Publisher: WestBow Press
Illustrator: Christine Greer R.N.
Illustrator: Christine Greer R.N.
About the Author
Linda K. Hendricks is a medical oncologist from Macon, Georgia who was inspired to write her first book after dealing with infertility issues and going through the adoption process with her own children.
It is an endearing story about a chicken named, Hope, who lives in the forest with her friends. One day she lays a beautiful rainbow colored egg. She attempts to find a nest for the egg in the forest so that she can continue living near her friends. Hope grows restless and tired. She begins searching for an appropriate place to rest. The red bird acts as a guardian leading the chicken to a coop where families are gathered together in one community home. Upon her arrival, she noticed a sad and lonely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rainbow, who have an empty nest. She asks them to keep her egg based on a few simple stipulations and they agree. She gives "hope" and blesses a couple with their very own egg to raise.
The story contains lovely whimsical illustrations. My five-year-old daughter's attention was immediately captured by the drawings and the egg's rainbow colors. She also noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Rainbow had rainbow colored bellies. The egg and belly coloration give me a sense that the child and parents belong together. My daughter spotted the red bird on each page. At the end of the story, she counted how many times the bird appeared in the story. The red bird could possibly symbolize one's Christianity and represent faith in God - at least that's how I felt. As I read the story, the red bird reminded me of how we need to listen to God as He speaks to us and to recognize our blessings. I doubt that was the intention of the author, but that is the message that I personally gained after reading it. I would say that the book is geared towards children ages 5-10. Older children may feel the book is a little too childish for them.
There was only one awkward or uncomfortable part in this children's book that I was hesitant to read aloud. As soon as I started reading the page, I paused to skim ahead and check for appropriateness just to be on the safe side. The content was appropriate but for some reason it still caught me off guard. The content didn't even phase my five-year-old daughter at all. To others, it may simply show the obstacles and steps taken when trying to conceive a baby. I think it just depends on your perspective. It seems as though the author was trying to point out the couple's trials when attempting to have a child. The book states, "They tried on their backs . . . on their tails . . . and on their wings . . . They even tried to lay an egg while standing on their heads. But their nest remained empty."
Otherwise, we found the book to be enjoyable. There are few parts that may cause a child to ask detailed questions so I recommend reading the book in advance in order to prepare yourself for those questions. For example, my daughter asked me why Hope didn't stay and live in the hen house with the others and stay with her baby boy chick. She didn't understand why the baby's mother would just leave the egg with strangers just to return to the forest where her friends lived. This in turn lead to a thought-provoking discussion about adoption which is a topic we had not discussed in the past.
This tender-hearted story gives "hope" to adoptive families around the world. The Rainbow Egg written by Linda K. Hendricks also serves as a gentle introduction to adoption for young children. It is a story about love, family, friendship, belonging, recognizing your blessings, and making sacrifices. I would recommend this book to families with children considering adoption or for an adopted child. The book may help children understand the process a little better. I think this would also be a good book for school and private practice counselors to have as on their bookshelf when working with younger children. I personally wouldn't purchase this book at this point in our life, but only because we do not have any adopted children and we do not intend on adopting any children.
Check out the introductory video below for a peek into Hope's world!
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Thank you for reading this review!