Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis is both adorable and informative. Curtis uses the repetitive phrase “Tell me again about….” to both narrate a story and explain how adoption works. She also sprinkles her short tale with lots of humor. I love the full-page whimsical, soft pastel illustrations. What a delightful book!
Turning first to the story, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born starts out with a young girl asking her parents to “Tell me again about….” Everyone who has ever encountered a child who loves having their favorite story repeated over and over will relate to the experience. Any child who must have their beloved tale retold night after night will also connect. Immediately, this atmosphere invokes a cozy feeling. I smiled all the way though reading this book.
What I like most though about Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born is how it shares the experiences not only of the adopted child but also of the adopted parents. Readers learn how it feels when parents first receive THE call with news of their newborn child and how arriving at the hospital feels: “Tell me again how you held hands all the way to the hospital and when you got there you both got very quiet and felt very small.” There isn’t a reference book around that so perfectly captures that moment. Readers also learn how it feels for adoptive parents to first see their child, hold their child, and carry their child home. Unlike in some books on adoption, the father is included too. He introduces his adopted to baseball. After reading several reference books about all the challenges of adopting a child, which are honestly somewhat discouraging, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born greatly elevated my spirit.
English: Actress Jamie Lee Curtis autographs her books for children. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As for the adopted child, her feelings are also recognized. We learn that her adoptive mom “couldn’t grow a baby” in her tummy and so another woman “who was too young to take care of me was growing me”. The adopted daughter appreciated hearing how perfect she was, from head to toes. These are two of my favorite lines: “Tell me again about my first bottle and how I liked it so much. Tell me again about my first diaper change and how I didn’t like it at all.”
Jamie Lee Curtis has taken her experience of adopting two children and written a sensitive tale about what adoption feels like to parents but made it accessible to everyone including young readers. For parents everywhere, and children everywhere, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born is a must-read book.
My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.
Américas Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature
CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. It was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie.
The Christy Awards are awarded each year to recognize novels of excellence written from a Christian worldview.
Coretta Scott King Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples. It is given to African American authors and illustrator.
children and young adult blogger literacy awards
Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award
The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical children, intermediate, and young adult books that appropriately portray individuals with deve
Hans Christian Anderson Award
The Hans Christian Andersen Awards is given to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. The award is the highest international recognition an author can receive.
Kate Greenaway Medal
The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955, for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children’s illustrations and designs.
Middle East Book Award
The Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures.
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award
Honors fantasy books for younger readers, in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia
Newbery Medal Award
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Pura Belpré Award
The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. It is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino experience.
Red House Book Award
The Red House Children’s Book Award is a series of literary prizes for works of children’s literature published during the previous year in England.
Sydney Taylor Award
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.