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The Boat in the Tree

by Tim Wynne JonesFront Street; $17.95; ages six-12



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The day Mom and Dad went to pick up my brother, I built a raft," begins Tim Wynne Jones' The Boat in the Tree (Front Street; $17.95; ages six-12), narrated by an unnamed big brother to a newly adopted sibling, Simón.

Like many younger brothers, Simón is constantly tagging along and touching his older brother's stuff. Older brother has had it, so he involves himself in imaginary seafaring adventures. Until, one day, the two find a real boat stuck in a tree. They work together to dislodge it from its leafy perch, and, from this day forward, they'll share the helm through life, too.

The adoption aspect is tangential to this story. Its theme is the brotherly bond. That works fine because, most of the time, our children's birth status isn't the focus of sibling life; getting along is. However, I appreciated many of the unspoken details. Simón is Latino, but it's left unsaid whether he was adopted domestically or internationally. And many parents will appreciate that Simón comes home not as a baby, but as an older child.

Reviewed by Roberta Rosenberg, owner of adoptshoppe.com and adoptkorea.com. She's mom to three children.

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