If at any point you have wanted to have a "nature versus nurture" discussion with your kids but weren't quite sure how to go about it, Gaston by Kelli DiPucchio is a fantastic story to gently introduce children to this topic. We got this book from the library a few weeks ago, and aside from the fact that the illustrations depict simple, yet highly expressive and adorable puppies (Caldecott winning Christian Robinson is fast becoming a favorite illustrator), it was a fun read with an important message.
When a bulldog family and a poodle family meet in the park, this chance encounter reveals that there has been a mix-up among the pups. No wonder Gaston, a bull dog, does not look like his siblings! The mothers decide to switch the two puppies, but all quickly realize this may not have been the right decision. Without feeling heavy handed, this book explores family relationships and demonstrates that, more than anything, family is built on love. Physical appearances do not mean everything (rightly so), and though one may be able to find some commonalities with others who may seem more outwardly "similar", home is with the ones that nurture and love you, above all else.
While I cannot claim to understand the ins and outs of adopting a child, I think this could be a good book to have on hand for those families with adopted little ones- especially families with children of a different background or ethnicity. Even kids who simply feel different from their siblings and/or parents will adore this book, it's timeless message, and it's celebration of all kinds of families. And let's be honest- while the book is so sweet, it is also good for a laugh. I dare you to get through the names of all the puppies in the story without having your kids doubled over in fits of giggles. A winner!!
Want the book? Get it here! Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio. *This is an affiliate link.