Cover image for Ten days and nine nights : an adoption story
Ten days and nine nights : an adoption story
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 21 x 26 cm.
A young girl eagerly awaits the arrival of her newly-adopted sister from Korea, while her whole family prepares.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY HEO 1 1

On Order



How many days until a little girl's adopted sibling is brought home?

Follow a little girl as she and her family prepare for the new baby that will soon be joining them. And simultaneously, watch the girl's mother fly off to Korea, meet the new baby, and bring her home. Here is an utterly simple, sweet, and child-centric look at the adoption process through the eyes of a soon-to-be older sibling. From cutting a red paper heart and taping it above the new baby's crib to telling her best friend about the adoption, the young narrator counts down every day and night with growing anticipation, marking them with a big X on her calendar. Unlike other adoption books which are aimed only at the adoptive child, Ten Days and Nine Nights is also perfect for older children who are about to become big sisters and brothers.

Author Notes

Yumi Heo was born in Korea in 1964. She received a bachelor's degree in graphic design from Sang Ji University in Korea and a MFA from the New York School of Visual Arts. The first book she illustrated was The Rabbit's Judgment, which was published in 1994. She also illustrated Henry's First-Moon Birthday by Lenore Look, Sometimes I'm Bombaloo by Rachel Vail, and Polka Dot Penguin Pottery by Lenore Look. She was the author and illustrator for several books including One Afternoon and Ten Days and Nine Nights: An Adoption Story. She died after a long battle with cancer in November 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Simple, graceful text and images of contentment distinguish this story about the arrival of a younger adopted sibling. Heo's heroine is a girl with black hair and rosy cheeks who finds plenty to do as she waits for her mother to return from Korea with her new baby sister. "Daddy and I say goodbye to Mommy. I have nine days and eight nights." As Mommy and the girl embrace at the airport gate, Heo's folk-naOve perspective makes the whole airport appear to swell with anticipation-even the colorful airplanes outside look happy. As the girl counts down ("I have six days and five nights," etc.), rhythmic text confers a feeling of calm. On subsequent days, her father buys new furniture, and her grandmother sews for the baby, as wordless scenes show Mommy's progress in Korea. "At last!" the girl cries, as the family greets Mommy and the tiny bundle. "I have no days and no nights." Heo (The Green Frogs) writes as if the baby's arrival will be unambiguously joyous, and children who read this book will feel this way, too. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Preschool, Primary) In this simply told story, a little Korean American girl eagerly anticipates the adoption of her baby sister from Korea. Details are basic: Mommy leaves on an airplane, and the big-sister-to-be helps Daddy, Grandpa, and Grandma prepare for the new family member (that a baby is coming isn't explicitly stated until the end). The girl's emotions about the adoption are uncomplicated; the tone of her first-person narrative is upbeat and matter-of-fact: "I wash my old teddy bear. I have four days and three nights." The book's focus is on counting down the days and nights at home, but four wordless spreads show what Mommy's up to in Korea-flying over and back, dealing with paperwork, meeting the new baby. Finally, Mommy and baby come home: "At last! I have no days and no nights." This book speaks most directly to children affected by the international adoption of a sibling; the spare text allows kids to bring their own individual experiences and feelings to the story. Despite its specific audience, this adoption book is to be commended for staying focused on the older sibling's story rather than attempting to tug at parental heartstrings. Heo's airy illustrations match the child-friendly perspective and provide plenty of clues to what the narrator is waiting for. An author's note explains Heo's inspiration and offers brief facts about international adoption. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

I mark a circle on the calendar. I have ten days and nine nights. The opening of this adoption story shows a young Asian girl marking May 10 on a calendar. As she waits for her mom to return, she counts down each day by doing something that's a clue: cutting a red paper heart, helping Grandpa redecorate her room, watching her dad buying new furniture, practicing holding a baby, and washing her old teddy bear. Then Grandma makes a little pink dress and Daddy closes his dry-cleaning store. Interspersed with the girl's actions are wordless scenes of Mom signing papers and flying home with the new baby sister. Heo's stylized artwork fills the pages with family warmth in this welcome and endearing addition to adoption books. The calendar device is exactly childlike, as is the girl's first-person voice. An author's note refers to personal acquaintances who have adopted Korean babies.--Cummins, Julie Copyright 2009 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A child eagerly anticipates an event and uses simple sentences to express her excitement about what is going to happen. Heo relates two parallel stories here. One features the girl and her calendar countdown with text such as, "Daddy buys some new furniture. I have five days and four nights" and "I wash my old Teddy Bear. I have four days and three nights." Then readers learn what she is preparing for as the illustrations show the mother's journey to Korea to adopt a new baby and bring her home. Signs and labels in Korean appear throughout the book. The exquisite oil, pencil, and collage illustrations dovetail with the quiet, simple tone of the text. Heo's distinctive, uncluttered style is very effective as it reinforces the narrator's focus on the event. The pictures have fanciful angles and random details that will intrigue most children. For example, while Grandma "makes a little pink dress," spools of thread, a pincushion, buttons, and a tape measure, as well as a cat, seem to float about her. Most books about waiting for the arrival of an adoptive baby are aimed at older children and delve into negative feelings about a new sibling. This one is a worthwhile addition to most collections.-Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

In gorgeous folk-artstyle oil-and-pencil illustrations, Korean-born Heo translates the oft-weighty anticipation of an overseas adoption into a young Asian-American girl's literal countdown to the arrival of her little sister. The girl first marks a red circle on her calendar at May 10: "I have ten days and nine nights." Then, she and her father say goodbye to her mother at the airport: "I have nine days and eight nights." So continues the countdown. The many wordless spreads and spare text allow ample room forand may demandmore in-depth discussion, as the book focuses solely on preparations for welcoming a new baby and not on any emotional aspects of a child confronted with a new sibling, such as, say, fear and loathing. The depictions of the Korean adoption office, the foster home and the airplane trip homeall in a contrastingly blue-hued palettewill help children demystify the parts of the baby-fetching process they missed out on. Unfortunately, this visually pleasing offering still misses its mark. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.