Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading
Megan Dowd Lambert
Illustrated by Mia Saine
Adult Audience/Professional Reading
April 18, 2023
In this collection of 21 essays, Megan Dowd Lambert divides her essays into four categories that touch upon her own experiences and perspective of being a parent of seven children, four of whom are adopted. Her evolving focus around the categories of parenting, adoption, race, and healing reveal an evolution of thinking and encourage parents and educators to try connecting with their children through a variety of literature.
Lambert discusses her nerve-wracking search for children’s books that have characters that mirror her “multiracial, foster-adoptive, queer, blended family” (pg. 9). Her search proved difficult as she found topics surrounding LGBTQA+, mental health, and disabilities have only been recently, and slowly, integrated into children’s books. With the limited number of books she was able to find on those topics, Lambert made sure to introduce them to her kids to show representation and a reflection of who they are and who they can be. Revealing her faults as a parent, and the mistakes that she’s made with her kids, provides an example of an imperfect parent, but one trying to do better for her kids. Lambert brings lightheartedness in the face of hard issues she’s had to face through humor and tear-jerking stories. This book would be useful for parents looking to find a way to connect to their child and would be great recommendation from librarians or other educational professionals. Children’s and other educational literature are mentioned with limited context, but Lambert later expands on the moral of each story to illustrate personal lessons learned about parenting and the importance of spending quality time with kids. Created digitally and primarily using darker colors, the limited illustrations represent a variety of skin colors and realistic actions happening in each scene, matching Lambert and her messages about parenting her children through a variety of literature. Connecting adults through heartfelt stories about parenting and healing, Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading inspires readers to bond with children through books, as they will teach kids the value of connection and maybe learn something themselves along the way.