Felicia’s Favorite Story

reviewed by Judith E. Beckett, R.N.

by Leslea Newman
Two Lives Publishing, 2002 (ages 3-8)

This is the story that most adopted children are told by their new parents. Mama Vanessa and Mama Linda were so in love that they wanted to share their happiness and their home with someone else. Because they wanted a baby so much, they flew all the way to Guatemala to get Felicia. Mama Linda explains to Felicia that sometimes “when a woman has a baby, she isn’t able to take care of the child. So she does the most loving thing she can do: she allows the child to be adopted by parents who can take care of a baby and want a child to love.”

What makes the story fun is that for Mama Linda, Mama Nessa, and Felicia, it is also a game they play. As Mama Linda tells the story, Felicia fills in the details with fanciful guesswork. (There’s a giraffe they don’t adopt and a ship named “Rainbow” that they don’t take to Guatemala.)

This book has several Latin connections. Mama Linda is from Puerto Rico and the colorful pictures reflect the culture of the artist, Adriana Romo, who is from Chile. On one page, there is a picture of the Guatemalan jungle, a colorful parrot and an ancient temple.

This is a pretty story, but bear in mind that it’s not necessarily true, especially in Guatemala where adoption abuses are especially heinous.

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