105 Ways to Give a Book

The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale

The Red ThreadI’m going to cheat for Poetry Friday, and turn the phrase that Grace Lin uses at the beginning of The Red Thread into a poem of sorts. It’s all in the line breaks.
There is
an ancient Chinese belief
that an invisible, unbreakable
red thread
connects all those
who are destined
to be
There — now I can say that once again, Grace Lin has reached into her heart and shared something wonderful with her readers with the lovely adoption fairy tale The Red Thread. The book begins with a mother and father on the couch, and a young Chinese girl handing the mom a story to read again. The story that she wants to hear is the fairy tale of The Red Thread.

Once there were a king and queen who were loved and successful, but something was missing from their lives. One day they both woke up with pains in their hearts. Several doctors, scientists, wise men, and medicine women tried to help the royal pair, but they could not. Then an old peddler heard about their ailment and identified it as a red thread coming from their hearts. As they moved about, it pulled and hurt them. They couldn’t cut the thread, but would have to follow it to the end to find out what or who was pulling it.

The king and queen went on a long journey, longer than they could have ever imagined, to a faraway land. There, at the end of the red thread, was a happy baby girl with each of the red threads tied around her ankles. The queen wondered aloud whose baby she was. An old woman saw the red threads connecting the king and queen to the baby, and she smiled. “This baby,” the old woman said, “belongs to you.”

As they took the baby home and were filled with joy and happiness, I felt myself getting teary. What a sweet way to look at adoption and connections among people. I’d recommend this book for any family adopting from abroad, for sure, but the element of connections is a beautiful one for all adoptive families. Simply lovely.


Jennie said...

I tagged you with a meme.

p dog said...

I agree. A lot of adoption books are so lovey-careful (do you know what I mean?) that they verge on cloying. This one's fairy-tale format and fun, bright illustrations makes it much more appealing, without losing the love.