Love Like Chocolate

Little, Brown. Dec. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316408516.
PreS-Gr 2–End papers covered in chocolate desserts introduce a young boy about to welcome his adopted sister from Thailand. He explains that in their home, chocolate and love go together. He invites his new sister to bake with him. As the varied desserts begin to multiply, he supports her in her new family setting. He is about nine, and she is about six, so they begin to share many activities, such as soccer, blanket forts in the house, and picking berries. He tries to include her wherever he can. A year unfolds with holidays and seasons marking the passage of time. He now asks her for a favorite recipe of hers. She shares one from Thailand that they make together. The story ends with a summer party outdoors, including family and friends from many cultures. On the last page, brother and sister share s’mores around a fire pit. The little sister is wearing a traditional dress from Thailand. The strengths of the book are that the bright watercolor illustrations have a soothing quality, the interactions of the brother and sister are realistically rendered, and the desserts are inviting. While the mix of chocolate with love and adoption is a bit saccharine, it works for the intended audience. An author’s note is included.
VERDICT A good purchase where books on adoption, and especially international adoptions, are needed or a collection needs updating.

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