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The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In China, the moon shines on four baby girls, fast asleep in an orphanage. Far away in North America, the sun rises over four homes as the people who live there get ready to start a long, exciting journey. This lovely story of people who travel to China to be united with their daughters describes the adoption process step by step and the anxiety, suspense, and delight of b ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 21st 2002 by Clarion Books
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Rod Brown
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Banned Book Week 2017. This year I'm reading a few picture books that have been challenged for their content, this one due to its depiction of a same-sex couple adoption.

I found this book to be pretty dull but was a little concerned by it, though not for its matter-of-fact portrayal of a lesbian couple participating in the adoption process. That would be damned idiotic. No, I'm concerned about inter-country adoption. It is a complex issue with lots of repercussions, and I am certainly no expert
...more
BookDrunkard
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cute book about different families adopting daughters from China.
Brooke
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Summary: From School Library Journal
Lovely Asian-inspired watercolors and an engaging text tell the story of four baby girls from a Chinese orphanage and the families who adopt them. First readers meet the North American families, including a single mother and another consisting of two female partners. They anxiously make the trip halfway around the world to the Chinese city of Guangzhou where they become acquainted at the White Swan Hotel. Juxtaposed against the excited, expectant parents are p
...more
Hannah Groeschen
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about four families from different parts of North America that go to China to adopt their daughters. There are a variety of family dynamics: two couples, a single woman, and two women who live together. I liked this book because it's based on a real couple's journey to China to adopt their daughter. They also met other families who were adopting daughters at the same time.
Janine Darragh
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspired by the author;s own experience with adoption, this book follows four families who all go to China to adopt baby girls. I loved how diverse the families depicted were and the inclusion of the importance to the new parents of learning about and maintaining their daughter's cultures.
Emily
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pages: 32
Age range: 5-8
Genre: Picture
Race/Culture/Ethnic Group: Asian American (Chinese) / Gay/Lesbian

Summary: Four adoptive families travel to China to adopt four Chinese girls.

Evaluation: This book was listed on the Rainbow Reading list and I was frankly quite surprised to find that my local library had a copy of it. It turns out that the lesbian couple in the story is only one of four adoptive families and was not a large part of the story at all. I was a bit bothered by the fact that one of
...more
(NS) Lisa
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Young readers will love this story of how four Chinese babies are welcomed into new families in North America. The story begins in North America with three couples and one woman and her cat preparing for a special trip to China. On the other side of the world, four little Chinese girls are sleeping. The families anxiously make the trip halfway around the world to the Chinese city of Guangzhou where they become acquainted at the White Swan Hotel. The prospective moms and dads are shown waiting an ...more
Allison Burke
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
This narrative is about four different homes of people traveling to China to meet their new baby girls. This story tells about all the different steps and journeys people have to take in order to adopt. The story focuses also on the issue of female babies in China that always need homes. As a literacy teacher, I would use this text to talk about how adoption works (ex. meeting places and traveling in the story). We could talk about issues of why babies get adopted and the policies parents have t ...more
Mary Hoch
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1mc
In the United States, four separate couples prepare for the adoption of a baby girl who awaits their arrival in an orphanage in China. The four sets of strangers meet when they travel from various cities and take “The White Swan Express” to their hotel in China. Each of the four sisters receives a traditional silver bracelet with a silver bell from their new family. After spending some time in China, each of the new families returns to their home in the United States. They keep in touch through ...more
Kristen Herzog
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll528-adoption
The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption by Jean Davies Okimoto and Elane M. Aoki is a cute story about four families from North America who share their journey to adopt four little girls from Guangzhou, China. Four families wake up in different parts of North America and are excited because today is the day they will travel to China to go pick up their baby girl. One white, one lesbian, one single female and one Asian family describe how they get to know one another during their adoption ...more
Jenny
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m always tentative about books subtitled ‘A Story About _____’, as there’s a tendency to either overexplain (think Heather Has Too Mommies) and/or not have much story hanging onto the frame of the issue (think a LOT of eco/health/drink/drug awareness stories. South Park’s ‘Sexual Harassment Panda’ is funny because it’s so embarrassingly true). White Swan Express manages to be a lovely and well-constructed story about adoption, following four Chinese baby girls and the four American families tr ...more
Jacqueline
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Four North American families are about to embark on the most amazing journey of their lives. They fly to China, meet in Guangzho in Guangdong Province, and take a bus to the White Swan Hotel. The next day, they will all become parents of Chinese baby girls.

