When Allison tries on the red kimono her grandmother has sent her, she is suddenly aware that she resembles her favorite doll more than she does her mother and father. When her parents try to explain that she is adopted, her world becomes an uncomfortable place. She becomes angry and withdrawn. She wonders why she was given up, what her real name is, and whether other children have parents in faraway countries. Allison’s doll becomes her only solace until she finds a stray cat in the garden and learns the true meaning of adoption and parental love.
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Average: 5 (1 vote)


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A universal tale about the power of belonging...

Field of Interest/Specialty: music
Posted On: 01/04/2019

I reviewed the book Allison by Allen Say. This is a story about adoption geared for preschoolers and younger elementary students. In this beautifully illustrated book, we meet young Allison, her Mother and Father, and her kimono-clad doll, Mei Mei. When Allison discovers that she’s adopted, her hurt and anger manifests in the destruction of her Mother and Father’s prized childhood possessions. Through her tears, a hungry stray cat peers and purrs at her through her bedroom window. Allison realizes that this kitten doesn’t have anyone to love him. She begins to realize what it means to be part of a family. Allison apologizes for her naughty behavior and her family adds one new fuzzy member.
This book, despite its simplistic language and limited word count, captures the essence of huge emotions that the topic of adoption can elicit. I think any young reader would enjoy listening to this story because the feelings of love and belonging are universal and anyone can appreciate them--adopted or not.