We don’t always have the vocabulary to name or describe our feelings or situations. Sometimes emotions are strong. Other times we trip over our words. Having a tool such as a book or a story can be a helpful way to start a conversation especially with children. Molly Woods, LSW, a school-based Encompass Christian Counseling therapist serving students and families in Orrville, recommends these children’s books to help you talk with your kiddos about foster care, adoption and diversity.
“Emma’s Yucky Brother” by Jean Little (ages 4 to 8) This children’s story is about a young girl and her family who are adopting a little boy. The book discusses many important factors for children, such as their expectations and what to do if/when reality doesn’t match the process, sibling relationships or social workers. Within the pages, the reader will also look at life from the new brother’s perspective. This warm-hearted story gives a realistic outlook on adoption with a child from foster care.
“Heartfelt and honest; an adoption story from the viewpoint of the older sibling [with] simple words and clear, expressive illustrations.” ―Booklist
“A Mother for Choco” by Keiko Kasza (ages infant to 5) This spin off of “Are You My Mother?” follows the journey of a little bird named Choco on his quest to find his family. Choco starts looking for someone who looks similar to himself, but realizes that looks are not the most important thing in a family. Choco decides to join his new mother after she shows him she can make him laugh and comfort him like he wishes his mother would. This story is a great conversation starter on differences and how they can be celebrated. We hope you’ll find this book to be a great teaching tool that families do not need to “match” to be the right fit.
“The message is warm and reassuring, particularly to adoptees, stepkids, and other children who for various reasons don’t resemble their caretakers.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz (ages 4 to 8) This feel-good story is about a young girl named Lena who wants to paint pictures of herself. As she runs into friends during the day, Lena realizes that not everyone’s skin tone is the same. This story promotes acceptance and how our differences are part of what makes us each uniquely beautiful. The author created this book for her daughter, Lena, whom she and her husband adopted from Guatemala.
“Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love.” ―Kirkus Reviews
For additional resources in talking with kids about foster care and adoption, please reach out to us today. Or if you have a book you love, please share it with us. Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.