A Place in My Heart ISBN: 9781849057714
Grossnickle, Mary and Relyea-Parr, Alison
Published by Jessica Kingsley Pub, 2014
Charlie, a little chipmunk, has been adopted by a family of squirrels, and when he is old enough to think about such things, he begins to ask his 'forever mommy' why he doesn't look like the rest of his family. He already knows he is adopted, but this new information about his birth parents makes him do some thinking. The thinking leads him to become a cross little chipmunk, difficult with his brother and sisters, and when his understanding mom sees this, she cuddles him and talks to him about his feelings - that it is okay to wonder about his birth parents and that she is sure they think about him and have a 'special place in their hearts for him'. He isn't so sure about this, but when he and mom make large red hearts out of paper and write on them all the people who have special places in their own hearts, he is able to write birth mother and birth father in his heart along with lots of family and friends whom he knows and loves well. Using a chipmunk and a family of squirrels gives this story credence and value as the two species are alike but different, and the illustrations of the lovable little creature with his fat cheeks and stripy fur are a delight. He is responding to his thoughts by using unacceptable behaviour, and his mother makes him understand the reasons why. This will be a real help in families where being adopted has become a possible conflict zone.
Age: 3+