sweetmoonSweet Moon Baby: An Adoption TaleThis is the story of one baby’s journey from her birth parents in China, who dream of a better life for their daughter, to her adoptive parents on the other side of the world, who dream of the life they can give her.
A turtle, a peacock, a monkey, a panda, and some fish shepherd the baby as she floats in a basket on a moonlit, winding river into the loving arms of her new parents.
Perfect for bedtime reading, Karen Henry Clark’s poetic text, reminiscent of a lullaby, and Patrice Barton’s textured and gentle-hued illustrations capture the great love between parents and children and the miraculous journey of adoption.


Buy it here!


“This lyrical story of destiny and love… is a triumph.” Kirkus Reviews

“Heartfelt, moving and lovely in every way. It’s a marvelous pairing of Clark’s exquisite text and Barton’s glorious illustrations.” Nancy Pearl, author of Book Crush: For Kids and Teens

“For a young child beginning to make sense of her past, Sweet Moon Baby offers a safe doorway into a deeper understanding.” Adoptive Families Magazine

“A sublimely wondrous…book about how families get made, even when those family members are born thousands of miles away…Sigh upon sigh…You can’t leave me sniffling alone. Come share this extraordinary journey.” Terry Hong, BookDragon for Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program

The Real Sweet Moon Baby

On a summer day in China, we filed into the hotel.


Our group of adoptive parents was ushered to the conference hall and seated across from two rows of nannies holding baby girls. Cliff and I had only seen our daughter in a tiny picture taken when she was a few months old. Now, at eleven months, hers could have been any of those faces staring at us.

Then we were called forward. As we stood before a panel of adoption officials, a nanny with our baby, Margaret May Yuping, stepped into place beside Cliff. My heart raced. I was afraid to turn to see her.

But she wasn’t. Her little head tilted past the nanny, looked at Cliff, and stretched forward to see me. And see me she did. Her eyes never left mine as she reached for me.

She knew.

Maggie, Karen & Cliff

The afternoon was glorious until I read her paperwork that stated: “Baby found forsaking on steps of leather factory.” I realized she would always live with a mystery. Unreachable memories would be locked forever in her mind and her heart.

Once we arrived home in Illinois, I began weaving a fanciful history for her, something beyond the confines of that basket balanced on a step.

Then one night she looked up at the sky, pointed her tiny finger, and said her first English word: moon. Her joy made me believe they had always been dear friends. And I had the central image for the story I had to write for our daughter.