The White Swan is a real hotel where every adoptive family stays in China. When Xiao-Ling's father and I adopted her, the White Swan was undergoing renovations so we didn't stay there... but we did go there to have our traditional "red couch"
...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
In China, the moon shines on four baby girls, fast asleep in an orphanage. Far away in North America, the sun rises over four homes as the people who live there get ready to start a long, exciting journey. This lovely story of people who travel to China to be united with their daughters describes the adoption process step by step and the anxiety, suspense, and delight of becoming a family. Told with tenderness and humor, and enlivened by joyous illustrations, The White Swan Express will go strai ...more
Ch_beverlyatwood
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
This story of four Chinese children and their anxious receiving parents from North America is the first book I've read about adoption. It was an engaging story that showed the differences in the parents as well as the differences in the children. When each child finally met their parents, all was well. The group made friends with each other and even sent holiday cards and Chinese New Year cards to each other. I may use this story when discussing the theme of adoption with children, or when study ...more
Lluvia
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Author: Jean Davies Okimoto & Elaine M. Aoki
Reading Level: 5th grade

Four families around the world are anxious to see their baby girls for the first time. These families are from all around the world, but with one destination, China. They all wonder about their first encounter with their baby.What will they say to them?, How will the baby react to them? I liked the way the book describes each family. They are all very different, it even seems that in one family, their are two women adopting.
...more
Margaret
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Adoption

This story is about four different families adopting baby girls from China. There are four different types of families, one white, one lesbian, one single female, and one Asian. The story shows the process they go through when they go to China for their children. The four families get to be friends during the two weeks it takes to be able to take their babies out of China.

This is a good story for grades Preschool-2. It could be used in a unit on families and adoption.

Shayla Stevens
This book is a story about adoption. It describes a trip that 4 very different families had to take from North America to China, where they met their daughters. I enjoyed this book because I want to adopt a little girl from China, and this book describes the process I would go through in a way children can understand. This is a good book to keep in the classroom to help explain adoption and let children know how wanted they are and how loved they are.
Deana Pittman
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Although I did like this story, it was a bit harder to follow for Abbi. This is the story of four couples simultaneously...so she was a little confused by the different people. We loved how it was centered around the White Swan Hotel, which is where most adoptive families stay when they are in Guangzhou completing their paperwork. Abbi loves to read stories about other children who "are from the United States, but made in China" (her words, not mine).
Kimberly
Nov 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked the story very much but the illustrations really took away from the text. The style leaves everyone indistinct and blurry, and the pictures of the babies sleeping are actually quite creepy. Still, a fun insight into the international adoption process, and lots of different family types showcased.
Julie
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A must-have for all adoptees who had the pleasure of experiencing life at The White Swan at a precious time of turmoil and joy. Sadly, The White Swan may now be a place of the past, with adoptive families being steered in a different direction.
Miley Smiley
Subgroup: Family; Adoption

Genre: Non-Fiction

Synopsis: This is the story of families from around the USA, getting ready, and going to China to adopt their children.

1.) Okimoto, J., Aoki, E. (2002). The White Swan Express; A Story about Adoption. New York, NY: Clarion Books
Bethany Nolan
Four American families fly to China to meet their new daughters, all on the same day. Liked how this book set up the families, then the daughters, and brought them together at the end.
Crista
Oct 29, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mc
Adoption
Adoption Books
Jan 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
eh, will not be adding this to my collection. it would be good for a family adopting a child from china, though. lesbian adoption themes
Jennifer
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed looking at the illustrations by Meilo So. Wonderful picture book about families (of all kinds), adoption and love.
The author did a great job with the emotions of anticipation.
Mel Kizior
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Beautiful watercolor illustrations and warm, loving message about the true meaning of family!
AU
rated it it was ok
Sep 17, 2017
Fats
rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2014
Rll520a_gaylehassan
rated it liked it
Jun 09, 2011
Kalyn
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2016
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“I’ve always had an appreciation for the constant balancing act between career and family and for women in the arts it can be a high wire act.”

Okimoto, who was born in 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio, knows of what she speaks. An acclaimed children’s author, playwright, retired psychotherapist, wife, mother, and grandmother, she has worn many hats since Putnam published her first book in 1978.

With The Lov
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