Once Upon a Baby: Book Review & Giveaway


Once Upon a Baby: A Tale of Adoption by Shari Guess

A heartwarming tale of LDS Adoption. Follow a child’s journey from the Pre-existence to his family’s home on Earth. The divine guidance of the Savior, along with the love and prayers of both birth and adoptive parents are gently and lovingly portrayed in this tender story of the ultimate “Happily ever after”.


My Review:

I am so excited to be invited along this ‘book tour,’ as adoption is something that is very close to my heart. I have two neices and one nephew who were adopted through foster care, and my parents are working to adopt through foster care as well.

The book is written from an LDS perspective (premortal life, eternal families) for children who were placed into adoption by their birth mothers. It sweetly explains how the mother and father promised the child in the pre-existence that they would be a family forever. They prayed for their child, but eventually learned that the mommy would not be able to grow the baby.

While the majority of the book was appropriately simplified for children, this line seemed to over simplify the role of the birth mother:

The baby would need a Tummy Mommy!
Tummy Mommies are blessing mommies.
They help mommies and daddies
who can’t grow babies
by growing a baby for them.

A very young child may appreciate the simplicity of this explanation, but to me it raises quite a few questions on its own. For an older child, the explanation may even feel dishonest; the “tummy mommy” didn’t grow a baby for the adoptive parents, but decided it was in her child’s best interest to let someone else raise the child. It feels here like the birth mother is hidden behind trite excuses rather than celebrating her selfless act of love.

If you’ve been looking for a good LDS book with a focus on eternal families, but don’t care for the surrogate-like interpretation, I would simply pause at this point in the book and adapt as is appropriate for your situation; perhaps telling your child how his birth mother wasn’t able to care for a baby, but she loved the baby and wanted to find the perfect family for your child. (Read this article for more ideas.)

Overall, the theme of the book was lovely, and clearly created with a special heart for adoption. It’s a rare find, especially with the family in the story ultimately going to the temple to be sealed together forever.

Author Shari Guess

SHARI GUESS is a proud, first-time children’s book author and lives in rural North Texas where she
is “Mom” to her beloved 9-year-old adopted son, Garrett. Happily married to her husband Walter for going on 13 years they share their cabin-in-the-woods with a small herd of Great Danes and farm animals. Shari is currently a part-time real estate agent and property manager and prior to marriage worked for over a decade in the music business, spanning from Los Angeles to Nashville. She wore many hats as a journalist and publicist representing multiple recording artists, magazines and music publishing companies, along with being a part-time performing artist and songwriter. Her hobbies include choral, Americana and rock music, martial arts, photography, travel and anything in the mountains.



Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card + copy of Once Upon a Baby

Copy of Once Upon a Baby

(Paperback open to US only, Kindle ebook for International)

Ends 11/30/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway
NOTE:If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t appear, just click the link above and it will take you to the form. Thanks!

 Disclosure: I received an eBook of Once Upon a Baby to review. I received no compensation. The words of the review are my own, and I was provided the summary and author biography for convenience. 

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