|Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki,
illustrated by Meilo So,
The White Swan Express:
A Story about Adoption.
On one side of the world, it's a special day for
a couple in Miami, a couple near Seattle, another
in Toronto, and a woman in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
They are leaving for China, to meet the little girls
who will become their daughters. On the other side
of the world, four little girls in an orphanage in
Guangzhou, China, don't know it, but their special
day is coming soon.
Fine storytelling is at the heart of this singular
book that follows the journey of the parents-to-be
to China, and the lives of the little girls whom they
can't wait to meet. The authors have worked in myriad
details about the preparations and journey of the
adults that children will find fascinating. At the
same time, they create a sense of each of the four
little girls as unique individuals as the story moves
back and forth from the adults traveling east to the
children they will meet.
The emotions are always genuine in this heartfelt
story in which the telling never strays to sweetness.
The title of the book comes from the White Swan Hotel,
where many adoptive parents stay when they are in
China. The adoptive parents in this story include
a middle-aged man and woman, a lesbian couple, a young
Japanese Canadian man and woman, and a single woman.