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Shaoey and Dot
Author: Mary Beth & Steven Curtis Chapman
Publisher: Tommy Nelson

Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, have founded an organization called Shaohannahís Hope, which lists its mission as helping fund families who respond to Christís call to care for orphans, especially those who are adopting overseas.  The Chapmans themselves have led by example in this regard, adopting three young girls from China.  The illustrator, Chapmanís brother Jim, has also adopted from China.

The book takes place from the viewpoint of a ladybug (Dot), who follows a child left on a doorstep (Shaoey) from her abandonment to the orphanage, through her adoption into an American family.  Written in verse, it is easy to picture a companion CD with Steven singing the poetry contained therein.

The drawings are well done, and illustrate the scenes inside the orphanage particularly well.  The writing is fun to read, especially to children. This verse will put a lump in your throat, if youíre unprepared for it:

  But, then, thereís a cry thatís the saddest of all.
  In fact, itís unlike any other.
  It comes from a deep, empty place in your heart
  That can be only be filled by a mother.

As one who has also adopted from China (from the same orphanage as the Chapmans), I can attest to the accuracy of the story (minus the ladybug, of course), and the memory of the authors ­ the pictures of the hotels, Chinese countryside, and orphanages spurred a lot of memories for our family. Shaoey and Dot is an enjoyable read for children, but a treasure for those who have adopted, or considered doing so.

Brian A. Smith
14 November 2004



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