Elliot – Julie Pearson, illustrations by Manon Gauthier

91CxHwf4BHL          Elliot – Julie Pearson, illustrations by Manon Gauthier, translated by Erin Woods, Pajama Press, (9781927485859), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This is a book that tries to explain the foster care system to young children. We are introduced to a little rabbit named Elliot and told “His mother and father loved him very much.” But unfortunately, they do not know what to do when Elliot cries or yells or misbehaves. So they ask for help and Thomas visits to “…take Elliot to stay with another family until his parents learned how to take better care of him.” Elliot is soon placed with a new family and “When Elliot cried, they understood he was hungry. When he yelled, they knew he was upset. When he misbehaved, they realized he needed attention.” Elliot’s parents visit him and one day they bring him home again. But when Thomas visits a few months later things are not improved and Elliot is taken to a different foster home. This family again knows how to take care of Elliot. Elliot’s parents continue to visit, but Thomas tells him that they “…could never take care of him, because they did not know how.” Thomas tells Elliot he will find him a “forever, forever family.” Elliot takes time to adjust but “In time, Elliot grew attached to his new family. When he cried or yelled or misbehaved, his new parents would hold him in their arms and tell him they loved him forever, forever.” His birth parents still visit him, but one day Elliot is officially adopted and “…would never have to change families again.” The collage illustrations in muted tones reflect the gentleness of the story. This is a lovely book to share with a child trying to cope with the intricacies of being a foster child. The book stresses that Elliot is always loved and that everyone wants to do what is best for him. This is a must-have for public libraries.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a book  for foster children and foster parents.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Due to the theme, I would shelf this in the Parenting section.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  8/22 /16

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