and how to positively deal with them.

In recognition of her works, Nancy has earned several awards including the Children's Choice Award from the International Reading Association and Children's Book Council and the Minnesota Children's Museum Great Friends to Kids Award.

Nancy currently resides in Minnesota.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A young girl introduces herself to readers: "My family was formed by adoption, so I look just like- me!" She goes on to tell the story of her move from an undisclosed Asian country. She describes her experiences with her family, the activities she enjoys, and her thoughts about her birth parents. In the end, she says that wherever she goes she will always have her family by her side. Carlson has selected a topic that's in great demand. Unfortunately, this effort falls flat. The text is lively but sounds too adult and too preachy to ring true as a child's voice. Some will view the cartoon illustrations of the main character as stereotypical. Her eyes are drawn as slanted lines and look closed on most of the pages, while the non-Asian faces have large dots for eyes and look wide open. For more successful adoption stories depicting Asian children, try Rose A. Lewis's I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (Little, Brown, 2000) and Eve Bunting's Jin Woo (Clarion, 2001).-Rachel G. Payne, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With candor and heartfelt pictures, Carlson (the Harriet series) looks at the world through the eyes of an Asian girl who was adopted as an infant by Caucasian parents. "Families are formed in different ways, so they don't always look alike," the narrator explains, as a beach scene depicts diverse families frolicking in the waves. Carlson devotes the first part of the book to the girl's adoption story: how her parents "really wanted a child to love" (Carlson shows the couple jogging in the park and wistfully looking over their shoulders at a happy family of four), connected with an agency, and flew to a "far away" country to get the baby. "And from the moments they held me in their arms," the girl says, "my parents knew we would be a family forever." The book's boldly outlined, brightly hued portrayals of family life never quite shake an instructional feel, however, and some readers may be troubled by Carlson's well-meaning rendering of her heroine. None of the characters are drawn with great subtlety, but the girl's Asian features border on stereotypical, and her spunkiness can seem relentless. Still, the upbeat, confident tone of the straightforward prose, and the occasional age-appropriate jest (the girl admits once telling a friend she came to America "on a spaceship, just like superhero") mitigates the book's occasional didacticism. Audiences looking for a loud-and-clear message that love, not looks, defines a family should find that Carlson delivers. Ages 3-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

In a didactic story, a girl from an unnamed Asian country tells the story of her adoption by an American couple and affirms that family members don't have to look alike in order to share common experiences and a lot of love. Unfortunately, Carlson's cartoonlike illustrations depict the girl's eyes so stereotypically that she looks like a caricature. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Any parent and young child involved in adoption can relate to cozy well-composed snapshots of the generic experience, especially with the perky voice of the adoptee narrating. But she's a puppet for the purpose rather than a charming new character, fed lines in order to complete Carlson's purpose: "Families are formed in different ways, so they don't always look alike." A worthy undertaking, nonetheless, with the added element of this being a different-race adoption, as a loving Asian child has found her place in a forever family. Here she is nurtured by parents who teach her their specialties--cooking and dancing--and stand by with pride and love in their eyes with every standard accomplishment and milestone recorded in their photo book and revealed in their daughter's account. Hard issues come off smoothly: she confidently wonders about her birth parents, and if she is like them. Even though a minor error where tears of joy on one page look like an extra set of eyes, it's a small matter; bright, simple, consistent art matches the textual tone, and more important, mission accomplished. High-end bibliotherapy. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 1. A young Asian girl's first-person simple narration states how she came to her adoptive parents and describes the joys of having a loving family. While she sees that her friend Jeffrey has his mom's red hair and his dad's big ears, she matter-of-factly notes, Families are formed in different ways, so they don't always look alike. Later, the child talks about how she resembles her parents: I'm a good cook like my dad, and a wonderful dancer like my mom. Like many adopted kids, she wonders about her birth parents, and is very sure that they wanted me to have a family to love. Decorated with upbeat, brightly colored pictures portraying a supportive, loving family, this cozy picture book will have great appeal for many youngsters, though adoptees, and kids from blended families, single-parent homes, or any nontraditional family, will feel a special connection. --Lauren Peterson Copyright 2004 Booklist