Emma’s Story

By Carol-Ann Hoyte

A review of Emma's Story by Deborah Hodge

Published on October 1, 2003

Emma’s Story
Deborah Hodge

Tundra Books
$22.99
cloth
0-88776-632-3

Though the author has written award-winning non-fiction for children on several topics, this is her first work of fiction. Emma spends an afternoon baking a cookie family with her brother Sam and Grandma. Emma is saddened when she notices that the cookie version of her looks different from the others. The Emma cookie is the only one with black hair (liquorice) and dark eyes (raisins). When Emma expresses her desire to look like her relatives, her grandmotehr asks if she wants to hear the story of how she joined the family. Hodge’s comforting text tells how Emma’s parents adopted her as a baby from a Chinese orphanage and brought her home with them to Canada. At the story’s end, the author shares that Emma’s parents will take her to visit her birth country when she is older. This book is relevant for the times, as North Americans have adopted thousands of baby girls from China. The softness of Zhang’s paintings, rich in detail, match the gentleness of the text. The artist’s portrait of Emma’s family closes this story with a heartwarming touch. mRb

Carol-Ann Hoyte is the Quebec English-language regional coordinator for TD Canadian Children's Book Week and organizer of monthly mixers for Montreal anglophone children's book authors and illustrators.

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