Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story

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Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story is an easy reader picture book to help young children learn about multi-race family adoptions. By looking at the celebration through the eyes of the youngest family member, the “gotcha day” party helps him understand his aunt was adopted from South Korea. The family gets ready, starts out driving, has a flat tire, and makes it in time. They ring the doorbell and auntie answers.

The now auntie arrived as a baby to the Minneapolis airport — to be placed into the waiting arms of the adoptive mother, Carolyn (who writes the Wise Owl Factory blog and lessons). The “twist” in the story is that the adopted person is an adult, not the child in the story.Alex Asks About Auntie's Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story

Adoption Day

Over 30 years ago, I (Carolyn Wilhelm) and my husband adopted our darling daughter from South Korea. She was 10 months old. We welcomed her home with a party. The cake decorator made an error spelling her name and wrote, “Besty.” She has been the best! The misspelling is a family joke, of course.welcome-home-cake-for-auntie-airplane-day

Auntie-Airplane-Day-in-the-bookAuntie Airplane Day had this photo taken when she was at the St. Patrick’s Day parade a few years ago. She was born in South Korea, therefore has lived in Asia. We lived in the Netherlands when she was 3 and 4, so she has also lived in Europe. She lived in North America also, twice (before and after we lived in NL). By the age of 3, therefore, she had lived on three continents. She still gets around being proficient in German and knowing some Japanese, and has traveled using those languages. She is the expert behind some of the posts, printables, and freebies on this site such as Shanghai A to Z.  She also helped with the presentations about Japan, as well as other posts. She sets me straight on German words and important cultural knowledge I should probably already understand.

This year’s party included the new storybooks.

Alex Asks About Auntie's Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story

The storybook was written by Carolyn Wilhelm, and illustrated by Pieter Els of Surfer Kids clip art and Surfer Kiddies. Although Carolyn and Pieter live almost 9000 thousands miles apart, they have become online friends and teamed up to self-publish this book together.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson posted a short review of this book on


There are three versions of the book.

There is a paperback version available on Amazon.


A plain eBook for Kindle Paperwhite or iPad is available. This is the non-interactive version of the eBook.


The interactive version is for Kindle Fire and Android devices only.


The interactive edition was made with the Amazon Kindle Create textbook creator, so each page has an icon to press which makes an interactive appear (an illustrated word, a sound, or a video). It is not a game or app. Textbook, you know, I’m a teacher. The sound icon when pressed has a sound recording, and the play button must also be pressed. It is not instantly interactive. One sound is a baby crying, one is a baby cooing. The videos work the same way: press the icon first, then press the play button. My husband tries to answer the door each time I play the doorbell sound, be forewarned.

Castleview Academy says it best and has described the different versions, and also has some videos of her adorable children reading the book on her blog post about the book.


Midwest Book Review, MBR Bookwatch, May 2019

Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story
Carolyn Wilhelm, author
Pieter Els, illustrator
Wise Owl Factory
9780999776612 $9.75 31 pages

“Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day” is an Easy Reader story about an Anglo American family’s celebration of the Adoption Day or Airplane Day of a boy’s adopted aunt who was born in Korea. Alex is excited and curious about the celebration of Airplane Day on his ride to the party. The problem of a flat tire is cheerfully solved by his parents with the aid and assistance of his grandfather who comes when called. Alex asks many questions about the Airplane Day celebration. Finally, they arrive at his Aunt Betsy’s home to see a sign announcing Happy Airplane Day!

Alex notices that his Aunt Betsy does not look like the rest of his Anglo family. Her skin color is different, and her eyes are slanted. When he asks, his grandpa explains: “Today is Auntie’s airplane day as it is her adoption day. This was the date years ago when she arrived from South Korea on an airplane. So we have an airplane theme party each year to celebrate the day. (p.21)” There is more information about how Auntie Betsy was born at home in South Korea, then put in a box and left at the police station. After that she stayed with 10 different foster mothers before she was adopted and brought to her new family in Minnesota on an airplane. Alex is curious about Airplane Day and his Auntie Betsy, and he is happy to understand why the family celebrates Airplane Day with her.

“Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day” is based on a true adoption story about the author and her adopted daughter. A picture of Carolyn with her new Korean daughter is included at the end of the book. Easy to read, “Alex Asks About Airplane Day” is a wise, gentle story to explain to curious children how some families become multi-racial through adoption. cheery, bright colored illustrations complement the simple narrative to make this Adoption Day Story accessible and appealing to young readers.

Pieter-Els, illustratorPieter Els is the illustrator. He sells clip art on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as his own site, Surfer Kiddies. Pieter has designed much of the art on this blog. He has also been a technical help for me. He is all around talented in art, graphic design, and technology. I highly recommend his work.

Another review is available on the New Book Review site by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, as well.


I try to have some sort of free download for most of my blog posts. For this post, I made some free adoption day cards you may download, print, color, and give to people. There is a lack of such cards available in stores. In recent years I have noticed more awareness for this kind of commercial card. I hope this will help some people celebrate adoptions and celebrations.



Thank you for reading. Carolyn

Shared on #DiverseKidLit linkup

Diverse Children’s Books

You might also like the story of the daughter when she was younger, A Mom: What is an Adoptive Mother? 

Thank you for reading. I-Reid and Carolyn

Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story

Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story

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About the Author:

Carolyn Wilhelm is the author of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and has completed the KHT Montessori 12 month program. She makes mostly free resources for teachers and parents. Her children's books are available on Amazon.


  1. Carolyn Wilhelm 07/15/2018 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for the comment. I liked your Facebook page!

  2. Joanne 07/15/2018 at 7:49 am

    Interesting reading about the different editions. Especially the interactive one. Thanks for sharing.

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